cover image The Golden Condom: And Other Essays on Love Lost and Found

The Golden Condom: And Other Essays on Love Lost and Found

Jeanne Safer. Picador, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-05575-0

Psychotherapist Safer (Cain’s Legacy: Liberating Siblings from a Lifetime of Rage, Shame, Secrecy, and Regret) offers valuable advice for dealing with the pitfalls of love in this thought-provoking and deeply useful self-help title. This is far from the typical “how to find a lover” type of book; Safer probes topics such as traumatic friendships and frenemies, unrequited love, and mentor/mentee breakdowns before examining the fulfillment that true and enduring love can bring. The book is divided into three sections—Hopeless Love, Difficult Love, and Fulfilled Love—that are punctuated with stories from both Safer’s personal life (the book’s title refers to an actual condom the author gilded and sent to a former lover) and the lives of her patients. “There are many ways to become mistress (or master) of one’s fate after a betrayal, but they all have things in common: conscious effort and a fighting spirit,” the author muses before giving advice on coping skills. Safer also traces behavior back to childhood traumas to help dig out and eradicate harmful patterns instilled (intentionally or not) by damaged parents. For anyone dealing with the intense pain caused by unrequited love, false friendships, or romantic obsessions, this book offers comfort and solid coping strategies. Agent: Michelle Tessler, Tessler Literary Agency. (Apr.)