Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first love relives their six-year journey during his explosive first years in America. While she watches Arnold surpass his dreams, Barbara learns to transform hers -- from desiring what cannot be to cherishing what is so.
As a woman who spends her adult life trying to get out from under Arnold’s shadow, Barbara Baker learns about the shifting direction of life’s journey. She hopes for normalcy during and after living with her stratospherically successful Austrian Oak bodybuilder. Barbara finds life anything but normal, however. Within Arnold and Me, she strips down this conjoined twosome as they launch their adult lives into polar opposite journeys.
After their breakup, Arnold transcends the role of Hercules to become the Governator. He marries once and produces four children; to the contrary, the English Professor says “I do” four times, yet bears no offspring. Along with vintage photos and firsthand dialogue, the book’s resolution forces their singular lives to merge at a satisfying junction. Despite their divergent paths, both Arnold and Barbara demonstrate that achieving one’s dream demands a relentlessly flexible spirit.
Barbara has skillfully rounded Arnold’s corners by offering heartfelt nuances about this man who marked her for life. The author’s enlightened voice also resonates with those who face relationship challenges over personal identity and fulfillment. She not only lifts herself into higher consciousness, but also the willing reader. Her journey has allowed her to find life’s richness through accepting not only Arnold’s daunting shadow, but also her own.
This woman sings with energy, incrementally illuminating the rich lives of two ex-lovers within a beautifully developed, fast-paced story. Her readers continue to travel in their minds, breathing in the life of Arnold and Barbara long after the last word has been read.