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Keys to the Kingdom Paperback – October, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 182 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

We are still celebrating the release of the Alison Armstrong's newest book. According to John Gray, "By using the knowledge and skills gently taught in this book, peace between women and men will be more easily attained."

BJ Gallagher, author of Everything I need to know I learned from Other Women says, "The principals woven throughout Keys to the Kingdom have the power to transform your relationships with men - ALL men! Read, reflect, reframe...and be prepared for miracles with men."

From the Author

"It’s been my goal since 1993 to write this novel and it’s the hundreds of amazing men I have studied who have inspired me to complete it," says Armstrong. "It’s written for all people who are hungry for information and insights into joyful, satisfying relationships between men and women. I encourage the reader to pause, to reflect, to absorb, and to use each of the keys to the kingdom available in this tale."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: PAX Programs Incorporated; 1st edition (October 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974143502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974143507
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The fictional storyline was only moderately interesting, but it served very well to demonstrate the wisdom of the book. Telling stories is an age-old way of teaching, and it happens twice with this book: Once for the character Karen Trevini who learns through the stories and lessons from the lovable "grandmother figure" Claudia Lambert, and once again for the reader by simply reading this book.

Written entirely from a woman's perspective, this book uses a model describing the phases that every man naturally goes through in his life, and also describes the motivation for these phases. By "not" taking a perfectly good Prince and turning him into a Frog, it helps women to understand men better, as the perhaps strange but ultimately loving creatures they are based on each life phase a man must pass through. It also gives the male reader a way to understand more about himself and the phase of life he is currently in.

But it does not stop there. It also explains by example of the storyline how men tend to think differently than women about things. For women, it is invaluable to know as a tool to understanding relations with men, and for men it is a positive affirmation for the tendencies that come so naturally.

Let me tell you about my favorite example in the book. To me as a man, it was perfectly clear and obvious. It made me wonder why anyone would need to learn it, until I realized some basic differences between men and women. For example, when you ask a man a question, there may be pauses and silences before the true answer comes out. This is only because he is not finished processing the answer to completion. From several books I've read, women's brains are "generally" more efficient in emotional and linguistic processing than men's brains are.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Often, when a movement develops and takes hold in a society--to correct a social malady-that movement has a tendency to swing too far in the other direction. In my opinion, such is the case with feminism. Developed to prioritize the unmet needs of women at large, its principles and its programs served to meet those needs. This was (and is) a praiseworthy goal. However, something happened on the way to that goal: the needs of men at large often went unheeded or even denigrated. Just as in the case of the opposite, both parties were unsatisfied.
Alison Armstrong's "Keys to the Kingdom" is part of a new movement: a laudable attempt to swing the pendulum back the other way, toward a happy middle ground.
How does the twenty-first century American woman live in peace with her husband? By accepting three things that many of our foremothers realized almost instinctively: 1) men and women develop in ways that are fundamentally different from each other, 2) stemming from those differences, men and women have different expectations from each other, and 3) neither is happy living life with each other unless those expectations are met to a reasonable degree.
In her novel, Armstrong ably demonstrates these facts of life. Her protagonist, Karen, has been married to Mike for several years but is becoming distressed by the lack of ability to communicate between the two. An older woman, Claudia, comes into her life and helps her to understand the "secrets" about men; those that have been handed down matrilineally in Claudia's family. Claudia teaches Karen that her husband's needs are just as important as her own, that they change as a man ages.
The most enlightening part of the novel (for me) had Claudia explaining to Karen of the stages of develop for men.
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Format: Paperback
A few weeks ago, my wife told me that she thought I was "thoughtless." I was really surprised at that statement as I feel I go out of my way to try and make her happy and to make her life easier. I found this book and could not believe how accurate it was about how men think. And while there were times during the reading that i was thinking that it feels like it was all about "men," in fact, the suggestions will greatly help women.

I fully recommend this book to anybody tring to understand how most men think.
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Maybe I'm just different than most women, but I found the pseudo-"novel" format Armstrong used to be annoying. There's good information in here, to be sure, but in order to extract that good information, I had to read through way too much sentimental fluff. What's more, the fictional part of the novel simply isn't very well-written. The prose is syrupy and predictable, and at times literally had me wincing.

I would have much preferred that she simply present the information she's compiled in a straightforward, non-fiction format. As it is, if I'm going to really make use of the message she's trying to convey, I'll need to go back through the book and create my own outline, or highlight the actual "meat" of the text.

My other problem with the book is that because her viewpoint is purely secular, she neglects the spiritual aspect of men's life stages. It seems to me that it would have been possible to address this without having to go into sectarian particulars. By not addressing it at all, she's left a large hole in the work.

You do have to work for it, but there's good content in here that certainly fits what I've observed about men I know. If women are open-minded enough to hear Armstrong's message, I think it can help us relate better to the men in our lives.
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