“….This is for people who had their life turned upside down and just learned to live that way. For people who have laughed at a funeral or cried in a grocery store. This is for everyone who wondered what exactly they’re supposed to be doing with their one wild and precious life. I don’t actually have the answer, but if you find out, will you text me?” – Nora McInerny Purmort
Poignant, funny and engaging – this memoir from Nora McInery Purmont reads like a collection of essays about her life; growing up, friendships, family and dating relationships through high school, college and beyond. This is all woven in with the telling of three life-shaking events that happened in close succession – loss of a baby through miscarriage, and the subsequent loss of her father and husband through cancer.
The tone is lightened by fun pop culture references and her sarcastic easy humor, and then she hits the reader with something so very profound, it makes you stop and think. Her portrayal of grief is very genuine and raw with hints of what it is like to lose a spouse (“… this pain is mine. For throwing my keys on the counter and knowing there’s no reason to call out ‘we’re home!’..”). It truly makes you want to be more thankful for the loved ones in your life.
Nora is very open and relatable in how she is finding her path through grief; and in doing so, presents a book that is especially meaningful for those who are facing or have lived through similar experiences. For me, the chapter about her miscarriage was so well done that it took me back almost closer than I wanted to my own experiences.
On the other hand, the book didn’t tug at me the way I know it would for others because I have not suffered the heart-rending loss of someone so very close to me as a parent or spouse. Also, because I process the hard experiences of life though the lens of my faith in God and the expectancy it gives for this life and the next, the hope portrayed in this book feels a bit lacking and ephemeral.
Still, this brave author has gifted us with a snapshot of her journey, a window in time just a few short months after these tragic events in her life. I would love to see a future retrospective memoir from her too.
Rating: 4 stars