A catchy title, this book has with the same melodious, three-word cadence as the title of that famous bestseller-turned-movie, which starts with Eat and ends with Pray. They also share a common word in their titles and the stickiest and trickiest of subjects, love.
Scientific, Academic, or Literary, It Isn’t
Make Love Work is not a flowing unfolding of stories. Neither is it researched writing from a PhD in psychology or an MFT with marriage and family counseling experience. You will not find specific steps on how to start and maintain relationships nor is there any pretense that the writing comes from a particularly learned individual. It does not even aim to demonstrate a superior command of the English language nor can it realistically claim to have an objective perspective.
Real and Candid, It Is
Honest, sincere, and with the best of intentions is what this book is, written by one who has been interested since childhood in how relationships work … or don’t work. Based on a blog of personal accounts and observations, the purpose of Make Love Work is “to give you some information on how to look at your relationship too.” Within the personal narratives are seemingly rhetorical, idle questions that will nonetheless make you pause and consider. To the extent that YOU pursue the answers to those questions rests the potential that the purpose is met.
A Lifetime of Subjective Expertise
Author Eugen Grathwohl spent years discussing relationships in chat forums, with blog followers, and in actual encounters with just about anyone willing to share insights. He has observed and analyzed the relationships in his family, among friends, work colleagues, and neighbors, and draws from his own fair share of partnerships. Intercultural pairings are of special interest to this German blogger and translator, who spent time in Africa, has long been fascinated by Asia, and is currently based in the Philippines. The individuals he has interacted with in the Philippines represent only a small demographic of the population, however, and his observations and conclusions do not apply to the majority.
If you are looking for an objective, sufficiently-researched, coherently-presented discussion about relationships, this is not the book for you. If what you seek is a raw, unfiltered, and unedited take on first-hand and real-life pairings, attachments, couplings, and separations, this would be of value.
At the very least, from its title alone, Make Love Work reminds us with a strong command that after the magical serendipity and the intoxicating chemistry of initial meeting, we must WORK ON LOVE if we want to move up to the ever-after stage.