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AND ALWAYS ONE MORE TIME by Margaret Mandell


A Memoir

by Margaret Mandell

Pub Date: March 12th, 2024
ISBN: 9798891321496
Publisher: Atmosphere Press

Mandell offers a heartfelt memoir about finding the courage to love again after devastating loss.

The author’s beloved husband, Herb, died of pulmonary fibrosis on her 65th birthday. Their marriage had been a truly loving union, founded on mutual respect and admiration. They had close relationships with their adult children, Lydia and Dan, and a wellspring of shared, happy memories of their 40 years together. As a way of healing from such devastating loss, Mandell began writing love letters to Herb in her journal, candid “imagined conversations” in which she reminisced about their life together and shared what was happening in her current life. After three years of widowhood, feeling ready for a new relationship, she tried online dating and quickly met John, a witty, twice-divorced college professor eight years her senior. Strongly attracted to each other from their first date, they progressed swiftly to serious romance, despite Mandell’s conflicting emotions; she couldn’t imagine either man being okay with the presence of the other, wondering, “Dare I fall in love again and risk losing John as I once lost Herb?” As they navigated significant family developments, the worldwide pandemic, and another move, the couple’s new bond grew richer, stronger, and deeper. Mandell’s writing is direct and matter-of-fact, studded with small descriptive gems: The sun seems to sit atop a distant evergreen “as if the tree gave birth to it,” and a hotel in Prague is “awash in gargoyles.” Humor surfaces even in the most serious moments. Her tone, when writing about the other people in her life, is warm and heartfelt, conveying deep empathy for them and for herself. Offering one example after another of appreciating the beauty in life without denying its heartaches, the memoir asks, “Can you keep loving when the man you love is gone?” and answers with a resounding yes.

A moving, insightful, and beautifully crafted story of losing one great love and finding another.