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Love Sick: One Woman's Journey through Sexual Addiction Paperback – February 17, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This compelling story of recovery takes us through 28 days in an inpatient clinic for female sex addicts. Silverman explores the psychology of addiction on a deeply personal level, sharing her struggles with self-destructive tendencies and her desperate desire to be loved, no matter what the cost. Molested repeatedly by her father during her childhood, she realizes the connection between her sexual abuse and her desire to be loved by dangerous, inaccessible men. She finds she must come to terms with anger at her mother, who refused to recognize the sexual abuse of her daughters and intervene on their behalf. Candid, emotionally raw, often frightening, Silverman's account is never sugarcoated, and there are no happy platitudes or breezy success stories in it. It is deeply moving, however, and should inspire anyone going through a 12-step program, whether for sexual addiction or other conditions, and help addicts' friends and family members understand the journey their loved ones must travel in order to heal. Bonnie Johnston
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A self-proclaimed addict looks unflinchingly at the source of her sickness and her road to recovery. -- O Magazine, Georgia Brown, May 2001

An honest, deeply chilling account of what it's like to suffer from a compulsion...look for love in...all the wrong places. -- Elle, Francine Prose, May 2001

An important literary accomplishment, one that will move anyone who reads it. -- recoveryworld.com, 7 May 2001

Silverman shows how real [sexual addiction] is, how it really works, and how she was able to overcome it. -- Deborah Tannen, author of You Just Don't Understand

Sue William Silverman shines a bold light on sexual addiction in her riveting memoir. -- Molly Peacock, author of Paradise, Piece by Piece --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (February 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393333000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393333008
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sue William Silverman's new memoir is "The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew." The book describes Sue's search for authentic self-identity - a search complicated by her conflicted feelings toward Judaism and her various efforts to "pass" as Christian. At the heart of this journey are three separate encounters with 1960s pop-music icon, turned Christian provocateur, Pat Boone, who plays a pivotal role in her desire to belong to the dominant culture. It is published with the University of Nebraska Press as part of their American Lives Series, edited by Tobias Wolff.

An earlier memoir is "Love Sick: One Woman's Journey through Sexual Addiction" (W. W. Norton), which is also a Lifetime Television original movie. During the filming, Sue visited the set and makes a cameo appearance in the movie!

Her first memoir, "Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You" (University of Georgia Press), won the AWP award series in creative nonfiction. Her poetry collection is "Hieroglyphics in Neon." Sue's book on craft is "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir," which won Honorable Mention in "ForeWord Review's" book of the year award.

Check out the photos of Sue on this page! In one she is with Pat Boone after one of his concerts. In another, she stands beside the actress Sally Pressman, who portrays Sue in the movie "Love Sick." And another from the movie set shows Sue standing outside her movie trailer! There is also a photo of Sue teaching a workshop in creative nonfiction.

As a professional speaker, Sue has appeared on such television programs as The View, Anderson Cooper-360, and CNN-Headline News. She teaches in the low-residency MFA in Writing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Sue believes we all have a story to tell, that all our voices are important, and encourages others to write their life narratives, too.

Her partner is the poet Marc Sheehan, and they have two cats, Bijou and Siobahn.

For more information and photos of Sue, please visit www.SueWilliamSilverman.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By jumpy1 on September 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sue William Silverman reveals herself so honestly, I can only admire her. It seems trite to say she is "courageous" but yet cannot think of a better word. (I don't think I'd be able to do it!) And she does it with so much insight that telling it all has a real purpose and is not self pity. She clearly has come through a lot and is to be commended for sharing her newfound insight with those of us who are too good at hiding the truth to get proper help! I spent some years living a sexually compulsive life and have found the path away from it to be long. At this point I can't even recognize myself, I've changed so much, but still found reading this book to be very healing and affirming, and that her insight helped clarify some issues that have come up for me, as I deal with the truth.
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Format: Hardcover
When I picked up this book, it was because I was curious about how something as common and ordinary as sex could be an addiciton. I assumed that only perverts and creepy old men were "sex addicts". Silverman brought her recovery as a female sex addict into focus in a way that can only be described as deeply intimate. I felt myself right by her side during each of the 28 days of her treatment (and chapters), crying when she was writing about her "addictwoman," her lonliness, and her search for "family." Her writing allows for a deep sense of understanding and familiarity with the part of her that has controlled her life. For anyone woman has ever even joked about being "addicted" to love, men, relationships or sex, this book will certainly move you.
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Format: Hardcover
Review of Love Sick: One Woman's Journey Through Sexual Addiction by Sue William Silverman (Norton, 2001) Memoir. ISBN: 0-393-01957-8

What is sexual addiction? How does one recover from this addiction? Sue William Silverman answers these questions in her heartbreaking and heartwarming autobiography. Even if a reader does not experience an addiction of any kind, no time is wasted while reading the book because the prose is so expertly crafted.

In her first book Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, (University of Georgia Press, 1996) Sue William Silverman writes about the childhood sexual abuse she experienced. She had an incestuous father and a complicit mother. The tragedy of incest leaves any child feeling that she is unlovable, and the confusion that sex equals love. The incest was woven with the elements of secrecy, danger, and destruction. In Love Sick, Sue shows the reader how those elements became a blueprint for her relationships.

As with any addiction, sexual addiction is a narrow one-dimensional drive serving only to feed itself. Sue was starved for real love as a child, so she uses unhealthy behaviors to search for love; she literally does not know better because she was not shown unconditional care. In college, she is caught in an affair with an emotionally unavailable married man, who has a son her own age. She also meets (for sex) a random obscene phone caller who is a stranger. Incest leaves the victim with instinct askew, so Sue literally believes that this strange caller was meant to meet her to show her how loveable she really is. Sue later marries Andrew, and confesses: "I first had sex with Andrew while married to someone else." Andrew is unable to comprehend Sue's turmoil except in terms of how it affects her role as his wife.
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By A Customer on July 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was helpful to me in understanding my wife, who is a sex addict. It was insightful to read the words of the author who suffers from the same compulsion and how it has governed her life.
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This book described me and my life. If you have suffered incest, rape, divorced parents or dysfunctional family patterning that set you on a path in search of that "love high" then this book is for you.

If you have ever applied the term "looking for love in all the wrong places" to yourself and you have had sex with many "wrong" people in order to be loved (if only for a few hours) then you will find yourself described on every page of this painfully honest, brilliantly written and enlightening book.

Thank you Sue for writing about an addiction that is more about love than sex and is as powerful and destructive as any other. An addiction that is, when rarely spoken about, completely misunderstood.
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WHEN IN DOUBT ABOUT WHO YOU ARE,READ IT. YOU WILL GET THE ANSWER.I DID!
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Format: Hardcover
Sue William Silverman's Love Sick is a powerful pageturning tale told with clarity and dispassion, a marvelous achievement considering the subject. Though a personal story, it is of universal interest. It is, on the one hand, a blueprint for narrative nonfiction: perfectly structured and rendered without one wasted word. The book gives insight about all persons stuck for whatever reason in a cycle self-destruction. There is no moral here. The emotions you will have will be your own.
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The setting for this story is mainly the 28 days the author spent in a treatment center for people with addictive behaviors. She talks about what went on in this center plus other experiences that happened before and after.

From the age of four until she went away to college the author was sexually molested by her father. The human mind can only take so much and not surprisingly these experiences had severe psychological consequences for her. She doesn't say exactly what happened during those years. It sounds like her other book provides those gut wrenching details.

When she went away to college and as an adult the consequences of this abuse caused complicated psychological issues that manifested as so called 'sexual addiction'. You would need some understanding of psychology to understand the cause and effect relationships for all of this which I don't have. Her therapist sort of explains it on page 225.

She seemed to feel a terrible sense of abandonment from both her mother and older sister. I get the impression that they knew what was happening or at least didn't really want to know. As a result the book gives some glimpses of someone who suffered in silence and felt there was nobody around to help or understand her which was true. That evil man burdened his daughter with a terrible secret and heavy cross to carry through the rest of her life.

There are two strange incidents in the book where her life was put in danger but her reaction was not normal. A burglar came into her apartment and she just stood there staring at the guy as if she was the intruder. Years later two muggers pulled a knife and were trying to abduct her but all she was concerned about was being late to meet her married boyfriend and give him a Christmas present.
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