Secrets to the Good Life
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A brief divorce memoir built on a foundation of sensible advice.

In this touching debut, Blasiman chronicles her journey of self-discovery during a painful separation from her partner. Along the way, she sought solace in the wise words of a revered figure in her life who never let her down: her Grandpa. He once counseled her through her parents’ separation when she was a teenager, and his ability to put common refrains in context illustrated the complexity of simple truths; his interpretation of “water under the bridge,” for example, speaks to the importance of moving on in life. The author, spurred by her conversations with Grandpa, began to change her perspective and her life. She includes her coming-out story as a definitive example of her grandfather’s unconditional love: he accepted her without reservation, even when her own mother hesitated. Later, with her family’s support, she embarked on creating a family with her then-partner, Shay. They had two children, and though readers know it won’t last, Blasiman portrays their marriage as a happy one. She apparently went through a great deal of soul-searching after the emotionally raw experience of the separation; much of the book focuses on her healing process afterward. Along the way, she reveals her grandfather’s journey in vignettes, juxtaposing scenes from his younger years with an extended epilogue. Grandpa’s insights reveal his wise stances on kindness, forgiveness, and happiness. Some of the book’s most touching moments show the unwavering love he had for his wife (Blasiman’s grandmother), Donna Jean. These ordinary revelations show the direct influence that his words had on the author, helping to transform her into a stronger, more loving person. Blasiman effectively shows how she finally began to understand the strength of such common sense—to keep going, even when the going gets tough, and to keep loving, even when loving can hurt.

An engaging memoir full of cogent adages distilled from a lifetime of compassionate observation.

Pub Date: Dec. 15th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0615906126
Page count: 90pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2015


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