This review was originally published on The Rainbow Hub on April 30th, 2015. I have been given permission to reprint the review here. Enjoy!
A word of note about this book review: I do not identify as polyamorous. I am judging this book based on how it handles relationships in general, polyamorous or otherwise. This said, because I have never experienced a polyamorous relationship and haven’t had the inclination to do so, I advise taking a grain of salt with my thoughts on this review.
Cunning Minx, producer and host of a polyamory podcast entitled Polyamory Weekly, has taken the bare bones of her show and produced this book, Eight Things I Wish I’d Known About Polyamory: Before I Tried It and Frakked It Up. This book is not a guide to theory and practice, but rather a well explained list about how you the reader should approach a relationship emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. The result is a gently written, open and inclusive guide for anyone in a relationship. This book was not just defined by how a person interacts in a polyamorous relationship. There was no breakdown of how to open a relationship, or a guide to social acceptance of your peers. This straight up spoke to the reader about their emotional state.
So as a non-polyamorous person, I was going to attempt to look at this from an objective point of view, taking a look at the merits of the purely clinical. And about a third of the way through, I found myself genuinely understanding myself, and my dynamic within current and previous relationships. I have never read a book that spoke so well to exactly what I needed to hear in regards to a relationship.
Now, from a polyamory standpoint, this book breaks down the healthy, the not so healthy, and works to create an atmosphere of acceptance. Minx writes as though she is having a regular conversation over coffee with the reader, so the non-judgmental format of the book, which is littered with her own personal stories about successes and failure, feels more like an open and honest conversation rather than a guide. I would strongly suggest that if you are going to read this, sit with a notebook and jot down answers to posited theoretical questions. Honestly, if I had one criticism of the book it is that it should come with a fill in the blank companion workbook!
This book additionally provides resources for what the book isn’t. It is filled with links and suggestions to different authors and books, and Minx has obviously done her homework on the matter through both lived experience and through the actual resource
Overall, I recommend this to anyone in any relationship structure, regardless of sexuality or polyamorous or monogamous status. It’s a quick read that will leave a massive impact on your life.