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4.7 out of 5 stars53
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 26 April 2009
This book, shows you the truth, & the truth sets you free.
After 5 years of self doubt & confusion grasping to understand the contraditions in my relationship. When he was good he was the most amazing and charming man I have ever known, who would move mountains for me. When he & bad, he was the most leathal, abusive, sadistic, dangerous, spiteful, evil, compulsive lier, venemous, mean, vengeful almost murderously abusive person I have ever encountered, he made satan look like a walk in the park.

This book showed me clearly the big picture and what was happening to me, and why I was so confused and disempowered. Living with these people knocks the spring out of your step, flattens the fun out of your soul, wipes the smile off your face. You feel broken, worthless, ashamed, guilty and powerless, trauma and bullying isn't the ideal setting to give you space to think clearly to empower yourself by seeing the truth. I was so naive, I really didnt know that such charming men, who claimed undying love, who begged you to stay and they would change could be so insincere and purposely plot to hurt & abuse another human being without any remorse.
It also helps you understand, be prepared, accept and deal with yet another betrayal of the social aftermath when you leave, as you watch their predictable charming behaviour seducing people to turn you against you - because after all its you thats the problem, they haven't done anything wrong and of course ... their the victim!!!
Thank god I can laugh at it now! because I'm free... to be me...
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on 11 December 2013
I was married for 24 years to a narcissistic sociopath, I had no idea what a narcissist was until 2008, I read everything I could get my hands on to prepare myself for divorcing him, this book has been well read, pages marked, some passages underlined and my comments in the margins, also a post it note on the cover for certain more immediate re-readings. I had to understand what I was married to, how to deal with the fall out, how to get through the divorce process - which took 2 years as he wouldn't agree to anything I requested - he said I demanded stuff. As I continue on my journey of recovery, this book and others that I bought are referred to often just to reinforce the reason why I had to divorce him. To the outside world he is the most charming man, Dr Jekyll personified, people we knew as a couple think I have lost the plot because he is "so lovely, so charming, how could I do that to him" because they only see his "good" side, if anyone has any niggles, doubts, something you can't put your finger on that there is something wrong/missing/not quite right in your relationship then READ THIS BOOK, if it doesn't tick some of the boxes and give you a "lightbulb" moment that you are not crazy, then all you have done is spend some money on a book.

But for some people this could mean the difference between life and death and for some people it may be that serious.

My ex tried to stop the divorce by turning up at court on the day the decree nisi was granted, he tried blackmail, threats, insults - but my mind was made up. I have been so much happier since we split up. This book was just one of my lifelines during the entire divorce process.
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on 6 September 2000
I cannot recommend this book too strongly to anyone who is or has been in an abusive relationship, or supported someone else through one. One woman in four will experience domestic violence at some point in her life; and the frightening thing is that that's just the physical violence, it doesn't include the devastating emotional violence. The men who abuse women tend to follow a set pattern: they are usually complete charmers desperate for power and control, and it is by by alternating abuse with seeming love that they consolidate the hold they have over their partners and completely undermine the woman's self-esteem. Other people may think that there's nothing wrong, he's a charming man, but the truth behind many of these relationships is much darker and seems impossible to explain to anyone...
I was just out of a relationship that I had finally realised was abusive when I found this book, thinking to myself at the time, "Of course I don't really count as an abused woman, it's not as if he beat me up..." I was shocked to see my experiences described in such a way that she could have been telling my story, and was crying while reading most of the book: it talked about so many things I hadn't even recognised as abuse. This book has given me a great deal of courage and helped to explain what happened to me and why. If you are in an abusive relationship it will help you understand and hopefully get out. It has a very good checklist for "are you in an abusive relationship" as well, listing all the warning signs that I couldn't see clearly at the time but were niggling nevertheless.
And finally a message:
Invisible bruises can hurt the most. No one deserves to be abused. You're not alone. You can get out.
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on 19 August 2011
My Womenfriends have been sharing this book ever since it was recommended to me by my Shrink: This book explained why it was so hard for us to leave the initially charming and adoring men who, once they married us, suddenly became jealous, abusive and violent, and stayed that way. This book also congratulated us for being strong enough to scoop up the children and leave.

Well done us!

It all makes sense. Easy to read and cry over: this book is IMPORTANT!
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on 13 October 2004
The beauty of this book is it dispels several myths. Domestic violence/domestic abuse is about much more than battering. People who haven't been through it often fail to understand why women stay, or what they are complaining about if they are not being hit.
Power and Control gives detailed analysis of the dynamics of woman abuse, the ways in which a women's confidence and independence are whittled away by men who alternate rage and affection. These same men are entirely credible to the wider world and no-one would suspect what goes on behind closed doors. These are also the charming men the woman fell in love with and find it difficult to leave. It is written with numerous anecdotal examples of what women have experienced, and clearly describes the effects the abuser's behaviour had on the woman and children. It also has a detailed discussion about how society creates a setting in which woman abuse can flourish, and ideas about how society and individual men can begin to change this.
As a self-help book this could help women, especially those who do not experience battering, to identify the problem more clearly and spur them into taking action. It also signposts to support services and acknowledges the difficulties in leaving the situation.
I think this book will also be helpful to anyone wanting to learn more about domestic violence, whether professionally or personally. A good one to recommend to friends or family who want to support someone who has lived with woman abuse.
Overall I found it helpful, though not all chapters felt relevant to me. Some of the material can be disturbing to read.
A worthwhile read -
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on 28 December 2011
This Book is very good explaining a number of different types of relationships, and the abusive situations, and how some couples cope. It never once judges you if you decide to stay. I bought this after i got out of an abusive relationship, as i needed to deal with my self esteem and emotions. I needed to understand why, he was abusive. I found this book very helpful, and feel it would help a number of women who want to leave, or even those who can't or don't want to leave, but would like to handle situations better. Had i found this book sooner i would have changed the way i dealt with the abuse, and how i reacted. I realised after reading it, that i was the strong one out of us, and he was very insecure, when it felt like the other way around.
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on 1 May 2002
This book was like a gift to me. I`m not yet forty but had been a battered wife for nearly twenty two years. Reading through the pages I recognised either myself or my husband on each one. He like the men described in the book can be charm personified but at the other end of the spectrum he is vicious and evil.It also explained how the dynamics of an abusive relationship work. I tried to get help many years ago but domestic violence was brushed under the carpet, kept between the four walls of the marital home. Things have come such a long way since then which this book explains. So much so that when my husband hit me last July, in the middle of a breast cancer scare, I called in the domestic violence unit who were brilliant. With the help of them, my doctor and my counsellor my daughter and I are now rebuilding our lives. I am finally free of that bully and this book gave me the strength to see it through. Sandra Horley you deserve a medal. You give women like me hope.
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on 5 January 2008
Fantastic book - two of my female family members have suffered from abuse. One still is and I have given her this book as support and to make her realise she is being abused and it's public/family knowledge. Alot of women do not realise they are suffering from abuse (it doesn't have to be physical). All teenage women should read it. You should never let anyone put you down or control your life. Ask for help. You get one life, be happy and leave, it will not get better no matter what they promise. If you have children then get them out of the situation. They will be affected if you aren't happy in the relationship.
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on 1 March 2010
This book has undoubtedly helped me through the darkest time of my life. My partner was in this book despite my constant denial to everyone surrounding me. It forced me to face up to the fact that he had a problem and has helped me to answer some of the 'why?' questions which I needed answering. It also helped me to stop having the sterotypical view that social class has anything to do with domestic violence- another harsh reality which I have to face. Easy-reading too and not Americanized like some of them.
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on 12 July 2010
I would say for men too, but from my experience, there are so many more women, that are victims... Women need to read this just to realise that what they are experiencing is just time plain manipulation. Also to recognise symtoms of men who are 'charmers' at first.
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