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BOOK REVIEW: Slow Motion

Not long ago, I had an opportunity to meet Dani Shapiro, author of five novels, who just released a memoir called Devotion. The new book is actually her second memoir. Her first, called Slow Motion—A Memoir of a Life Rescued by Tragedy, describes circumstances that Lovefraud readers will find disturbingly familiar.

When Shapiro was a college student in the early 1980s, she was seduced by her best friend’s stepfather. The man, named “Lenny Klein” in Slow Motion (a pseudonym), was a famous, wealthy and aggressive New York City attorney. Shapiro was a beautiful, blond 20-something who, because of him, lost her way.

Lenny Klein felt entitled to take what he wanted. He was a middle-aged married man who wanted a hot young thing on his arm. He took Dani Shapiro.

She dropped out of college, supposedly to pursue an acting career. In reality, she was Lenny Klein’s mistress. He set her up in an apartment. He bought her furs, diamonds and cars. She coped with her loss of self through alcohol and cocaine.

Then came the tragedy—Shapiro’s parents were in a terrible car accident. Suddenly, Shapiro was caring for them, which gave her another reason to live.

Appropriation of her life

Shapiro does not label Lenny Klein’s behavior—the most she says about him is that he is a “pathological liar.” But Lovefraud readers will recognize the symptoms: Preoccupation with power. Rage over insignificant incidents. Inability to think about the woman he supposedly loves, even when she faces catastrophe.

What Shapiro does really well in this book is relate how Lenny Klein’s appropriation of her life affected her.

I am playing house with Lenny, zigzagging across the country at his beck and call. I have something resembling a career, halfheartedly modeling and doing television commercials. For the moment, I think I want to be an actress. I dropped out of college three years ago after being cast in a York Peppermint Patties commercial, and now I feel that I’m stuck with it—acting and Lenny—as if, having taken a wrong turn, I have had to make a commitment to follow this road wherever it takes me. Retracing my steps has not felt like an option. I have run faster and faster in the wrong direction, eyes squeezed shut, hoping that somewhere along the way the road will loop around again.

How many of us know the sensation of rushing headlong in the wrong direction, with no escape in sight?

Shapiro describes other troubles in her life, such as feuding relatives. But mostly this is a story of being led into the abyss by a manipulative, self-centered individual; wallowing in despair; and then slowly finding the strength within herself to climb out of the hole.

It’s a story of redemption and revelation that those of us who really know what Dani Shapiro is talking about will find encouraging.

Slow Motion—A Memoir of a Life Rescued By Tragedy is available on Amazon.com.



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14 Comments on "BOOK REVIEW: Slow Motion"

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Donna –

This sounds like an interesting book…I love the words in the title “a life rescued by tragedy”… Im always interested in learning how each survivor finds the strength within to climb out of the hole… thanks for the recommendation.

Witsend/Jane — I totally misunderstood the LF conversation a few days ago. Thank you for taking the time to clarify. Sometimes computer only conversations can be terribly misread — I do know to just always give my best advice and I am admittedly constantly trying to learn when, as many have pointed out, sometimes saying nothing is best. Will I ever get there? LOL If I make it a goal – surely I will. The knowing when is the hardest part for me! Thanks again.

I think it was Aloha (sorry if Im mistaken) and probably Oxy too – who said she strongly recommends we also remember to take a day here and there to take time off – for ourselves — regroup — recharge — reconnect. I did that, and will continue to – so Im more balanced with ME 🙂

Everyone …thanks again for being such wonderful people in this wonderful place!

Off topic –

Ive posted twice this morning…after hitting the “Post” Button… I recieve this “warning” in red :

“It sounds like SK2 has recently been updated on this blog. But not fully configured. You MUST visit Spam Karma’s admin page at least once before letting it filter your comments (chaos may ensue otherwise”

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THIS? I just ignored it and each time had to reboot…

one/joy_step_at_a_time

ltl – i have gotten the same and done the same to work around it. I hope we hear from Donna soon about this, and that ti is not some sort of virus.

Me too. When I clicked on the site it told me to visit, it said I did not have authorization to be there….WTF?

ps.. Kim… I have learned to be very careful of anything unusual that pops up on my screen or just seems really odd (emails, etc.) …Ive learned not to click on sites Im told to visit or must go to before entering a site— that can be the exact way to get a virus on your computer. Im not saying that happened here, but just wanted to give you a heads up to just shut down your computer or Quit…and reboot. AND NOT GO TO THE SUGGESTED SITE..

Wow, her description is really well written.

“I have run faster and faster in the wrong direction, eyes squeezed shut, hoping that somewhere along the way the road will loop around again.”

If that doesn’t just sum up my coping strategy when faced with a p, nothing does!

I got SO tired. I remember feeling exhausted and bored and jittery and anxious. Bored from listening to his non-stop blather about his grand schemes. Exhausted of his incessant need for acknowledgement and attention, for EVERYTHING. Jittery and anxious from having my body flooded with fight or flight hormones, day in and day out. And I kept plowing ahead, thinking I could figure out how to relate to him in a way that would set him at ease, and allow him to ‘relax’ into a real life (and subsequently allow me to do the same).

Until I was given the final ‘feral bite’ from him, and was driven away by my disgust of his completely uncivil and undeserved treatment of me.

It was like trying to tame a wild animal, domesticate it. Impossible. Squirrel and tiger are not meant to be housepets. And neither are p’s.

The crap of it is once you open your eyes you are in a total wasteland, without food or water. Just starving and half dead. They aren’t, as they have been fattening up on your support, resources, and good will. And being that they are in fact engineered for this landscape, they simply go on about their way. Looking for a new hand to feed them.

And then it a good, long hike out.

I finally stumbled on LF, which I liken to having found a road, finally, with some signposts, that helped me get back to CIVILization.

Dear Slim

Your analogy of the Ps and a wild animal in captivity are so right on! They don’t make good house pets!

Many animals seldom if ever adjust to captivity even in a zoo enough to breed, but lions breed like rats, in or out of captivity and so do psychopaths! If nothing else, lions and psychopaths are very ADAPTIVE and make the most of any situation, but either one is apt to use their claws and teeth no matter just how “tame and docile” they seem AT TIMES. They can strike out with lethal force at ANY TIME!

this has nothing to do with the above post, but is relevant nonetheless.

I happened to stumble upon it, and thought it might be of some value to people here at LF.

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/1015871/man-posed-as-spy-to-con-woman-court

Thanks for the headsup, LTL. Not computer savy at all…but learning. I guess I’m still trying to be a good girl and do what I’m told….ARGHHHHHH.

Slimone,

That character (as Kathleen diplomatically calls Ps) was feeding off your energy. Sucking it in like a vampire, striving to leech it all from you. Parasite.

I can relate to your boredom listening to his constant, inane prattle and insatiable craving for attention. Oh yeah.

You know, I’m a cheerleader, an eager, genuine praise giver. When it is warranted or just because I feel like giving someone a well deserved hug and pat on the back.

But these fiends…they never get enough attention, praise. It’s always MORE, MORE, MORE! Ahhh, they demand more than any one person can give or should give while being involved with them.

Thank goodness, Slimone, that he’s dust in the wind for you. Yesterday’s rubbish.

And you now realize how wonderful a woman you are and that you deserve honorable, fair, kind and considerate treatment. Because you give that back three-fold.

🙂

LTL,

You didn’t need to clarify on that other thread. I did. And I’m super relieved that you read my response to you.

Cool beans!

🙂

Jake B –

WOW! Really cant wait to see how the judge handles this case. I plan on trying to follow it to see what the ruling is…what terms are used …what outcome will be. Thanks for that link.

Jane –

Smiles. Hugs. Thank you for being understanding of my cyberconfusion over the weekend…

Cool beans! Havent heard that in a while — made me smile! Coolio u r 🙂

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