For our book club this month, we read Taylor Armstrong’s memoir “Hiding from Reality – My Story of Love, Loss, and Finding the Courage Within”. It was a really quick read (let’s be honest, Taylor is no Shakespeare) but it definitely kept our attention for several reasons. First, obviously, she stars in the hit TV show “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” which is a guilty pleasure of each of ours. Second, her storyline in the last season of the show centered around the suspicion, mystery, and eventual discovery of her late husband’s abuse but never really dove into the details of the situation. Third, the topics of abuse, fame, pretentious lifestyles, etc. were hard to put down.
Taylor goes into every detail about her traumatic childhood, her self-esteem issues, her dependency issues growing up with dozens of inattentive boyfriends, and her horrific marriage to Russell Armstrong, the quiet, reportedly abusive husband to a Housewife that America quickly learned to hate. Taylor’s intentions are good in writing this book – she aspires to inspire abused women to find their voice and find the strength to leave their respective relationships. Taylor never found the courage to completely shut Russell out of her life, and by the time she finally began to find her own direction in life, the damage to Russell’s ego and reputation had been done.
While this was not the most poetic, well-written novel we’ve ever read, it definitely was interesting and made for some great conversation. If you are a fan of the show or are looking to get a glimpse of the mind of a victim of a terribly abusive marriage, we recommend this book.