Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Book Review: Hiding From Reality

I picked up the book "Hiding From Reality" from the library last Tuesday night, and had it finished by mid-day Thursday.  Very fast read.

First, a little background.  The book was written by Taylor Armstrong, of Real Housewives Beverly Hills Fame.  She's perhaps best known as being the Housewife who, in one of the most recent seasons, was allegedly abused by her husband, and the ramifications of the abuse were shown on the show.

I'll admit - I more than watch Real Housewives.  I don't miss it, Beverly Hills is my favorite version, and Taylor is one of my favorite Housewives.  And I'd long read the gossip mags saying that her marriage was in trouble, that her husband (Russell) was physically and emotionally abusive, that she was very insecure, etc etc.

The book told the story of Taylor and Russell's courtship, along with her early life and background.

It also told the heartbreaking story of how her husband began abusing her emotionally, then physically. One of the most poignant moments of the book comes when Taylor is telling the story of how she and Russell (who was then her boyfriend) decided to have a baby.  Taylor got quickly pregnant, and Russell told her that he only wanted to keep the baby if it was a girl, because he already had two sons.  Thankfully, Taylor took the test and sent it away and the baby she was pregnant with was determined to be a girl.

There were many harrowing stories of the abuse that she suffered at Russell's hand - both the horrible physical abuse (nearly broken eye socket, jaw, etc) and the equally horrible emotional abuse (telling their young daughter that her mother was a "whore" etc).

I'll admit - the book was hard to read.  Spoiler alert: Taylor eventually had the courage to leave Russell and start her life independently.  And once she did that Russell continued down the dark path he was on, and took his own life.  Having read the tabloids before this book, I knew how it was going to end... and that made me sad throughout the reading.  Russell had problems, deep, deep problems, and did horrible things to the person who loved him most.  And yet he's dead, and his children will read the true story of the things he did in his life.  Is that right?  Is it wrong?  I'm not sure what the answer is, but the fact is that it isn't a happy ending - for anyone.

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