No Happy Endings

No Happy Endings

A Memoir

Book - 2019
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Life has a million different ways to kick you right in the chops. We lose love, lose jobs, lose our sense of self. For Nora McInerny, it was losing her husband, her father, and her unborn second child in one catastrophic year. But in the wake of loss, we get to assemble something new from whatever is left behind. Some circles call finding happiness after loss "Chapter 2"--the continuation of something else. Today, Nora is remarried and mothers four children aged 16 months to 16 years. While her new circumstances bring her extraordinary joy, they are also tinged with sadness over the loved ones she's lost. Life has made Nora a reluctant expert in hard conversations. On her wildly popular podcast, she talks about painful experiences we inevitably face, and exposes the absurdity of the question "how are you?" that people often ask when we're coping with the aftermath of emotional catastrophe. She knows intimately that when your life falls apart, there's a mad rush to be okay--to find a silver lining, to get to the happy ending. In this, her second memoir, Nora offers a tragicomic exploration of the tension between finding happiness and holding space for the unhappy experiences that have shaped us. No Happy Endings is a book for people living life after life has fallen apart. It's a book for people who know that they're moving forward, not moving on. It's a book for people who know life isn't always happy, but it isn't the end: there will be unimaginable joy and incomprehensible tragedy. As Nora reminds us, there will be no happy endings--but there will be new beginnings.
Publisher: New York, NY : Dey St., an imprint of William Morrow, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780062792402
0062792407
Branch Call Number: 070.92 MCINERNY
Characteristics: ix, 269 pages ; 24 cm

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sarawolfe2010
Nov 22, 2019

This author has too many F*** bombs peppered throughout, which I detest. Usually, it is often younger authors who appear to be prone to write and talk like this. In addition, I find this to be a mediocre book with no real drama, as she tells us right up front what the "ending" is.

j
jmikesmith
Jul 29, 2019

In the span of six weeks in 2014, Nora McInerny had a miscarriage, lost her father to cancer, and lost her husband to cancer. She was a young widow with a toddler to raise. This is her memoir. She covers her losses and how she coped (badly, for a while). She covers how she reinvented herself as a writer and podcaster who deals with grief, mental health, and other emotionally difficult topics. She also deals with how she found love again and built a new family around that love. She is also very funny.

I lost my wife to cancer when she was 40 and had to continue raising my two teenagers, so I can relate very much to what McInerny went through. One of the key points she makes is that everyone you love is going to die. This is just how life works. It's okay to be sad or even depressed after events like that. But it's also okay to keep living and to find happiness and love again.

Most of the book is memoir, but parts of it, particularly towards the end, are more in the vein of self-help and reassurance that you're not a bad person if find a way to persist after loss and grief. The chapters are relatively short, and they're a mix of chronological and topical in their ordering. McInerny is a good writer, and is able to soften her poignant vignettes with humorous asides very effectively.

If you've ever lost someone and then found a way to carry on, I think you'll find something validating in this book.

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