Zaremba or Love and the Rule of Law

Zaremba or Love and the Rule of Law
By: Michelle Granas
Published: 2013
# of pages: 514
Quote: "'In spite of their frequent delusions in that direction, security guards are not policemen.  I have to go in; I can't get the certificate otherwise.  It'll be all right, don't worry.'
'How can you not worry all the time?' she asked in genuine puzzlement.
'The trick is to think that whatever happens it's going to be interesting - then you don't mind so much if it's not exactly what you wanted in the first place.'"

Official description:  In Warsaw, a shy and high-minded polio victim lives a life of seclusion caring for her odd family until a chance encounter plunges her into the intrigues of dirty politics. Zaremba, a wealthy businessman, is about to be arrested on trumped-up charges and only she can save him. Swept along by events, Cordelia finds her feelings increasingly involved with a stranger for whom she is both rescuer and victim. When Zaremba is implicated in terrorist activities and disappears, Cordelia is painfully uncertain if she has been abandoned and must overcome surveillance, corruption, the media, and mounting humiliations and difficulties to learn the truth.
This is a story about love between a man and woman, but also love of family, country, and justice. Although set in Poland, where the CIA had a black site, it is a story that could happen anywhere, in a world where young democracies struggle against the temptations of covert operations and older democracies sometimes lead them astray.
My opinion:  Thank you Michelle Granas for sending me a copy of this book, because it was great!  I loved the descriptions of all the characters, especially Cordelia and Zaremba.  The dialogue between them is what made the book.  I was afraid when it seemed the story was coming to an end....but I was only halfway through the book!  I just knew that it would drag on and I would end up hating it by the end.  However, it turns out that there's two parts to the books and each is its own story.  It could technically be two separate books, but it does work better as one book with two parts.

I also found the subject content to be interesting.  Especially after recently reading an "alternate" version of the Boston bombings where the military sends in drones to eliminate the remaining bomber, but kills several citizens in the process.  We would be shocked if that happened in America, but that stuff happens all the time in other countries when the U.S. eliminates "threats."  I'm no expert, but it wouldn't surprise me if the kind of behavior of the CIA that is present in this book truly happens in other countries.

The love story is what resonated with me, but there's action and politics (don't worry, it isn't overwhelming!) and morals as well so this story will be interesting to a wide range of readers.  Cordelia's character is amazing and I was glad to have a main character with good values.  I highly recommend this book!

Why I gave this book 5/5 stars:  Great character development, interesting/original subject matter, well written.

Other reviews:
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His Needs, Her Needs

His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage
By:  Willard F. Harley, Jr.
Published: 2001
# of pages: 224

Official description: Marriage works only when each spouse takes the time to consider the other's needs and strives to meet them. In His Needs, Her Needs, Willard Harley identifies the ten most vital needs of men and women and shows husbands and wives how to satisfy those needs in their spouses. He provides guidance for becoming irresistible to your spouse and for loving more creatively and sensitively, thereby eliminating the problems that often lead to extramarital affairs. The revised anniversary edition of His Needs, Her Needs is a celebration of how the book has helped thousands of couples revitalize their marriages during the last fifteen years. This best-seller identifies the causes of marital difficulties and instructs couples on how to prevent them, guiding them to build a relationship that sustains romance and increases intimacy. With today's soaring divorce rate and prevalence of affairs, Harley's insights are needed more than ever before.An unabridged recording of His Needs, Her Needs, the 15th anniversary edition, is now available as an audio book.
My opinion:  I changed this from 3 stars to 2 stars after thinking about it overnight. First of all, this book is obviously written by a man! Someone who has never given birth or stayed at home full time with babies/toddlers/preschoolers. 

Secondly, the book definitely uses fear and negativity throughout the chapters. I understand that probably every family that deals with a cheating spouse never thought it would happen to them, but I don't think that it is as common as the author makes it out to be, and even if it is, I don't think it's necessary to continually use guilt and scare tactics to make the reader feel insecure. 

Third, the author uses modern ideas of beauty in his chapter on physical appearance. Men should appreciate a woman's natural beauty. A woman shouldn't have to put chemicals on her face, on her skin, or in her hair to keep her husband from cheating on her. It wasn't so long ago that makeup, hair dyes, and trendy hair and clothes were not beautiful to American men and women. Prostitutes were the ones wearing makeup and dying their hair. Now the typical American's idea of a beautiful woman is very thin, tan, wearing makeup, and highlighted hair. It is just a phase and women shouldn't feel forced to take place in that just to make a man happy. There is always going to be someone prettier that your husband comes into contact with to put more "love units" into his "bank." If that's what it takes for him to cheat, it won't matter what you do to make him happy with your physical appearance.

There are some positive ideas in the book. His advice about affection and mutual activities are very helpful. It is also helpful to know that men and women have different needs and that it may be uncomfortable, but trying to meet some of those needs will be helpful in your marriage

Why I gave this book 2/5 stars: Negative, untrue concepts, some good ideas

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