Alexandria, VA – Review: Living the Dream: Marriage and Family
You Don’t Suck at it, Sometimes It Just Sucks
Author: Tina Rae Kantiano
Reviewed by: Ralph Peluso, Literary Editor
Zebra Rating – 5 Stripes
The author is a self-described gypsy spirited diminutive dynamo who catches your attention with the first saucy chapter and does not disappoint thereafter. Through a witty series of memoirs and thought-provoking stories, Tina provides readers with an insightful guide to relationships and raising a family. Using her anecdotal collection, she provides guidance to get through the pitfalls and landmines of 21st-century relationships.
Tina will tell you that she is a student, teacher, mother, thrice-married wife and ex-wife, stepmother, makeup artist, marketing guru, feminist, socialist, kick-ass woman who is a hell of a motivator. Her debut book is designed to help everyone up their marriage and relationship game.
“I wrote a book!” she says, “You should buy it! Buy it, like it, share it, review it—we all know how this works. Help out a small-time author who’s looking to go BIG TIME! Buy the book, grab a beverage, some snacks, and read a good book. Mine!”
The title sounds like Tina targeted the married-with-kids audience, which is certainly a point of emphasis, but anyone will benefit from Tina’s work. There are enough thematic issues that hit a broader base, from everyone gets a trophy to parental discipline and great sex. Tina’s positions may polarize some, but she gets readers searching their souls. Readers reflect, acknowledge, and consider what she wrote. This book is an easy read. And, since readers will relate to the stories, hard to put down.
The topics addressed are not all fun and games. In her quirky manner, she seamlessly takes on societal views on women, the aftermath of divorce and its lingering ills, and mending relationships.
Tina resides in Mclean, Virginia, where she reads philosophy, masters vegan recipes, works on her Spanish, and on the next chapter of her life. Hopefully, that includes a second book.
Therapists convinced many that the pressure of the COVID quarantine is killing marriages and relationships. “Bull!” says Tina, “Your relationship was in peril long before COVID.” The many distractions and avoidance strategies mislabeled as “stress” and “busy-ness” kept couples worry-free, never forcing a confrontation or resolution to real issues. Living the Dream is a relatable therapeutical guide. The short chapters validate personal experiences, provide advice, and give all an opportunity to say, “…see, I am not the only one who sees things that way.” A solid 5 Zebra stripes.