This is a book on love by the acclaimed feminist bell hooks. It is a rare book on this subject written by a woman.
The first chapter is called clarity because in our culture, love is seen as being hazy, vague, variable for everyone. As we are unclear about it, our actions can betray love itself.
Bell hooks tries to define it using work of other writers like Scott peck and Erich Fromm. Love is not a feeling. It is a verb, a act. It is an act to help growth of oneself and others. I found this meaning very different from what I was taught. Love was taken as a feeling. It was a mysterious force. It was meant to be given by girls. It was mixed with lot of abuse and hate. The love I knew and also practiced was quite reactive and harmful for myself and others. The writer also accepts that in her own family, she actually faced lovelessness, because of verbal and physical abuse along with instances of care. She also had relationships with men who were emotionally wounded which further increased her alienation.
She makes an important point that firstly we need to accept the lovelessness in our life. Only, then can we make efforts to act lovingly. But many of us are in denial mode out of fear, so we seek refuge in the definition of love being a feeling etc.
She also says that we need to encourage dialogue on love, not just relying on books.I also think that we tend to talk about a lot of stuff like movies, food etc. But generally are silent on vital things in our life. We need to encourage a honest talk which can help us transform ourselves.