All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion, by Lisa Appignanesi.
British cultural commentator Appignanesi's sources include her own experiences with partners, friends and children; both personal observations and structured interviews; and extensive reading of psychoanalytic thinkers as well as novelists, poets and playwrights.
Freud, Balzac and Shakespeare rub shoulders with Virginia Woolf, Alice Munro and John Updike. Appignanesi follows what she calls a life history of love, beginning with falling in love, wooing, the pains and passions of young love and marriage.
She examines the different shapes that marriage has taken from the strictures of ancient times to the restless unions of the present day, a topic that leads naturally enough to adultery.
After considering the eternal triangle of love, she next considers love within the family: the child’s demands for mother-love, the altered relations of wife and husband, the dynamics of the father-son relationship and the complicated feelings of siblings.
Lisa Appignanesi convincingly demonstrates the importance of love in our lives, and she raises disquieting questions about how love is experienced today. The above is a summary of a review of the book published in Kirkus Reviews.