This is a refreshingly honest and innovative look at love. The science of love is peppered with real-life stories - making sense of all the emotions that we have experienced or seen from afar. I love the fact that stores are global - love is after all a universal concept. The science is fascinating but not overwhelming, and passion courses through this book - making it an easy and engrossing read. I really would recommend it to anyone curious about love and keen to understand a little bit more about why we feel what we do.
In this book Laura Mucha combines snippets of interviews gained over many years and continents with thoughts from philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists past and present. The result is an interesting, cheerful book that sets us straight on the subject of love. To be clear, we’re talking about romantic and companionate love between adults. It’s arranged thematically and covers everything from lust to swinging to divorce, bereavement and grief, plus much else. She also looks at effects of relationships on children. Each chapter begins with a personal story and goes on to consider expert opinion and the results of studies, so we have a blend of the personal with the scientific. The thing that pops up again and again is attachment theory. 42% of us attach securely but the rest can be avoidant, anxious or unresolved and the clear message is that we do well to learn about this and do the hard work of changing ourselves if necessary. The other clear message is that enduring love is a choice rather than a feeling. People who give up on a relationship because “the magic just isn’t there anymore” are stuck in a childish misconception of what love actually is. She quotes Erich Fromm and his insight that it’s easy to fall in love but much harder to “stand in love”. A useful, clear and eminently sane look at a preoccupying and much vexing part of life.