*This is a book review of All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks.
“Abuse and neglect negate love. Care and affirmation, the opposite of abuse and humiliation, are the foundation of love.”bell hooks
Author: bell hooks
Release Date: December 22, 1999
Number of Pages: 272
SJ Rating: 100%
Most of the time, humans believe love only carries a deep meaning when it’s associated with a romantic relationship. However, love goes eons beyond its association with romance, including having the power to heal a nation. In this beautiful work, bell hooks discusses love in every aspect of our lives and what a difference understanding love can make.
From the preface, I was sold–hook, line, and sinker (I think that’s how it goes). When she talks about being her father’s first born and not knowing when the love she felt left her and no other connection healed the hurt of love’s first abandonment, I had to take several moments to stare and think. She wrote, “But it was love’s absence that let me know how much love mattered.” Reading that made me realize why I value love so much; that statement sums up love in my life.
It literally feels like bell hooks and I had similar childhoods, which blows my mind.
In fact, there are several moments where bell hooks says/writes things that hit a little too close to home and call me out in the best way possible. She reassures me several others are experiencing what I’m experiencing or have experienced.
She also calls out Christianity, which I appreciate as a Christian. Well, she focuses on calling out the church more than the actual beliefs because the physical aspect of the church in the 21st century is struggling.
There are several chapters in the book that I found myself resonating with a little bit more than others. As I go through my journey of healing and understanding/accepting my attachment anxiety, I appreciate the chapter regarding love during childhood; I found it to be incredibly powerful and necessary. Furthermore, she alters the definition of self-love and completely challenges and changes my perspective on what it really is. The chapter on romantic love and true love (which are two totally different things, as she discusses) is everything I needed to hear/read and more.
Of course, I must note the way she discusses men. There is a section in the chapter on mutuality that talks about men remaining at the emotional and mental level of a little boy, and I found it to be incredibly accurate and beautiful. It made me feel like I’m not alone with my own male struggles. There’s also another section where she literally talks about men thinking with their penises, and I’m here for it.
As for the set up of the book, I appreciate that she starts each chapter with a quote; like I’ve stated before, I’m a sucker for a good quote. The topics between each chapter flow so beautifully, which is a first for the nonfiction books I’ve read; the last two sentences of one chapter reveal the topic of the next chapter.
Needless to say, bell hooks has altered my thinking with this book and given me ways to look at life with a new perspective and outlook. I find this book to be incredibly relevant, even two decades later. Therefore, you must read it. There are so many quotes and one-liners that have the power to move you, inspire you, and force you to think.
I hope the beautiful bell hooks is resting peacefully, knowing her book is making its rounds yet again and touching the lives of a new generation.
Next book to be read and reviewed: The Hoodie Girl by Yuen Wright
“The wounded heart learns self-love by first overcoming low self-esteem.”bell hooks