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Money. It affects us all, so why is it so difficult to discuss? Even as daily headlines broadcast ever more alarming news about the fate of the American economy, few people are willing to acknowledge the enormous impact that personal finance has on their private affairs. Until now.

In this compelling anthology of original essays, some of the country's most respected women writers reveal their deepest feelings about money and how it affects their most intimate relationships—with parents, children, spouses, siblings, and ultimately with themselves. They examine the childhood experiences that set up lifelong, and sometimes self-destructive, financial habits. And they divulge how all the intangibles—romance, status, power, security—become tangled up in their financial lives.

The essays in these pages are written from many different perspectives: a single woman trying to reconcile feminism with a secret desire to be supported by a man; a wife with radically different spending habits from her husband; a divorcee who has become the family's chief bread-winner; a single mother struggling to make ends meet. They also explore complicated social issues. Sheri Holman (The Dress Lodger) reveals how she fell in love with a homeless drug addict. Leslie Bennetts (The Feminine Mistake) weighs the social and emotional costs of giving her children a private school education among the super-rich. Bliss Broyard (One Drop) ruminates on the intricacies of maintaining friendships with wealthier friends. And Amy Cohen (The Late Bloomer's Revolution) considers the price – financial and otherwise -- of having a child on her own.

Witty, nuanced, and startlingly intimate, The Secret Currency of Love offers a transformative look at the delicate nature of love and money. This riveting collection will spark debate by inspiring reexamine their own emotional connection to their finances. As Americans struggle to make rational choices in a frightening economy, these brave, revealing essays by some of today's most esteemed writers provide insight into how a modern generation of women is defining itself in the new social economy.

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