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> Friday, June 1st, 2012 > Lifestyles > A novel approach to self-help
A novel approach to self-help
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Alison McGee
Published: Friday, June 1st, 2012
The latest novel from author Barbara Sibbald, whose previous work, entitled Regarding Wanda, won a City of Ottawa Arts Grant, takes a look at love through the eyes of three 30-something women. The Book of Love: Guidance in Affairs of the Heart melds fiction seamlessly with selfhelp in a truly unique work that not only entertains the reader but guides them through the tricky world of modern relationships.
The Book of Love dispenses its self-help relationship advice through the lives and experiences of its three main characters: Suzanne, Erica and Christina. Suzanne is married, and though she is satisfied with her job at a film company, she finds her marriage is sorely lacking in certain key aspects. Erica is hopelessly single and splits her time between working for a local newspaper and an organic food company while trying to find herself a man. Christina is the most satisfied in her relationship; happily married, she feels fulfilled in love, yet her passion as an artist is being stifled by her home life.
And so begins The Book of Love. As these three women attempt to navigate the rocky waters of relationships, love, careers and fulfillment in life, they learn about themselves and their deepest desires, all while covertly dispensing advice to the reader. This style of selfhelp through fiction is interesting and wholly unique to modern fiction. Sibbald does a phenomenal job of allowing the reader to relate to at least one of the main characters at some point or another throughout the book, which allows life lessons to be pulled directly from the book’s pages.
The writing style and language used by Sibbald in The Book of Love is one that proves approachable to a wide variety of audiences. Not filled with incomprehensible language that many self-help books spew out, Sibbald’s novel is easily understood, which in turn makes it very relatable for readers. Real stories and real situations, which many readers will have no doubt found themselves in at some point in their lives, make this book an easily digestible tome of advice that readers will find they can actually use.
The Book of Love: Guidance in Affairs of the Heart is not only about love, but about life and the situations modern women find themselves in all too often nowadays. So if you’re looking for a little advice and guidance through the world of love but don’t want to burdened by a hefty, incomprehensible self-help book, then pick up a copy of The Book of Love, for it will surely at least point you in the right direction.