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The Feminist and the Cowboy: An Unlikely Love Story Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; 1St Edition edition (January 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592407900
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592407903
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #778,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


 “The novelist's first memoir, about her love affair with her own cowboy on a cattle ranch, is touching, gritty, real, and often laugh-out-loud funny. Highly recommended. A real-life romance, with every kind of beef.”
—Ree Drummond, author of The Pioneer Woman; Black Heels to Tracker Wheels, A Love Story

“An irresistible, post-feminist Taming of the Shrew. Don’t be scared by the premise. This is not a story about a woman relinquishing her identity. Quite the opposite. It is a riveting tale about how a brilliant, strong-minded woman liberated herself from a dreary, male-bashing, reality-denying feminism.”
—Christina Hoff Sommers, author of The War Against Boys; How Misguided Feminism is Harming Our Young Men

“This is a real-life romance novel, as they are truly written, where a handsome, but flawed hero enhances the life of a woman battling her own demons. He doesn't save her. She doesn't change him… The book is insightful, sassy, sarcastic, intelligent, emotional and will challenge the preconceived concepts about conservatives and liberals and everyone in between.”
–Julie Leto, New York Times bestselling author

“Valdes has written a thought-provoking exploration of her own missteps and the tremendous obstacles she has overcome to achieve happiness in the second half of her life.”
Publishers Weekly

“A big-city girl finds love where she least expects it and re-examines her life in the process… A memoir for chick-lit fans who can stomach a bit of politics along with their romance.”
Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Alisa Valdes lives in New Mexico and divides her time between a house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a ranch in southern New Mexico.

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Customer Reviews

It degenerated into Alisa's realisation that the perfect cowboy did not love her.
Selene Mize
Her constant pontificating weighs the story down, and a majority of the book reads less like a memoir and more like a series of political essays.
And why am I not addressing the "feminism is bad and has made women unhappy in relationships" issue?

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

140 of 149 people found the following review helpful By GadgetChick on January 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It's hard for me to know what to say here. What Ms. Valdes wants readers to believe is that this book is a narrative about two incredibly different people, from incredibly different backgrounds, coming together, overcoming their differences, and finding true love. The book is actually a near-formless mass of extremely personal revelations and histrionic accounts of "wrongs" done to the author, which chronicle a not-nearly-as-bad-as-she-thinks-it-was childhood, and a genuinely bad relationship that was bad in a completely average, not-that-interesting way.(Which, P.S. I say "was" because Alisa and The Cowboy are not living in bliss on a ranch in New Mexico. He dumped her unceremoniously several months ago, and she's already living with a new guy who she says is nothing like The Cowboy. So, take all of her impassioned resolutions about dating "real men" forevermore in the book with a pretty gargantuan grain of salt.)

Anyone who has been in a protracted bad relationship with someone who wasn't a good match for them will recognize their own bad relationship in Alisa's. The issues she attributes to the vast divide between liberal feminist and conservative cowboy are actually no more, and no less, than the same issues all mismatched couples face, the largest one being a total inability to constructively communicate with each other. To wit: the huge fights over nothing. The "what did you mean by that" comments that turn into all-night screaming arguments. The great sex followed by fights followed by temporary agonizing breakups followed by tearful reconciliations followed by more great sex, repeat cycle. The lying, to each other and to oneself.
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82 of 87 people found the following review helpful By T. H. Sackett on January 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The author's own summary of the book: "what I actually wrote was a handbook for women on how to fall in love with a manipulative, controlling, abusive narcissist."

She has just announced, a week after the book came out, that this turned out to be a violent, abusive relationship. At one point, she was afraid he was going to kill her, so she jumped from his moving pickup truck: "I landed facedown on a bunch of rocks, nearly crushed under the back tires, dislocating my shoulder, badly cut and bruised everywhere, my hip filling with blood. I screamed. He stopped the truck, walked over, looked at me on the ground as I begged him to call an ambulance. "Only you would be stupid enough to jump out of a moving truck," he told me. He did not help me, or come near me. Instead, he said he was going to the hunting lodge to get some witnesses, in case I tried to tell the police he had done this to me."

Anyone interested in this topic might want to read "Crazy Love" by Leslie Morgan Steiner.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By OxfordComma on January 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Even before I read the author's revelation that "the cowboy" abused her, I found this book depressing and hard to get through. Rather than being romantic, this memoir reeks of a troubled woman in a relationship with an even more troubled man. Her publisher should have picked up on this and tried to get her help. The whole affair is sad, and the book left me depressed.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Madigan McGillicuddy on February 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This was a quick read. It seems as if Alisa and her mysterious cowboy are just perfect for each other, as they are both bats*** insane. Alisa's had a hellish childhood, and recently divorced, she's forced to move in with her dad as she tries to sort out her foundering writing career and special needs son. Along comes the cowboy. They meet through a personal ad, and he is immediately a pushy, take-charge alpha male, an avowed conservative, if not quite a neo-con.

Who said that guys are the only ones who think with what's in their pants? While Alisa finds him challenging and hard to live with, she's also very attracted by his hunky good features. Aside from the fact that she's no blushing virgin, this could be the plot of nearly any romance novel - rough around the edges country "real man" takes control and shows uptight city lady a good time. True love ensues.

Personally, I saw more red flags waving than at a matador convention. Whether it was the way the cowboy screamed at his dogs, told her to shut up, the way he had her groveling and apologizing to get him back after she busted him for cheating on her, or his coolly delivered bald-faced lies that reeked of narcissism, I cringed for her every time she made excuses for him. He manhandled her pet dog? That's okay, turns out there was a rattlesnake nearby, and he didn't have time to explain that just then. He rudely domineered the conversation with her parents? Well, he was just trying to protect her, since they obviously don't have her best interests at heart. He's got a nonsensical list of rules for her a mile long? That's just biological imperative. "Real" men are supposed to be that way, apparently.

The book ends on an abrupt note - she's started a website called learningtosubmit.
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63 of 74 people found the following review helpful By H. Houlahan on January 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
'After one difficult fight, in which she'd "challenged him," she wrote, he overpowered her, dragged her to the bedroom, and raped her, "telling me as he did so that I must never forget who was in charge, that I must learn to be nicer, that I must learn... to obey."'


Those wacky feminists -- always on about the equality this and male privilege that.

If they'd just learn to submit they'd hardly need much rapin' 'tall.

Just remember when some right-wing pundit cites this book as a relationship template, it comes with with a side of beatings and nice rape cherry on top.

You call it corn. We call it felony.

I won't be reading this "romantic memoir."
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