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Love Works Like This: Moving from One Kind of Life to Another Hardcover – May 14, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (May 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375503765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375503764
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #961,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pregnant women will find much food for thought in Lauren Slater's Love Works Like This: Opening One's Life to a Child. Psychologist Slater (Prozac Diary) remembers how she made the decision to have a child. She made a list of pros and cons, and upon siding with the only "pro" ("learning a new kind of love"), began the journey toward motherhood. In a diary-like format, she tells of her violent mood swings, disturbed appetite and uncertainty at holding a child's dress in her hands and "finding it definitely not cute." Largely a personal, biological and psychological history, Slater's book is ultimately uplifting.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Slater (Prozac Diary) prefaces her latest work by emphasizing that it is a "travelog" rather than a diary. This results from her choice of format: an abridged daily planner charting the expansion of her belly, the age of the fetus, and the sometimes beautiful, sometimes scary thoughts of a woman whose life is slowly changing. At the heart of this piercing memoir is Slater's struggle to become a mother in the face of bipolar disorder. At once sad and miraculous, the text reveals the quandary an expectant mother faces when she must take drugs that could harm the unborn child (she stopped taking Prozac during the first trimester but then resumed). It is clear that Slater wrote this not only for women like herself but also for her daughter. In the end, she realized that having a child was as important to maintaining a normal life as was her medication. An original take on an oft-discussed subject, this is highly recommended for all pregnancy and mental health collections.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By tharp83 on June 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As a new mom, I loved this book. It beautifully described the changes and upheavals that becoming a mother has brought to my life. While I wasn't on depressants, I too had a difficult pregnancy which I'm still coping with emotionally and physically. I too was on a variety of medications throughout the pregnancy. But the depression and medication worries are only a small part of the story in this book. If you're looking for Prozac Diaries part II as one reviewer seems to have, you're looking in the wrong place.
I too have never known that I could love this deeply, that a single smile from my baby girl would be worth more than anything I've done in my 38 years. No other writer has come close to describing the way I feel as if every molecule in my body has been rearranged. In particular her comment "Fatherhood is something you do, Motherhood is something you are" struck me. I've been fundamentally changed in so many ways that I never expected and ironically, I don't even care. I read the book thinking, "Wow! Someone has decribed how exactly how I feel and now I don't have to do it myself." She's written the book I wished I could but in prose that's so much more beautiful than anything I could have mustered.
I don't understand the reviewers who criticized her so much. Perhaps it was a father who was offended by how much the father was left out of her story. This was a story of the emotional changes involved in becoming a mother who struggled with some of the difficulties that no one tells you about.
Lastly, several of her observations have stayed with me. Like the thought that pregnancy should carry a warning label. As she points out, with all it's side effects, if it were a drug the FDA would classify it as highly dangerous.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've enjoyed other works of Lauren Slater, and this was no exception. It takes courage to write about the experiences she's had emotionally. Especially when it involves being heartfelt and honest about the giant step of having a baby.
Anyone who is pregnant or plans to become pregnant should read this book regardless of whether or not you have a history with depression or other mental illnesses. Many of the feelings and emotions Ms. Slater expresses about having a baby are ones that many women have, but are not honest enough to express. Reading about her experiences and emotions authenticates just how serious a choice having a baby is, not just for someone with mental illness, but for every responsible couple.
This is a good, informative and honest piece of writing. I would recommend it highly to anyone who wants an emotional look at what it's like to be pregnant. Ms. Slater is an excellent writer in both her use of imagery and emotion.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Slater's book offers:
a) an account of one woman's experience "crossing over" into Motherland.
b) her frank soul-searching about how to (and if one should) merge motherhood with mental illness (something which more than 1 in 5 Americans suffer with.)
c) an artful, beautifully worded style -- gratefully devoured by those seeking alternatives to cutesy-tootsie, sterile, soul-less, "What to Expect..." manuals.
Regarding the reviewer who complained that there was no answer to the book's title, let me just ask this: Were you REALLY expecting an answer? I don't think anyone can diagram how love works...
If you're expecting "answers" for the universal questions of life, try Wittgenstein.
If you're looking for specific questions about labor/birth/delivery/ -- buy the Unofficial Guide to Pregnancy.
But if you're interested in reading a moving account of one person's spiritual and personal journey into parenthood, this book is a winner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ubalu on January 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for every pregnant or planning-to-be pregnant woman. Of course, planning to be pregnant is a recent concept, around 60 years old. The freedom to `plan' one's life and pregnancy came with the technological advances and automation in the kitchen and laundry, employment opportunities, financial freedom, but most of all, fool-proof birth control! Birth control, more than all other `advances' freed the woman, and eventually changed the `civilized' world almost completely. Living together without marriage, for example, would not have been possible without birth control.

With birth control and seeming `control' of life, women started making decisions on if and when to have a child, a concept that did not exist in their mothers' time. When you throw in all variables here like physical and mental illness, dangerous medications, this decision became tough for some women. Some decided not to become mothers, for many reasons (`Read the book `Baby Trap').

Those who chose motherhood generally had a positive, life-changing experience. They rediscovered all the love and self-sacrifice mothers of yesteryear already experienced `unscientifically'. The author, the loving, giving mother makes some profound revelations on love, sacrifice, and bonding. She makes a few strong points, like the fetal cells remain in the mother's body for a life-time, keeping part of each of her children in her physically in addition to emotionally... an ancient `unscientific' concept rediscovered, figuring out why mom will always be mom!

This book comes highly recommended.
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More About the Author

LAUREN SLATER is the author of "The $60,000 Dog: My Life with Animals" (Beacon Press, 2012) and "Playing House: Notes of a Reluctant Mother" (Beacon Press, Nov. 2013). A psychologist and writer, Slater is the author of five books of nonfiction: Welcome to My Country, Prozac Diary, Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir, Love Works Like This, and Opening Skinner's Box, as well as a collection of short stories, Blue Beyond Blue. Slater has received numerous awards, including a 2004 National Endowment for the Arts award, multiple inclusions in Best American volumes, and a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Photographer Photo Credit Name: Dianne Newton, 2012.

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