Love and the Mystery of Betrayal by Sandra Lee Dennis is a nonfiction book which takes a close look at the author’s own experiences following a deep betrayal of trust within a relationship. It combines her telling of her own experiences and hardships with research into psychological reactions and a range of spiritual insights.
After getting through the Preface, which was almost enough to make me stop reading, I enjoyed the start of this book, where Sandra took us through her journey and what had happened to her in her former relationship to cause her such trauma. I found these particular chapters really engaging and believe they helped form a connection between the author and the reader.
I also enjoyed the final few chapters of the book, which took an interesting look at grief, forgiveness, and finding yourself, more deeply. I thought these particular chapters would have been relevant to any reader as these are often the times you might lose your self confidence and feel like no one else could possibly understand what you’re going through. Reading through these portions, I imagine lots of people will say “Exactly!” when coming across something they thought they were alone in experiencing.
Unfortunately, in my view, approximately half of this book was a challenge to read and almost made me want to give up on the book on several occasions. This was surprising to me because it has a very high rating on Goodreads, so perhaps I am not the right audience for this book due to my lack of spirituality. This book leans much more on the spiritual than the psychological and that, to me personally, is a tough sell. I struggled with her tales of seeing illuminated crosses, or of feeling as if she was being sexually violated when he was sleeping with someone else due to her intense bond to him. Methinks I am too cynical to connect to any of the spiritual notions within this book, even on a small scale.
I was also put off by the wording used in some portions of the text. One example, where she is discussing ‘daimons’, follows:
“The supercharged fuel they carry can swamp and frighten us but can also be used for plumbing the deep seas and reaching for the stars within.” (page 78)
In summary, this was not a book I connected with, unfortunately, but those of you who are less cynical than me will hopefully find it useful.
Love and the Mystery of Betrayal by Sandra Lee Dennis: 1 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.