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Arnold and Me: In the Shadow of the Austrian Oak by Barbara Outland Baker

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781425952228
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 08/28/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.82(d)

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Arnold and Me: In the Shadow of the Austrian Oak 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Too bad this site doesn't allow for paragraphing: This is going to be a Jack Kerouac, roll of paper in his typewriter, 'stream of consciousness,' run-on work. The author tells us more about herself than about Arnold. She knows that. And that is why it is good coursework toward writing one's own biography. Karl Duff is correct that men and women who have intercourse before marriage sabotage what their relationship could be, if not dooming it entirely. Trust in the man is the issue and the man is ultimately responsible. The author is thoroughly modern in her spirituality and morality, clearly a casualty of the era in which she came of age, not to mention Southern California, and her parents first all but disown then forgive her. What else can parents do? Finally, I think she never trusts, forgives, or gets-over the man who failed to treasure and protect her. Arnold manages well what could have been much worse. The book is a valiant effort to 'process,' and get closure however, the final line in the epilogue, right our of Terminator, lets you know that she has failed in that, even if her book becomes a best seller. There was a disappointing apparently obsequious occupation with Jewishness, including the unnecessary mention of grading papers about an assigned review of a book on the holocaust. One wonders if the author is attempting to ingratiate herself with the tribe or to protest a bit too much about accusations of Arnold's anti-Semitism. On page 276, there is a mixing of metaphors, wherein 'resusciating' could be 'rekindling.' And referring to Arnold as a 'booger' one can't flick-off and be rid-of is, I think, something less pleasant than some other bad penny analogy. The author seems to have worked the prose a bit too hard. Her sweetness and devotion come through and I personally think she is a good woman for carrying an unrequited torch her entire life. It is too bad Arnold wasted her in her youth and simply moved-on. Smoking in young woman is something that I'm surprised Arnold put up with at all. It does not surprise me that he did not want that in a wife and the mother of his children. Someone said something to me 30 years ago, which I've found to be true: He said he'd never had a satisfactory relationship-- business or personal-- with someone who smoked. Rather than comforting and healing the author, her relationship with Arnold, on balance, apparently hurt her deeply and permanently. There is no doubt in my mind that I did the same to a woman in my past. Arnold impresses me as the absolute best of a bad lot that have been California governors and I think he would be a relatively good President. He is a man's man, probably a good family man, husband, and father, now that he's settled-down. I was left hoping he has the courage of his convictions above poltical aspirations, as California and the nation need courage more than ambition, now more than ever.