So far as I can tell, very few people could ever read this book without taking something positive away from it. And you don't have to be the product of a broken home, child abuse, neglect, or other serious trauma to see how the machinery of codependency tweaks your life; always for the worse.
Having read other peoples' reviews, I'm not sure where some of the negative "cult" comments come from. But I do know that I am halfway through this book and I am very impressed. I'm not from an abusive, alcoholic, or otherwise chemically shattered family. I have good parents and I had a good childhood. Just the same, even good parents and a good childhood are no guarantee against developing unhealthy relationship habits, as well as damaging internal emotional processes.
If you're like me, you shy away from "self help" literature because it all seems way too touchy-feely. I don't see myself as a victim, and I refuse to adopt the victim mentality. But nobody gives parents a rule book on setting healthy emotional boundaries with their kids, and kids that grow up in a home without healthy emotional boundaries become adults without healthy emotional boundaries. This can really get you into trouble when you start trying to form a family of your own, and is the reason why I sought out this book with urgency.
Does it seem like your hapiness is too connected to how other people live their lives? Do you get really upset and depressed because those whom you love engage in behavior you see as risky or damaging? Feel powerless to stop your loved one from using or abusing mind altering substances? Tired of always feeling like "the bad guy" when you're just trying to get your partner to "be good"? Has your own social circle dwindled or vanished, so that now only your partner and his/her friends are 'your' social group? Would you like to know why it's so hard to get out of bed every morning, and why you spend so much time worrying about that certain person in your life, while worrying too little about yourself?
Codependency is not a catch-all problem, nor is it remedied over night. But I'd dare say that at least half or more of American adults--indeed adults across the entire world--struggle with some form of codependent behavior. And if you want a deeper insight into this problem, what it is, what it is not, and how it messes with your life, then read this book, and gain strength from understanding.