Glennon Doyle Melton was a mother in crisis when she turned to Facebook. “I’m a recovering alcoholic and bulimic but I still find myself missing binging and booze,” she wrote. Readers instantly responded. Melton’s website, Momastery, has become a go-to for mothers seeking straight talk and compassion, and her first book, Carry On, Warrior, was a bestseller. Now, in Love Warrior, Melton turns her truth-telling gaze toward her husband and shares the story of their marriage: how they came together, how they fell apart, and how they reunited.
It sounds like a straightforward story, but it’s not. Parts are incredibly difficult to read. From the first days of the marriage, Melton felt alienated from her body during sex and struggled to establish emotional closeness with her husband. When he reveals a stunning betrayal, Melton is instantly scarred to the core. She is ready to throw the marriage away, to align herself firmly with her children and move on. But then things begin to happen. In the midst of the disintegration, Melton makes a new kind of connection with God. She finds answers on the beach and in hot yoga studios. She keeps taking one small, precise step at a time. Meanwhile, Melton’s estranged husband is doing some discovering on his own. The two circle each other cautiously while their three children watch. Their slow return to intimacy is a breathless story, beautifully told. They find out who they really are as individuals, an invaluable discovery as the couple finds the strength to stay together at the memoir’s close, though they announced their separation a month before the book’s publication.
Love Warrior, which resides in the same realm as books by Brené Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert, presents an intense and absorbing narrative while reaching for something bigger and more quixotic, the mystery of intimacy itself.