Love Me Back Summary & Study Guide

Merritt Tierce
This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Love Me Back.
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Love Me Back Summary & Study Guide Description

Love Me Back Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce.

"Love Me Back" by Merritt Tierce is a disturbing story about a young mother named Marie who discovers she is pregnant after attending a church retreat. She carries the child to term, and at her father's insistence marries the father, but the outcome is disastrous. Marie suffers an acute case of postpartum depression that remains untreated. She quickly spirals into despair, and begins cutting herself in hidden areas in an effort to focus the pain that seems ready to overwhelm her at every turn. She feels inadequate as a wife, and hopelessly lost as a mother, but still resents her parents when they are eager to help by taking her daughter Ana off her hands now and then. The feelings of uselessness push Marie to move her new family out of her parents' home, but the drastic measures don't help. In fact, the only time that Marie is able to cope and feel normal is when she is hip deep in customers at the restaurant in which she works.

Marie continues to cut herself, do drugs, and drink to excess, but none of it quiets the storm in her mind. Finally, she begins to step out on her husband, sleeping with her co-workers, her boss, and even some of the staff from the establishment next door to where she works. She becomes well known as the party animal who will sleep with any man, anywhere, any time. When she contracts a sexually transmitted disease as a result, her husband is devastated. The situation becomes much worse when Marie realizes she is expecting again, and can only narrow the father down to one of three men. Unwilling to gamble on who the father is, Marie and her husband go to Planned Parenthood where Marie aborts the child. Her husband changes after that, becoming withdrawn, quiet, and taking long walks with Ana. Finally, Marie moves out, leaving Ana and her father to cope on their own.

If her behavior was self-destructive while she lived with her husband and daughter, it became even worse when she began living on her own. The only things in Marie's life that make sense to her are her job and her daughter. While at work, Marie is competent and capable - able to handle any crowd or customer, but once she is done a shift, her life spirals again. When drugs, alcohol and sex are not enough to dull her senses, she cuts or burns herself to focus the pain in one area. Then, for a little while, she feels as though she can cope again.

One night during a shift, an employee from the establishment next door approaches her and tells her that a friend of his is outside and would like to have sex with her. Despite having never met him, she goes out back after work and has sex with him in her car. While they are in the middle of things, his friend opens the car door and pours beer over Marie's head, calling her a slut and commenting on her enjoyment of the exercise. When she asks him to close the door, he smacks her hard across the head, and continues to abuse her in this manner while his friend continues to enjoy the sexual experience beneath her. Finally, Marie sees herself in a light so unflattering that she simply quits. She stops doing drugs. She stops sleeping with everyone and anyone and she even avoids the rear entrance in an effort to keep her distance from temptation.

It isn't long before Marie is back to her old tricks however. She resumes her use of cocaine, and her sexual promiscuity, in a never ending search for someone who will love her unconditionally. During one of Ana's visits to her apartment, Marie realizes that her little girl loves her without reservation, regardless of who she is, and the thought brings her to tears.

Marie works her way up in the restaurant industry until she is finally employed in a fine dining establishment called The Restaurant. She learns the ins and outs of correct service, and discovers that she is a competent and capable server, something to be proud of and the beginning of self-respect.

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