Peg's Reviews > Nine and a Half Weeks: A Memoir of a Love Affair

Nine and a Half Weeks by Elizabeth McNeill
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May 27, 12

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"The first time we were in bed together he held my hands pinned down above my head. I liked it...I had found an extraordinarily skillful lover."

So begins the extraordinarily compelling memoir of obsession and abuse written by a woman using the pseudonym Elizabeth McNeill. I read the book shortly after it was released in the late 1970s, while visiting in the home of people I'd never met. I picked up the book to read a page or two just to kill time and could not stop reading. I'm sure my hosts wondered why I spent half the weekend alone behind closed doors.

In sparse prose and with escalating intensity, "Nine and a Half Weeks" captured what it is to step into the quicksand of an abusive relationship and not realize what is happening until it is almost too late. It ushered in a wave of popularity for unflinching memoirs. Unfortunately, the movie made from this book cheapened the book, taking a study of the dynamics of psychological captivity and turning it into a titillating sex flick.

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