When Patti Smith first moved to New York City she met Robert Mapplethorpe by happenstance. They were both 20 years old. Robert "saved" her from an unpleasant first date with science-fiction writer by pretending to be her boyfriend. After they began living together, each made vows to take care of the other one. When Patti was down, Robert vowed to be strong and take care of her. When Robert was down, Patti vowed to be the strong one and take care of him. Their vows and their relationship is portrayed very sweetly by Patti Smith in this book. Obviously she loved him very much, and cared for him even when he became ill from various diseases. Even after both of them moved on to other relationships, they kept up with each other and helped each other as best they could. This is the positive portion of the book.The less than positive portion of the book is the world portrayed in late 1960's early 1970's New York City. Reading about their living conditions and how they both chose to abandon family to live as bohemian artists makes me glad that I wasn't there. There is nothing attractive or engaging about the lifestyle or the relationships or the circumstances.I am largely uninformed about the history of music and art in the 60's and 70's. So reading this book was a kind of way to educate myself.