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Publisher's Summary

It was 1969, and all the rules were changing, when Betty, a woefully single French teacher on Long Island, met the handsome but edgy new teacher at her school -- a hippie just back from Woodstock. His vitality opened up a new world to her, but when they married his rages turned against her, and often ended with physical violence. Like millions of women who discover they've married an abusive man, Betty was forced to make daily decisions to suppress her feelings or risk confrontation, to keep it secret or report, and ultimately, to live with it or leave. Part gripping story, part warm-hearted look at the '70s, and part therapeutic journey.

©2016 Betty Hafner (P)2018 Betty Hafner

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Insightful

Very insightful, there’s times within the book that caused me to reflect on my life. I’m not in an abusive relationship but at times in my life I give in instead of speaking my truth. Which is a form of abuse to myself. I definitely will recommend this book 📚

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Authentic, compelling story/first-rate narration

This book does not miss a beat. It will resonate deeply with any woman who has suffered at the hands of an abusive man, and will serve as a stark warning to any woman who has not.

Despite the fear and violence and relentless mental stress the author suffered, she is amazingly big-hearted in her memoir, managing to convey all the three-dimensional humanity of both the abused and the abuser. The writing style is very natural, often charming and even humorous, despite the subject matter. Like other readers, I found the vivid descriptions of life in the 60’s and 70’s to be a wonderful, and wonderfully accurate backdrop to this compelling story.

I actually listened to this book on Audible and must commend the narrator, who brought Betty’s voice to life and was so effective with the voice of the husband, Jack, that I would literally flinch when I heard his voice and knew he was in a bad mood – I knew that would never end well. I was given a free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Road Map for Escaping Marital Abuse

Would you consider the audio edition of Not Exactly Love: A Memoir to be better than the print version?

I liked the book so much that I purchased a Kindle copy as well to read at night without disturbing anyone. While the voice of the Audible narrator was adequate, I found it a bit lifeless. The voice of the husband was gruff--a woman self-consciously imitating a man. I preferred the narrative voice of the book.

What did you like best about this story?

I felt throughout the author's desire to help others by sharing the details of her experience.

What three words best describe Patricia Santomasso’s performance?

Clarity, evenness, emotionlessness.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did not want to put the book down. It reflected so many social ills, so much gendered prejudice.I gasped with disbelief at the young policeman's words to the batterer-husband. "Take your wife out to dinner."

Any additional comments?

Betty Hafner’s story of marital abuse, escape and recovery is riveting. With calm and clarity Hafner communicates her terror, pain, and the all too common shame and denial that kept her a prisoner--the victim of a victim of abuse. Fortunately, she has supportive friends and, defying her controlling husband, she engages a wise therapist. With their help, she begins painfully to gain insight into her complicity in her abuse. This insight both fuels her escape and is Hafner’s generous gift to her readers. I highly recommend this book. It’s a good read, and it could save lives.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Listen to this book

Would you listen to Not Exactly Love: A Memoir again? Why?

I would listen for the nostalgia value and because I was young then too and wonder what I would have done in that situation.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Betty , of course, because that could have been me in different circumstances.

What does Patricia Santomasso bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I think having a young ,enthusiastic voice really brought the words to life.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The pregnancy at the wrong time and its ending.

Any additional comments?

Listen if you were young in the 60s and 70s for the nostalgia, listen if you are young to understand how it was for your parents generation and be glad that there is more understanding and help available now if you find yourself in a violent relationship

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Both the writing and narration were perfect.

What made the experience of listening to Not Exactly Love: A Memoir the most enjoyable?

I had already bought and read this book, so I knew the story was fantastic. What I did not expect was how well it would be told in narration. I felt like I was watching a great film. And the story seemed new again. I recommend this audiobook, even if you have read the book.
I was given this free review copy the audiobook and am voluntarily leaving this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story telling and narration.

I was genuinely surprised by this story. I had no idea what the story was going to be about I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

i received this book 2 days ago and I just finished it literally just now. I was so drawn in by the story of her survival from an abusive relationship. anyone that has been subjected to that situation can relate. I found myself listening to it at every opportunity. the narration was really good she really brought the characters to life.

I really look forward to listening to another book by this author and also something else by the narrator. I have listened to audiobooks for several years now and I'm quite picky about what I listen to and who I listen to it by and the book and the narrator we're right on target I highly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Heart-breaking and Heart-lifting

What did you love best about Not Exactly Love: A Memoir?

Extraordinarily well-written with attention to landscape, both external and internal.

What does Patricia Santomasso bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It was hard to believe she wasn't the writer. Her delivery was spot-on, emotive, and engaging.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Authentic, insightful, sad...

Not Exactly Love: A Memoir by Betty Hafner was good. Well, it actually wasn't good, or enjoyable to listen to, or entertaining in the very least. What it was is true and authentic...and humbling and reminds me of how lucky I am to have been able to escape my close encounter with a verbally abusive ex-fiance. I don't really know what else to say about this book except that it's the real deal and thankfully Betty has now been able to extricate herself from Jack's clutches. If you want to know what abuse can be like, listen to this book. If you're currently in an abusive relationship and want to know you're not alone or your abuser's actions are not unique and there is no easy "fix" for them, listen to this book.

I felt that Patricia Santomasso did a good job narrating this memoir. There's nothing "easy" or "fun" about this narration, as it's just a very difficult and heavy memoir of Betty's abuse throughout her meeting and then marrying Jack. I actually felt that her voice, though narrated well, also held a little hollowness such as one might sound when they've been through the ringer over and over again and have become a little numb. Anyways, good overall performance. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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