This is the second book I’ve read by Lori Gottlieb. I liked it for all the wrong reasons. Based on the first one I read, “Marry Him, The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough” I thought I would be reading something completely different. “Marry Him” is about her long lasting journey on dating sites where she passes judgment on perfectly acceptable men for the most picayune of reasons. As a result she ends up a single mom in her 40’s trying to find “Mr. Good Enough”.
This book started out in that vein but quickly turned. She is a therapist, (I did not know that) who needs to find a therapist because her fiance breaks up with her because she has a young child.
You quickly get an idea of why she could be so picky about men. She worked as a consultant on the television shows Friends and ER. That is where she found her passion for helping people and decided to go to med school and eventually she becomes a famous therapist and author. Plus she has a thriving career in journalism on the side.
The chapters follow her sessions with her talking with her new therapist about “Boyfriend” and also follows clients of her own. Do not read this book if you fear your therapist is judging you. Because they are. She talks about being open and non-judgemental but she drops in some pretty harsh criticisms of her clients, I think without realizing she does it. Also she gets together with her colleagues once a week for wine and cheese where they gossip and pass judgement on their clients. It seems if therapy turns out well it is because of good work by the therapist but if it goes badly it is the client’s fault for not putting the work in. (Not always true, trust me)
She figures out it is not Boyfriend she is really fretting over and also learns some lessons that help in her own practice. The book actually made me cry unexpectedly, which is not normal for me to do while reading. It took a bad turn with no prelude.
About the author. I wonder how she got into being a therapist based on her own behavior. Mostly based on her internet stalking of people. In “Marry Him” she does it to weed out the potential dating partners and also to gather information for her book. I still think she went a little further than needed to write a book. The surprise is how in depth she got stalking her own therapist. I understand wanting to know a little about them to see if you think you would be a good mix. She goes deep down a rabbit hole. She studies his family, his extended family, cousins he knew as a child. She looks them up on LinkedIn and finds out what they do for work and how much money they make. She goes on Zillow with the addresses she finds and knows how much their homes are worth. I think she is a bit obsessive to say the least. I don’t think she would be good as my therapist. I would be afraid she was google stalking me. Although there is not much to find out.
I’m not sure how much she embellishes because of so many coincidences. For example, her practice is in Los Angeles, a very large city but she keeps running into clients in random places around the city. She wraps up the book by claiming success of her abilities of helping her clients lives be tied into neat little packages but blames the one client for being the reason therapy didn’t work.
I recommend this book even if you have never been in therapy. There is a lot to learn and it kept me reading. She is an excellent writer. I plan to read another book by her, “Stick Figure”, even though I have no idea what it is about at the moment. She is a very interesting person.