Hello.¬†Welcome to my channel, or welcome back if you’ve been here before. My name is Beth Ann. Um, today I wanted to talk about one of the books that I’ve read in October. This is communion, the female search for love by bell hooks. Um, I straight-up love to this book five stars. It was the sort of book where I felt like, uh, it changed my life a little bit. Um, like I need to keep thinking about things and digesting, um, and, um, just bring into my life some of the lessons that she talks about. Um, so what does she talk about? So, uh, kind of gives it away in the title, the female search for love. One thing I really appreciate about this book is that it’s all-encompassing. It’s not just about love and romantic relationships, so it indeed spends quite a bit of time on that.
Um, But then it also talks about friendship. So females, women finding, um, intense, lasting connecting friendship, um, and also kind of cross-generational relationships. So kind of every aspect of, um, of finding love and connection. And the title really says it all: communion it’s about, um, she could have equally as well, I think said connection, but that doesn’t imply the sort of deep level of connection that she really means kind of really knowing a whole person and feel known and seen as a whole person. And so she’s talking about how women find that. And, of course, the whole thing is colored by patriarchy. So her whole message is how women find communion with other people or fail to find communion with other people in our patriarchal culture. So these are, think of them as essays, I guess, although they do flow together, they’re not standalone, but they do kind of feel like essays.
Each chapter is on a particular aspect of, um, of relationships and of female identity. Um, and it’s also a part memoir. So she’s drawing on her own experiences. She wrote this. This was published in 2002, I believe. Um, so she was writing this from the, Yeah, 2002. So she was writing this, um, from the position of, of midlife. Um, she was middle-aged and kind of looking back and thinking about what was wrong with her relationships again, including friendships, not just romantic love, um, how that was due to her own kind of internalizations of patriarchy and the expectations that she had from that, as well as the patriarchal attitudes of the people that she was in relationships with. Um, and then how she’s really grown and developed and what she’s learned approaching middle life.
She says that she started writing this book as a message to other women in middle life. Still, then it ended up being kind of so comprehensive and so much about what she wished that she had known that, uh, she really, then it was written for an entirely female audience, right.
Anybody who identifies as female, um, including very young people. And I do wish I’d read this in college and was when I was first hearing about bell hooks, um, which would have been in like 2006 to 2010 when this book would have been newer. Um, I wish I’d read this book in college. I’m not sure. And she says this too, at the end of the book, she’s not sure if she’d known all this stuff if it really would have affected her path necessarily. Still, she could have gone down her whole path, maybe shortened some of the worst periods, um, a little bit, but, um, kind of gone down at all with kind of a greater awareness of self and her own worth. Um, so I think that’s really powerful. This will definitely be a book that I keep on my bookshelves is like a thing to have my daughter start reading when she’s in her teenage years.
I’m just throwing that out there. Um, in terms of tone, this book is amazing. It’s essentially a very candid conversation from like a close female mentor was kind of how, how I was feeling it. It’s like, this is the sort of female mentor that I wish I had in my life who could just sit down maybe with a glass of wine and just very lucidly. And candidly, just say like, this is how the world works. Um, and like here’s, uh, here’s what you should do in response to it. Um, so I think that style is just really lovely. It makes this book very easy to read, even though it’s talking about some really tough topics and really complicated topics. Um, her writing is just so simple and clear and beautiful that you can just follow her message consistently.
She just nails clarity. She doesn’t get bogged down in any details. She doesn’t have to spend a lot of time doing any definitions or anything. It’s just also rooted in her own experience. Um, that even though it’s nonfiction, it is storytelling. And
I mean, I guess that’s what makes a nonfiction book good, right? Is that it’s still storytelling? It still carries you along. So she really nails that. One other piece that I really like is that, of course, it’s entirely focused on women and how women find love and relationships, but she’s talking a lot about the feminist movement and about feminism. Um, and one thing she really gets into towards the end is how damaging patriarchy is for men and how it really cuts off men from having communion and from really having that sense of connectedness and belonging, um, and knowing with others people.
Um, and so for women and men trying to be in heterosexual relationships, this is a real problem that kind of both parties are cut off from really a dreaming, achieving connection, um, in part because of patriarchy. And so I really appreciated that at the end because as I’ve gotten older and, um, of course, I’m married to a man, but then I also have several really good male friends who are really struggling with relationships. And, uh, it is just so easy to see, you know, kind of how damaging our cultural expectations of what masculinity is and what being a man in a relationship is how damaging those are and really how hard it is to break away from them. So she does, um, cover quite a bit of that as well, really throughout this book, but I would say more towards the end.
Um, but anyway, so it’s, uh, even though it’s very feminist and rooted in a kind of critiquing patriarchy, the whole sense of this book really is that people are just people; men and women aren’t that different. It’s not men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. We all just wanna have a kind of connection and feel love. Um, and the kind of how we’re all, um, limited and being able to do that by our culture and society and, um, kind of some suggestions for overcoming that. So I highly recommend this just for general reading. I mean, especially like my best friend who is reading this, if you’re someone who’s really been struggling with your romantic life, um, this is a really fantastic book. Um, just five stars recommend everyone. I think everyone should read this. Um, and I will be continuing with, um, bell hooks, his other books about love, so she wrote a kind of a love trilogy. This is the third book. Um, I mentioned in my November TBR video that I will be continuing with the other two books in the trilogy.
Um, so if you’re interested in hearing more about bell hooks uh, please look out for those future videos. All right. If you like what I’m doing here, please like this video subscribe. Um, and let me know what you think if you’ve read bell hooks before, um, or have been having, um, similar thoughts or conversations about similar topics, even if you haven’t, haven’t read, um, the particular books that I’ve read. I’d love to hear your opinions.