I tend not to read a lot of books at this point in my life with all the reading I do for work, but I found that I could not put it down. I really want to congratulate you on several fronts. First, I felt it was so well written and I thoroughly enjoyed every page. Second, it was wonderful to take a peak into your life and to learn about a very special time with a "to be famous" first love. Third, I cannot commend you enough for having the guts, no balls, to lay it all out there the way you did. R...E...S...P...E...C..T...., that's what I have for you!!!!!
I respect you so much, admire your ability to write, and am in utter awe of your willingness to open up and tell it as it was and the way you felt about not just the relationship, but about your own self esteem and your view of the relationship at various points in your life. The honesty was truly remarkable and your ability to recall details and to put your feelings into words was just amazing.
And last but my no means least, I admire John for his willingness to accept his bride's desire to let it all hang out. No, on second thought, his encouragement to put it all on paper. Beautiful job.
Hats off on a job and passion well done. My admiration of what you accomplished in writing and then self-publishing this masterpiece is beyond my wildest dream. Incredible effort and results demonstrate your focus to this cathartic process. I really think that you should write another book. I will be your first customer. Dave Clifton, Dubai
I read your book over the winter break and really enjoyed it! It was vivid and insightful, and I couldn't put it down! Diane Scrofano, Camarillo, California
I bought several copies of your book and read avidly -- congratulations on a quality job, truthful, not sensationalist -- obviously written with the warmth of enduring love, affection and pride -- well done! Dianne Bennett, Portsmouth, England
Just finished your wonderful book, “Arnold and Me.” I wanted to write a quick note telling you how much I loved it!
I expected the book to read well considering your background as a professor, and the amount of time you spent in its writing. But what I did not expect was the depth of insight into you. I imagine a book on anecdotes of the life of Barbara, or the life of Arnold separately would have been much easier to write; but a tasteful book on the union and the enduring influence he has had upon your life is clearly a much more advanced undertaking. I am sure it requires more thoughtfulness, introspection, and an egoless journey into your deepest feelings. Many can not do this; many will not do this. I can just imagine how such a journey can stir up a lot of emotion. Apparently, you are worthy of the challenge, and obviously strong enough to endure. I feel humbled that you would open up so much so that we can understand this important relationship in American history.
I feel you did an excellent job at presenting your experiences with class and dignity and consequently the book reads honest and true. It is obvious to me that you held back on many intimate details that could have been discussed. This “holding-back” only raises your authenticity and adds a measured gentleness to the book. I am convinced both that you were the one who taught him American civility and that you know restraint—a restraint that shows in your words today and one can deduce in your actions of yesterday. I do not know what acknowledgement or recognition you will receive for playing this foundational role to support Arnold’s success, but astute readers will come away with a better understanding of Arnold and a better appreciation of you.
I have had this impression that many years ago, and for many years, there was a lady that was Arnold’s love, friend, source of stability, and moderator for his boisterous conduct. I do not know where I heard this. I know some of my friends share this impression too. But it is now clear that that lady was you. All of these years I have secretly known about you and now I have met you in person.
In my short meeting with you the other day, it appears that you are very happy, at peace and have stepped out from the “shadow.” Barbara, this book is a rare gem, second only to your husband, John. Deepak Madhav, Plano, TX
I just finished the book and really loved it. It was hard to put down. I'm excited to have our book club and discuss it. Looking forward to meeting you. Michelle, McKinney, TX
I met you the night you were talking to the man who wanted to be in charge of your Fan Organization if you ever set one up. You asked me about my reading of "Fantastic" [by Larry Leamer] and I told you my dad was in the legislature and I am interested in politics so was interested in Arnold's transition and political context. I had just finished "Fantastic" and being so touched by that book, which I thought was so well written. [Leamer} gave me a "first love" for Arnold. And you also represented who he is in such a noble way. Barbara, you are much more a part of his life and "psyche" than you know. I WAS deeply moved by your book and have grieved over your story. But your pain can help many. God bless you. Susan Guldseth, Beaumont, CA
I just have to let you know how much I value Arnold and Me, not only from a historical point of view, but mostly for your gut wrenching honesty. To me, you are much more of a heroine than Arnold was ever a hero figure. Why? You seemed to open up from close to your depths. Initially, I read your book faster than a light ray, but the second time around, I read it in 1st gear so as not to miss a single thing! Next, I am going to share it with my Mom and try to get one of my German friends to order one from you. BOTTOM LINE: A must-read superb reflection! Major B. McEwan in Haughton, Louisiana