A woman in her 60s starts over after leaving a 47-year marriage in this debut memoir.
Delon met her future husband, “Brad”—names in this memoir have been changed—when she was only 17; they married shortly after she graduated from high school and had three sons in just a few years. Then, the author says, she endured nearly five decades of emotional abuse and infidelity before finally leaving her spouse. Afterward, she quickly discovered that she had little idea of who she was, outside of her codependent marriage. She didn’t even feel like she knew how to make friends at her age—much less tackle the concept of dating again. But over the next few years, she learned more about herself and relationships with others; she found new pals, such as “Jo Harris,” a widowed spitfire with whom she shared trips to Cabo and boozy girl talk about men, past and present. Delon also struggled with the death of her mother and a son’s addiction. She chronicles a series of sometimes-funny, sometimes-distressing misadventures with potential suitors, whom she met online and off. By sharing her story, she says, she hopes that other women will “benefit from [her] mistakes and be heartened by the brilliance of life beyond a dysfunctional relationship.” Delon’s narrative voice is immediately compelling, and her prose is full of striking images, such as her realization, early on, that she’d been “Holding [herself] together with barbed wire,” or her extended metaphor of her relationship with Brad as a margarita, with the limelike sour of his philandering and the sweet relief of his excuses. She also pulls few punches when recounting her own mistakes, or details of her sex life (“I’ve made my sons swear they’ll never, ever read this book,” she quips). The book has some distracting tense shifts, and she strikes a sour note when she states that a man posting a personal ad looking for a woman with “No inhibitions” who’s “Open to anything” would be better off hiring a sex worker. However, most readers will likely be rooting for her from the first page.
A candid, chatty remembrance about standing on your own two feet.