Sunday, May 26, 2019

"No Happy Endings" by Nora McInerny

After getting my book club obligations out of the way (& -- happily -- they were both good books!), I was glad to get back to "No Happy Endings," the second memoir by Nora McInerny, host of the podcast "Terrible, Thanks for Asking" (which I still haven't listened to... yet!).  It's a sequel/followup to "It's Okay to Laugh," which I read (and loved!) just a few weeks ago & reviewed here.

"It's Okay to Laugh" was about how Nora met & married her husband Aaron and became a mother to their son, Ralph -- then lost her second baby, Aaron and her dad, all within a few weeks' time in 2014, when she was just 31 years old. "No Happy Endings" is about what came next: adjusting to life as a single mom, dating again, meeting and marrying "Sophie's Hot Dad," Matthew, and how they blended their families -- including Nora's subsequent pregnancy after her miscarriage. Those of you who have also experienced subsequent pregnancy will probably relate, a lot, to Nora's feelings of joy, ambivalence, depression and sheer terror, in these chapters. (Chapter 20, "Memorial Day," had me in tears.)(By coincidence, I read it on the American Memorial Day weekend this year.)

I was predisposed to like this book because I enjoyed "It's Okay to Laugh" so much -- and I was not disappointed. It's more of the same mix of humour, hard-earned wisdom and brutal honesty. I adored Chapter 32, "Feminist Agenda." :)  And the final chapter, "Yes, And" reminded me of what Justine Froelker calls
...the complicated grey... the permission to change the but to an and. Giving ourselves permission to feel it all, all at the same time; the anger and acceptance, the  joy and the longing, the fear and the hope. The permission to walk into the muck of the gray between the certainties of life; allowing ourselves to hold both truths, as difficult and uncomfortable as that is, we will awaken to life in color.
Nora embrace of "yes, and" will resonate with all of us who grieve what we've lost, the life we thought we'd have, while simultaneously embracing and celebrating the life we do have now: 
And is where I am now. 
And does not deny the past, or the pain. And makes room for it, in a way that but does not. And allows for the future, too... 
Yes, I have a life I love, and a life I miss.  
Yes, I am filled with happiness and gratitude, and with an eternal ache.  
Yes, Matthew is my husband, and the love of my life. And so is Aaron. 
Five (5) stars on Goodreads.

This was book #16 that I have read in 2019 to date, bringing me to 67% of my 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 24 books.  I am (for the moment, anyway...!) 7 (!!) books ahead of schedule to meet my goal. :)  

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I'm so glad you loved it! These are both on my to-read list, and I'm glad to know that "It's Okay to Laugh" is first, so I can read in order. :) You are on FIRE with the reading challenge! Love the "yes, and."