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Crazy Love

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  2,667 ratings  ·  364 reviews
At 22, Leslie Morgan Steiner seemed to have it all: a Harvard diploma, a glamorous job at Seventeen magazine, a downtown New York City apartment. Plus a handsome, funny, street-smart boyfriend who adored her. But behind her façade of success, this golden girl hid a dark secret. She’d made a mistake shared by millions: she fell in love with the wrong person.

At first Lesl
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  2,667 ratings  ·  364 reviews

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Robin Nicholas
Aug 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
The is a non fiction memoir of a woman surviving a physically abusive relationship. I will give her credit for writing a book that might open some eyes and maybe even help someone.
The whole premise of this book is that if she...Harvard educated, well to do and blond (smacks of bigotry to me) can be abused then anyone can. Well there is one huge problem with that. The part that puts her right in there with the rest of the statistics. She comes from a very dysfunctional family. Rampan
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was like a mirror into my own past. I've had it for several years, but just recently reached the point where I was able to read it. It was harrowing. It made me cry. It was all too real to me. I recommend this book highly, but if you have a history of spousal abuse, just know her descriptions of her husband's attacks are plainly but vividly explained (if that makes any sense). She describes them very straight forwardly. And it can take you right back to any moment of your own.

I think
Mary Ann
Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who has ever been in an abusive relationship should read this book. Then again, anyone who has ever wondered why women don't leave their abusers should read it.

Steiner is a good writer and shows vividly what it is like to be married to someone who is violent. I was into this story from the first page and read it in two days.
Debbie Petersen Wolven
Jun 24, 2009 rated it did not like it
I wish I could remember who recommended this book to me so that I never read their recommendations again. Unbelievable that it was written by a Harvard grad, since it reads more like an article in Seventeen magazine. The author actually wrote for Seventeen, before giving up her job to move to another state with a man who choked her during sex (while repeating the creepy words 'I own you') long before she married him, the most apparent red flag in a long string of warnings she chose to ignore. Gi ...more
Mar 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: expert-rec
I'm a bit torn about my review for this. Steiner's story is compelling. So compelling, in fact, that I read the book in about one sitting (way past my bedtime too!). I really wanted to see how she would escape the relationship and was also generally curious about her life's path. Yet, I didn't love the book or Steiner's writing, I only liked it.
Sabrina Rutter
Jun 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
There's a lot of shame in abuse. Women feel ashamed to tell someone they stayed in a violent relationship, and men feel ashamed to admit that they allowed a woman to be violent and controlling toward them. Often you hear people say, "I would leave the instant someone put their hands on me". It's not always so cut and dry as you will come to understand by reading Leslie's memoir.
This is a heartbreaking story of falling fast for the wrong guy. It can happen to an uneducated poor single mothe
Maya Smart
Oct 21, 2015 rated it liked it
“Crazy Love” by Leslie Morgan Steiner is a personal history of abuse with a social mission of redemption. Steiner recounts a series of harrowing milestones in a relationship gone wrong, illuminating why she and so many others stay with violent partners–and how friends, family, bystanders can help.

Addressing the reader directly, she writes: “If I were brave enough the first time I met you, I’d try to share what torture it is to fall in love with a good man who cannot leave a violent p
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was ok

I bought this book mainly because I personally find other people’s lives and stories fascinating. With that said, I did not really like it all that well. I thought that the husband was crazy (which is obvious when one is a wife beater) and I found myself routing for the woman to come to her senses and leave his sorry ass to which I am glad she did. However, I did not much care for this woman either! (I am no way condoning the violence towards her) but to me she sounded like the most self-absorbe
May 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Though the pacing of the story was awkward -- focusing too much on unimportant details while rushing through traumatic incidents -- the story itself is intriguing. Leslie reluctantly fell in love with a charming, handsome man whom she soon found she couldn't live without, no matter how much he pushed her away (mentally and physically). She quit a cherry job, left the city she loved and followed him to a rural town where he began abusing her on a regular basis. It wasn't until she found some free ...more
Katie Janowicz
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Reading the author’s second memoir before this book gave me an interesting perspective. Actually, it just made me weary for her. She went from a physically abusive marriage to an emotionally abusive marriage.....I sure hope she is free at this point in her life. I also felt sad learning of her family background, which gave her the amazing strength of sobriety from drugs/alcohol, but did not at all help her understanding of what a healthy marriage entails. While it was horrific and nauseating to ...more
Marie Paul
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would advise anyone reading this to just remember that you weren’t in her shoes. Even being in an abusive relationship myself, I sometimes wondered throughout the book where her head was at. Then again, thinking about my own relationship from a third person standpoint, I wonder where my own head was at. It’s a very informative book that truly shows you how the patterns of abuse go. Also the patterns of manipulation. Whether you like her writing style or not, I think it’s something everyone nee ...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I'm glad that the author told her story. She writes in a way that feels like she is talking directly to you. I felt so bad for her. It seems like she just really had no one to turn to when she needed it most.
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Chilling story about how bad things can happen to smart women...well written and will resonate with a lot of women who have been in an abusive relationship - whether emotional or physical....
Jeanette Stingley
Nov 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Crazy Love by Leslie Morgan Steiner was one of a few books about domestic violence that at times I had to put down and regain myself to continue. It is not a bad book at all. Leslie writes in a style that makes you feel as you are sitting right there next to her as she retells her tale of abuse at the hands of her husband. This is what made it hard at times to read because I had been in her shoes. I knew what she had gone through: I had felt the exact same way she had during my almost 5 years of ...more
Melinda Elizabeth
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
After listening to one of Leslie's TED talks last year, she was compelling enough to make me want to buy this book and learn more about her story.

I think that most people would look in to a couples relationship and question the 'why's' when there is domestic violence. Why did it happen? Why did she make the choices she did?

Leslie appears to have put her story to paper so that she could demystify domestic violence. And to make clear that there is no real answer to those 'why's' that you might f
Jun 23, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a tough book to rate. It was definitely a fast read and I was pulled right into the author's turmoil. As with any abusive relationship, it's easy for an outsider (and someone who's never been abused) to think, "how can she stay!? I don't get it!!" Of course I had those feelings, but what was weird for me was that she never seemed to like him all that much. She didn't even want to get married in the first place. I never got that "I can't live without him" feeling that seems to be prevalen ...more
Mar 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
This autobiography reveals how a young woman was courted and wed to a
man who was abusive to her on many levels. It is pretty
straightforward in narrative and language; nothing outstanding. It was
a frustrating book for me to read, not because the writing was bad or
cliche or the topic was uncomfortable, but because she didn't make me
understand WHY she would stay with an abuser. I didn't get enough
motivation or even introspection. I can understand how this is a ve
Apr 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Leslie Morgan Steiner is an excellent author. This book was easy to read and the author's narrative of her thoughts, feelings and experiences realy rang true. I would recommend it for survivors of domestic violence, women currently struggling with an abusive relationship, and those interested in understanding the situation. Each will learn something, as I did. Thank you Leslie for sharing your story!
Jan 12, 2015 added it
Literally so poorly written I could only get past the first 20 pages. I normally have no issue with memoirs regarding abuse, drug use, etc but this is just awful. I feel for her situation but not enough to slog through this awful book.
May 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
I read this book hoping it would answer the question of how a successful and smart woman could remain in an abuse relationship for so long. I am even more confused after having read this book. I did not come away with a favorable or sympathetic impression of the author.
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gave me a lot of anxiety to read, and at times I was really afraid for Leslie, but ultimately I felt reading this book helped me develop more empathy for women in my own life that have been in a situation like Leslie's. So often, we want to ask "why don't women just leave?" but this memoir was really eye opening. Thank you for sharing your story, Leslie.
Benish Khan (Queen.Beenie)
Well.. this book seems as crazy as it's title. I don't really understand some the negative reviews to this book, people assume the writer Steiner just wanted to brag about her riches and was seeking attention through her book.. Honestly, you don't need to write a whole book to show off! If she wanted to really brag, she could have written Ten ways to get rich and look good. This is much more meaningful then that, it's a powerful and gripping novel about abusive relationships/marriages. It was a ...more
An interestesting, addictively readable memoir by a Harvard-educated woman (now a successful journalist and Washington Post blogger) who stayed too long in a marriage with a husband who regularly beat her. It's a chilling look at how abuse can affect the lives of people in all social classes and at any education level.

I ended up with this book sort of inadvertantly. It wouldn't have occurred to me to seek it out, but then once I got it I thought the subject matter sounded interesting
May 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Leslie Morgan Steiner's story of her first, abusive, marriage makes for a compelling story and a can't-put-it-down read. Like many of the reviews I've read for this book, I found her story very interesting, very personal, and very informative, but I wasn't overwhelmed by her writing.

Certainly Steiner makes a case for the hardship faced by even the most articulate, intelligent, and astonishingly talented women (or men) staying in abusive relationships because they deny the truth and depth of the
Sep 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
I completed Leslie Morgan Steiner’s Crazy Love, a true story about Steiner’s abusive first marriage. I say it was my least favorite of the bunch because it just didn’t read well, but not because the story was “bad.” I fully respect Steiner’s right to tell her story, and a horrifying story it is! I commend her on her mission, which is to expose (re-expose? pound home the message?) that abusive relationships don’t just happen to poor, uneducated non-White people.

Steiner grew up very we
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was dying to read Crazy Love after listening to Leslie Morgan Steiner's Ted Talk. I wanted to know more, hear more, know all I could about how she found herself in such a terrible place, and more importantly, how she finally got out.

Unfortunately most of what she talks about in her Ted Talk is pretty much what she covers in the book, so there's not a ton of new pieces (sort of like reading a book and then seeing the movie), but it's well written and overall a gripping account of a relationship that
Oct 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: domestic-abuse
I could feel her courage as she told her story. I wonder how hard, but also empowering, it was to write it down in black and white. Working through the denial. Great to read a personal experience with such an insidious, and seemingly baffling, epidemic like domestic abuse. She experienced all kinds of abuse and thankfully lived to speak openly about it. She helped me understand better as a clinician how to support someone who has experienced abuse.
Feb 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
This is a subject I care deeply about, and I couldn't get past page 13. She is not the type to be beaten by her husband because she's well educated and blonde ? Terrible writing too.
Morgan J
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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Crazy Love Book One 8-29-19 1 2 Aug 29, 2019 09:38AM  

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I am the author of four books:

The New York Times bestselling memoir about relationship abuse, Crazy Love
The anthology Mommy Wars
The Baby Chase, which explores infertility and surrogacy
My latest memoir, The Naked Truth, which explores female sexuality, self-esteem and dating after 50.

One of the best things I ever did was from 2006-2008 I wrote over 500 columns for the
“If there is one thing the psychic taught me, it's that people and events are rarely who and what we think they are. They are more meaningful, more worth our attention-part of some finely choreographed, eternal dance that we would be wise to bow down before in gratitude and humility.” 5 likes
“I am so sorry for you, Leslie.' She said it like she really meant it. But not like she was completely surprised. 'And for him. Because he's lost you now.' This last part undid me. Despite her cruel criticism of me over the years, from where she sat, I was anyone and everyone's prize.” 4 likes
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