November 16, 2011

Are You Not Entertained: Cheap Love

This is a book by two professor friends here at Roberts. I recently reviewed Cheap Love for the Beacon, and got a very positive response, so I thought it might be good for both me and the Starr's if I reposted the article here on Nine to Phive:

As a young married student trying to make her way through college with her husband who is also still in school, I did not need to be asked twice to write a review of Carrie and Erv Starr’s new book Cheap Love: Living and Loving on Less. Believe me when I say with conviction that this book benefited me at least as much as I am about to purport that it will benefit you. “Eighteen years ago,” the story begins, “we spent our honeymoon in a borrowed tent. Ten years later, we celebrated our anniversary on an Alaskan cruise . . . we realized we had a unique story to share.” How right they were, and how glad I am that the Starr’s acted on this realization.

The first word that comes to mind when one begins to peruse Cheap Love is “enchanting.” The book follows the love story of the professors Starr from the time they began dating in college to the aforementioned anniversary cruise, emphasizing the couple’s financial stewardship which they believe has carried them to where they are today. The narrative portions of the chapters, penned mostly by Carrie, are frank, conversational, and strike one as somewhat spellbound. The moments of youthful wonderment with which this starry-eyed (pun intended) pair populates their tale makes it easy to relate to the love which they describe for each other.

At the end of each endearing chapter of the Starr’s life together, be it “The Dating Game,” “From Hell to Hope,” “Get Rich Slow Schemes,” or “Five Starr Family,” Erv takes a moment to impart his “Bottom Line.” True to his academic nature, he extracts from the story the money-saving and relationship-strengthening concepts which he and his wife learned to practice during the most recently described stage of their life together. These tips are often profound revelations, but they are sometimes truths so simple that they are easy to overlook. Whichever the case, they are always challenging. Not only is this method of summary a very effective addition to the structure of the book; it is also downright humorous. I chuckled to myself every time I heard what I felt sure was Carrie’s audibly enthusiastic voice come rambling to some sort of conclusion just in time for Erv to seemingly add, “Okay, that was the girly version of the story. Here’s the point.” Obviously, my own imagination played a part in this entertaining spectacle, but that just goes to show how well the book is written. In the format of a nonfictional text, Cheap Love is still capable of capturing the mind and heart.

The Starrs flawlessly mesh the complex spiritual elements of romantic love and financial responsibility in a very informative but very easy read. Since the majority of divorces are caused by monetary stresses, this is a highly practical approach that will draw many married and otherwise committed couples into this very beneficial text. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of picking up this honest and insightful book, becoming a part of the Starrs’ love story, and allowing it to transform your own.

Now available for Kindle e-reader

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