Book Review: The Love Crucible: Susan Lindsay

Marino Press, 1995 ISBN 1 86023 013X. 143 pages including bibliography.

This is a book about love as the title implies. The author sets out her frame­work at the beginning. Our experience of the world and of ourselves is one of contradiction and confusion. Her thesis is that the ‘one crucial process that can possibly transmute all the pain, torture, chaos and magnificence can be signified as a melting-pot, a crucible of love’.

The book then sets out on an exploratory journey to discover why we do not love one another, it moves through ways to recover and heal that aspect of our nature, brings us into contact with grief and outlines different ways we can re-connect with ourselves and other people in whole and healthy ways.

Throughout the work the author emphasises that the way of love is not all sweetness and light. Loving includes our struggle with darkness and dis­appointment. It is truly a crucible, we are melted and re-shaped as we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to the experience of life.

Lindsay uses her own experience to explore the questions raised and in that sense it is an autobiographical work but she also brings her considerable experience as a psychotherapist to play in describing various ways to re­cover the ability to love. This is done unobtrusively so the reader doesn’t notice that there is theory threaded through the flow of the words.

It is a gentle, readable and is the kind of book to enjoy for yourself or to give as a gift to those you love.

Margaret T. Carey