The host of CNN's Sonya Live! offers a nonjudgmental look at women who have found love and self-fulfillment outside their marriages in secret, long-term relationships. 40,000 first printing. $40,000 ad/promo. Tour.
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A sketchy portrait of married women with long-term lovers--and if that sounds like the subject of a TV talk-show, don't be surprised: Pop psychologist Friedman (On a Clear Day You Can See Yourself, 1990, etc.) hosts CNN's Sonya Live!. Friedman's research here consists of interviews with 113 women--between the ages of 23 and 76--who come from different social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds and from 16 states. Friedman attempts to show how these women conduct their double lives and why they cling to the security of marriage while going outside it for sex, romance, and companionship. With the aid of women's magazine-editor Forsyth, the author presents many individual stories, often in the form of first-person narratives. But contrary to Friedman's claims, the words of these women aren't ``heart-tugging, sometimes breathtaking'' but mostly rather matter- of-fact, and their stories have a certain sameness about them. One group's tales have a different twist--those whose lovers are other women--but even here the stories seem flat. Between the individual narratives are Friedman's thoughts about the causes for extramarital romance. Although the basis for her findings seems frail, Friedman concludes that women who look for fulfillment outside marriage are often those who marry very young, before knowing who they are and what they want. Her advice: Know thyself. Sympathetic, but superficial. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
The adulterous wife emerges as the unlikely heroine in these revelations collected by Friedman, the psychologist host of CNN's Sonya Live , in interviews with 100 married women, aged 23 to 76, who have taken either male or lesbian lovers. Assisted by freelance writer Forsyth, Friedman credits the sexual revolution and Betty Friedan with helping to motivate wives to venture into what she calls the "wife/wench" double life, complicated by risk and gratuitous obstacles. However, the lovers in these cases--who are often family friends--still tend to give priority, Friedman stresses, to their roles as spouses and parents. And while sex and romance may remain vital to illicit love, the women claim it is the companionship offered by an affair that helps them "tolerate" their marriages--only a third of which end in divorce. Despite greater open-mindedness about taboo subjects, the authors conclude that exercising candor about such entanglements is still "tantamount to self-destruction."
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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