Today I decided to start my book reviews. I’m not a reviewer just a happy reader. Since I’ve just written my first book, I expect readers to love my book and hate it. As the writer I would love true honesty about my book without being to harsh. As the reader I want to give an honest opinion of a book with intentions to tell the writer about the good and not so good things about the book.
So with saying that, I want to talk about the book “Hiding From Reality” by Taylor Armstrong from the hit t.v. show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on the bravo network. I love reading memoirs on different celebrities because I feel more connected by reading their stories as opposed to just seeing them on television. After reading them, some I feel makes them seem more authentic and some makes them seem more inauthentic. I’ve read a few celebrity biographies and this one was pretty premature, since it was focused mainly on abuse.
Honestly I think she wrote this book because she was strapped for cash from the lawsuits and huge debts that she faced after the tragic death of her husband. I think the relationship was very much toxic and that her husband did suffer from some sort of mental illness. I noticed that from the first show. I also noticed from the first show that she wasn’t really connected emotionally to her husband. I remember her even saying that she loved the relationship another couple had and her relationship with her husband was more “business than pleasure”. That comment was very telling.
Now her book gives a great explanation of why she felt like that when that season was taped. This book mainly tells stories of her and her husband horrible fights and their physical abuse of one another, mainly from him. I wanted her to give more about her childhood with her mother and father to really give more insight on why she was needy of this very abusive relationship. She only spoke about her mother and father having an abusive relationship since her mother was very quick to get out of it, but I didn’t get enough information about her interaction with the two of them to make her marriage to her husband Russell make sense.
I’ve had many people tell me that she was just a gold digger that wanted the lifestyle that he gave to her based on what she “thought” he had. I don’t think that was case, since she was in this circle of very wealthy men. I feel like she wanted a man who wouldn’t respect her and will go as far as physically abusive to her. The book didn’t explain why to me. And a few things that makes me believe this.
First, she describes the first meet with him before they were actually together, to being normal but he called her a “gold digger”. She still continued to pursue him. Then on the first date they went to a restaurant where she previously dated the owner and he (Russell) flipped out once she innocently spoke to the guy. The guy approached her first just by saying “hello” and she spoke back with “hello”. Very simple and innocent in may seem. Well it didn’t come off as innocent to Russell. He flipped out and called her these horrible disrespectful names, even as far as calling her a wh**e that sleeps with waiters. This was the very first date they had! He even left her at the restaurant and she had to find a way back home. Even still, she tried to have this relationship with him. Even before they were actually married, she tells the physical had already been happening.
From what she explained, he was very broken and could have easily been medicated by a psychiatrist to get his behavior under control. However she didn’t tell much about her behaviors. Which is why I feel like she wrote this book prematurely. His actions didn’t make much sense but her reactions made it even more confusing. She didn’t give any explanations about why she reacted the way she did, besides saying she is very co-dependent on men and her need to make their lives better by pleasing them. It’s more to that story than just what she is putting out there. Because I read and study about all types of childhood abuse and how it shapes people as adults, what she gives about her childhood is not enough. It didn’t explain enough. She even had a child with him and he told her that he would leave her if it was not a girl. She ignored all the signs that their relationship would end with tragedy. She even gives an explanation for having his child after he made her take a lie detector test and getting a background check on her behind her back. None of this made her run away from this broken man.
With all of that in their entire marriage, back and forward, in and out of hospitals, one surgery after another, she still managed to hold on to this marriage that started off unhealthy. From the tone of the book, I think she still needs a lot of healing and the book was written to soon for her to have a huge impact on men and women that may have gone through her same situation or that may be going through it. She didn’t give a notion to me that she was really in a more healthy state of mind, not to mention his suicide that was very shocking and unexpected even for her. From reading the book in my opinion she started going in the right direction and his sudden suicide took her back to that place where she started. I don’t think she is hopeless in getting better and she may even be better now. However that wasn’t the case when this book was written.
As shocking as those details I gave from the book, believe me, it was some stories far more worst. You just have to read it. I would recommend it for someone looking for entertainment and for those who really wanted to know who that couple was behind closed doors. But if you want some inspiration or confused about you being in an unhealthy abusive relationship, then this is not the book to read.
Tell me your thoughts!
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