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11 August, 2006

Book Review: Straight up and Dirty: A Memior by Stephanie Klein

Read and reviewed for armchair interviews

Stephanie Klein was living her dreams. Happily married to her husband Gabe, a medical student, she is several months pregnant, and is happily ignoring the problems with the relationship to keep this life that she loves. Never mind the fact that Gabe’s mother hates her (for not being good enough for her son, and other strongly implied reasons); that she and Gabe had to hide the fact that they eloped for three months because Gabe was afraid to tell his parents; and that he is increasingly gone from home. Suddenly Stephanie’s dream life spirals into her nightmare of being a divorcee shortly after discovering that Gabe had been cheating on her for several months with an older woman.

Straight Up and Dirty collects Stephanie’s recollections of that first year after her divorce. She struggles with jumping back into the dating scene much to soon after the divorce. We the readers are treated to her stories of trying to juggle “two dates and a spare” (on advice from her therapist), of being a small fish in the Manhattan dating scene at the ripe old age of “almost thirty”. Through her stories, we are witnesses to her triumphs and dramas as she learns to love herself for herself and not need to be in a relationship, grieves through her divorce, a breakup of a several month relationship (the first after her divorce), and the transformation from a woman who is afraid to love again to someone who is proud of herself and finding love unexpectedly.

Stephanie Klein shares the triumphs and lows she has experienced in her memoirs of becoming an older dater. In a market that is filled with memoirs of life before and after dating, this one stands out with its humor, honesty and attention grabbing stories. This book is a witty way to experience the dating scene in Manhattan, and take part in one woman's journey to find herself and true love. I found this to be a very engaging read and wondered where the time had gone when I finished the book.

ISBN10: 0060843276
Biding Format: Hardcover
Publisher: ReaganBooks
Publication Date: July 25, 2006
Author's Website: Greek Tragedy. Stories of my life

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