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Hold Me Tight
Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love

by Dr. Sue Johnson

      Little needs to be said as an introduction to Dr. Sue Johnson. She is so very well respected in her field that, when she speaks, she speaks with the voice of a Zen koan. She glides the reader effortlessly through her book using tact and comfortable language, sense and sensibility, and support rather than challenge. All the while asking the reader to reflect in the seven mirrors (conversations) she has so carefully placed along the hallway she leads us down. But it's not her reputation that makes us want to follow her. There are stories and these stories seem to reach out to the reader as if to say, "Look, there in the mirror. Isn't that you?"

Make no mistake, this is a "how to" book, but one of the most unforgettable and remarkable "how to" books I've read. I'd like to say there's nothing new for a 57-year old, tainted by failed / foiled / lost love, and soured over the years reader like me. But there are those mirrors and the way she kept speaking to me and pointing to me in the mirror. Even a proofreader couldn't read this objectively because, she reminds us, the need to feel held tight - whether we want to or not - is at the very heart of human sensibility. It's more than a repair manual, more like a complete owner's manual for anything that may arise in the future as well as repairs needed now. Never did I feel as if I was preached to or spoken to or lectured at. Instead, the walk down the hallway was pleasant, slow, comfortable, and I listened and I spoke and she counseled in a way that made me feel the mirrors were placed so innocently yet strategically as to lead her into the next conversation.

Hold Me Tight, she calls it. The subtitle is Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. Perhaps the titles ought to be reversed. At least, that's the way my conversation with Dr. Johnson went. Perhaps, at my age, a time past when these things ought to matter, she has shown me in my mirrors that a lifetime of love can really begin at any time.

The Book

Little, Brown and Company / Hachette Book Group
April 2008
ARC for Hardcover
031611300X / 9780316113007
Self-Help / Relationships
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The Reviewer

Chris Querry
Reviewed 2008
© 2008