The Secret Currency of Love

The Unabashed Truth About Women, Money, and Relationships

By Hilary Black
(William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780061560965, 320pp.)

Publication Date: January 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Money. It affects us all, so why is it so difficult to discuss? Even as daily headlines broadcast ever more alarming news about the fate of the American economy, few people are willing to acknowledge the enormous impact that personal finance has on their private affairs. Until now.

In this compelling anthology of original essays, some of the country's most respected women writers reveal their deepest feelings about money and how it affects their most intimate relationships—with parents, children, spouses, siblings, and ultimately with themselves. They examine the childhood experiences that set up lifelong, and sometimes self-destructive, financial habits. And they divulge how all the intangibles—romance, status, power, security—become tangled up in their financial lives.

The essays in these pages are written from many different perspectives: a single woman trying to reconcile feminism with a secret desire to be supported by a man; a wife with radically different spending habits from her husband's; a divorcée who has become the family's chief breadwinner; a single mother struggling to make ends meet. They also explore complicated social issues. Sheri Holman (The Dress Lodger) reveals how she fell in love with a homeless drug addict. Leslie Bennetts (The Feminine Mistake) weighs the social and emotional costs of giving her children a private-school education among the super-rich. Bliss Broyard (One Drop) ruminates on the intricacies of maintaining friendships with wealthier friends. And Amy Cohen (The Late Bloomer's Revolution) considers the price—financial and otherwise—of having a child on her own.

Witty, nuanced, and startlingly intimate, The Secret Currency of Love offers a transformative look at the delicate nature of love and money. This riveting collection will spark debate by inspiring readers to reexamine their own emotional connection to their finances. As Americans struggle to make rational choices in a frightening economy, these brave, revealing essays by some of today's most esteemed writers provide insight into how a modern generation of women is defining itself in the new social economy.

Praise For The Secret Currency of Love

“The most interesting anthology I’ve seen in years. I read it with fascination, to the very last page.”
-Cathi Hanauer, novelist and editor of The Bitch in the House

“Multiple themes are explored in personal and heartfelt ways: money is success, failure, control, submission, love and hate. Money can mean the chance at motherhood or the ruin of a marriage. In the end, money is everything and nothing.”

“This exceptionally honest and poignant collection deserves a place on the bookshelves of women of all ages, backgrounds, income, net worth levels and walks of life.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review and Pick of the Week)

“Well-written first-person accounts result in an engrossing read throughout. It’s easy to be affected by their experiences, with emotions running the gamut of happy to dismay to sadness at some outcomes.”
-New Straits Times (Malaysia)

“Deeply honest and scandalously revealing, THE SECRET CURRENCY OF LOVE offers a mirror into our own complicated feelings about money and relationships—and every woman who reads it will see herself in its pages. You won’t be able to put it down!”
-Liz Lange, Founder, Liz Lange Maternity

“Funny, insightful and brutally honest, this book is Sex & The City meets The Wall Street Journal, with a sprinkle of Dostoevsky. Hilary Black has inspired stellar writers to wax poetic (and at times, hilariously pathetic) on the last taboo: money. Juicy, smart, dramatic and insightful—an addictive read.”
-Beth Kobliner, author of Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties

“Introducing the 27 emotionally invested and powerfully introspective essays in THE SECRET CURRENCY OF LOVE. All the bases are covered here, from the hard lessons women learn (and impart) to the inextricability of romance and cold hard cash.”

“Everyone wants to know their worth, in both love and money — but the lessons lie in the tension between the two. The women who authored this incredible collection of essays dare to get inside that conflict and unpeel the complicated truths that make up our life stories.”
-Stacy Morrison, Editor-in-Chief, Redbook Magazine

“A compelling new anthology that offers a fascinating look at how women view money that is, by turns witty, scandalous, poignant and heart-rending.”
-San Antonio Express-News

“A compelling new anthology, The Secret Currency of Love: The Unabashed Truth about Women, Money, and Relationships. In it, a number of prominent female writers (including Julia Glass, Lauri Abraham and Joni Evans) spill the beans about money in their own lives.”
-Time magazine

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