Six marriages, six heartbreaks, one shared beginning. In her forties – a widow, too young, too modern to accept the role – Becky Aikman struggled to make sense of her place in an altered world. In this transcendent and infectiously wise memoir, she explores surprising new discoveries about how people experience grief and transcend loss and, following her own remarriage, forms a group with five other young widows to test these unconventional ideas. Together, these friends summon the humor, resilience, and striving spirit essential for anyone overcoming adversity. Meet the Saturday Night Widows: ringleader Becky, an unsentimental journalist who lost her husband to cancer; Tara, a polished mother of two, whose husband died in the throes of alcoholism after she filed for divorce; Denise, a widow of just five months, now struggling to get by; Marcia, a hard-driving corporate lawyer; Dawn, an alluring self-made entrepreneur whose husband was killed in a sporting accident, leaving two small children behind; and Lesley, a housewife who returned home one day to find that her husband had committed suicide. The women meet once a month, and over the course of a year, they strike out on ever more far-flung adventures, learning to live past the worst thing they thought could happen. They share emotional peaks and valleys – dating, parenting, moving, finding meaningful work, and reinventing themselves – while turning traditional thinking about loss and recovery upside down. Through it all runs the story of Aikman's own journey through grief and her love affair with a man who tempts her to marry again. In a transporting story of what friends can achieve when they hold each other up, Saturday Night Widows is a rare book that will make you laugh, think, and remind yourself that despite the utter unpredictability and occasional tragedy of life, it is also precious, fragile, and often more joyous than we recognize. From the Hardcover edition.
Describes the author's experiences as a young widow and the pivotal relationships she forged with five other widows, recounting the stories of their losses and bravery as exchanged throughout a year of monthly Saturday night meetings, during which the author met and fell in love with her current husband. (This book was previously listed in Forecast.)
Six marriages, six heartbreaks, one shared beginning. In her forties -- a widow, too young, too modern to accept the role -- Becky Aikman struggled to make sense of her place in an altered world. In this transcendent and infectiously wise memoir, she explores surprising new discoveries about how people experience grief and transcend loss and, following her own remarriage, forms a group with five other young widows to test these unconventional ideas. Together, these friends summon the humor, resilience, and striving spirit essential for anyone overcoming adversity. Meet the Saturday Night Widows: ringleader Becky, an unsentimental journalist who lost her husband to cancer; Tara, a polished mother of two, whose husband died in the throes of alcoholism after she filed for divorce; Denise, a widow of just five months, now struggling to get by; Marcia, a hard-driving corporate lawyer and something of a grown-up tomboy; Dawn, an alluring self-made...
A lively and revealing behind-the-scenes look at the making of one of history's most controversial and influential movies, drawing on exclusive interviews with the cast and crew. "You've always been crazy," says Louise to Thelma, shortly after she locks a police officer in the trunk of his car. "This is just the first chance you've had to express yourself." In 1991, Thelma & Louise, the story of two outlaw women on the run from their disenchanted lives, was a revelation. Suddenly, a film in which women were, in every sense, behind the wheel. It turned the tables on Hollywood, instantly becoming a classic, and continues to electrify audiences as a cultural statement of defiance. But if the film's place in history now seems certain, at the time its creation was a long shot. Only through sheer hard work and more than a little good luck did the script end up in the hands of the brilliant English filmmaker Ridley Scott, who saw its huge potential. With Scott on board, a team willing to challenge the odds came together--including the stars Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon and a fresh-faced up-and-coming actor named Brad Pitt, as well as legends like actor Harvey Keitel, composer Hans Zimmer, and old-school studio chief Alan Ladd Jr.--to create one of the most controversial movies of all time. But before icons like Davis and Sarandon got involved, Thelma & Louise was just an idea in the head of Callie Khouri, a thirty-year-old music video production manager, who was fed up with working behind the scenes on sleazy sets. At four a.m. one night, sitting in her car outside the ramshackle bungalow in Santa Monica that she shared with two friends, she had a vision: two women on a crime spree, fleeing their dull and tedious lives--lives like hers--in search of a freedom they had never before been able to realize. But in the late 1980s, Hollywood was dominated by men, both on the screen and behind the scenes. The likelihood of a script by an unheard-of screenwriter starring two women in lead roles actually getting made was remote. But Khouri had one thing going for her--she was so inexperienced she didn't really know she would be attempting the nigh impossible. In Off the Cliff, Becky Aikman tells the full extraordinary story behind this feminist sensation, which crashed through barricades and upended convention. Drawing on 130 exclusive interviews with the key players from this remarkable cast of actors, writers, and filmmakers, Aikman tells an inspiring and important underdog story about creativity, the magic of cinema, and the unjust obstacles that women in Hollywood continue to face to this day.
An “achingly beautiful” memoir about a mother’s mission to rescue her two teenage daughters from the streets and bring them back home (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). After a miserably failed marriage, Debra Gwartney moves with her four young daughters to Eugene, Oregon, for a new job and what she hopes will be a new life for herself and her family. But the two oldest, fourteen-year-old Amanda and thirteen-year-old Stephanie, blame their mother for what happened, and one day the two run off together—to the streets of their own city, then San Francisco, then nowhere to be found. The harrowing subculture of the American runaway, with its random violence, its dangerous street drugs, and its patchwork of hidden shelters, is captured with brilliant intensity in Live Through This as this panicked mother sets out to find her girls—examining her own mistakes and hoping against hope to bring them home and become a family again, united by forgiveness and love. “For all the raw power of this true story and the fearless honesty of the voice telling it, what sticks out for me is the literary craft that shapes every sentence. Debra Gwartney has seen clear to the bottom of her experience, purged it of self-righteousness, and emerged with a stunningly humane and humbled awareness of life’s troubles” —Phillip Lopate
There are so many ways to find out. From a mobile phone. From a bank account. From some weird supermarket encounter. One morning in early January 2005, Wendy Plump's neighbour came over to tell her that her husband was having an affair. The news hit her with an almost audible click. It was not a shock. Actually, it explained quite a lot. What she was not prepared for however was the revelation that he had an eight-month-old son living within a mile of their family home. Monogamy is one of the most important vows we make in our marriages. Yet it is a rare spouse who does not face some level of temptation in their married life. The discovery of her husband's second family followed betrayals of Wendy's own, earlier in the marriage, and prompted her to explore the wreckage of her relationship head-on - from the view of both the betrayer and the betrayed. In this compelling memoir, Wendy Plump looks at the ordeal of Finding Out, the recovery, the ebb and flow of passion, the patterns of adultery, the undeniable allure of illicit attraction, the lovers, the lies and the alibis. Frank, intelligent and important, Vow takes you under the covers. It will transform your understanding of fidelity and commitment forever.
Author: Jill Smolowe
Publisher: She Writes Press
Release Date: 2014-04-08
Genre: Family & Relationships
When journalist Jill Smolowe buried her husband, sister, mother, and mother-in-law in the space of seventeen months, she assumed that it was only a matter of time before she fell apart. That’s what all the movies and memoirs say will happen, after all. But when she never “lost it”—and when friends began to insist that her strength was amazing and unusual—she began to think there might be something freakish about her way of grieving, so she did what any self-respecting journalist would: she researched it. In Four Funerals and a Wedding, Smolowe jostles preconceptions about caregiving, defies clichés about losing loved ones, and reveals a stunning bottom line: far from being uncommon, resilience like hers is the norm among the recently bereaved. With humor and quiet wisdom, and with a lens firmly trained on what helped her tolerate so much sorrow and rebound from so much loss in her own life, she offers answers to questions we all confront in the face of loss, and ultimately reminds us all that grief is not only about endings—it’s about new beginnings.
Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope is the story of Amy Welborn’s trip to the island of Sicily with three of her children five months after her husband’s sudden death from a heart attack. Her journey through city and countryside, small town and ancient ruins, opens unexpected doors of memory and reflection, a pilgrimage of the heart and an exploration of the soul. It is an observant and wry memoir and travelogue, intensely personal yet speaking to universal experiences of love and loss. Along the narrow roads and hairpin turns, the narrative reveals the beauty of the ordinary and the commonplace and asks stark questions about how we fill the empty places that a loved one leaves behind. It is a meditation on the possibility of faith, one that is unflinching, uncompromising, and altogether unsentimental when confronted by the ultimate test of belief. This book is not only a well-told memoir, but a testimony to the truth that love is stronger than death.
New from the host of the daily NBC show "Starting Over"... Rhonda Britten continues to share her wisdom on achieving our full potential-by ridding ourselves of the fears and doubts that just get in the way. Shattering many of the conventional myths about relationships, Rhonda Britten illuminates eight basic truths of fulfilling love, and her step-by-step advice and renowned "fearbuster" exercises will show how to use those truths to transform love and life.
Author: K. Sophie Stallman
Publisher: Hillcrest Publishing Group
Release Date: 2013-08-26
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Three generations ago, author Sophie Stallman was a young girl living a normal and happy existence with her traditional and privileged Polish family. But when the Germans invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Sophie's life as she knew it would cease to exist. Under Nazi-occupied Poland, Sophie and her family were forced to endure a daily life of deprivation, fear, and struggle, but despite the abysmal war conditions to which she was subjected, Sophie was determined to pursue her own life in spite of the war. Pressing forward with her academic education and following her love of music she excelled developing her modern dance talents and mezzo-soprano voice. Sophie also made the courageous decision to join the Polish resistance organization -- a move that would put her life in constant jeopardy, especially during the 1944 Warsaw uprising.
Author: Ann Keiffer
Publisher: Educator's International Press
Release Date: 2014-01-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
What happens when depressions slams into you and your charmed life like a death-star meteor, blasting a smoking hole in the earth beneath your feet, dropping you into darkness and isolation, covering you over? How is it possible that this, the worst thing that ever happened to you becomes the very thing that saves you. What is spiritual healing? In Blest By the Dark Angel Ann Keiffer writes powerfully about what it is like to live through a clinical depression. The author was enjoying a successful career and adoring family, when she found herself in an abyss of melancholy. She turns her depression inside out, so we can see how it was made. But Ann's most extraordinary gift is her ability to integrate her experience and write of it so evocatively that her insights breakthroughs and transformative healing are accessible to her readers, too. Keiffer captures the mood and climate not only of her depression, but also of her healing process in this spirit-filled, tough, gripping, inspiring, beautiful, altogether loving memoir.
What does it mean to give church a try when you haven't really tried since you were twelve? At the end of her bestselling memoir Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Rhoda Janzen had reconnected with her family and her roots, though her future felt uncertain. But when she starts dating a churchgoer, this skeptic begins a surprising journey to faith and love. Rhoda doesn't slide back into the dignified simplicity of the Mennonite church. Instead she finds herself hanging with the Pentecostals, who really know how to get down with sparkler pom-poms. Amid the hand waving and hallelujahs Rhoda finds a faith richly practical for life--just in time for some impressive lady problems, an unexpected romance, and a quirky new family. Mennonite Meets Mr. Right is for people who have a problem with organized religion, but can't quite dismiss the notion of God, and for those who secretly sing hymns in their cars, but prefer a nice mimosa brunch to church. This is the story of what it means to find joy in love, comfort in prayer, and--incredibly, surprisingly--faith in a big-hearted God.
Author: Jen Kirkman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2013-04-16
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
In this instant New York Times bestseller that’s “boldly funny without being anti-mom” (In Touch), comedian and Chelsea Lately regular Jen Kirkman champions every woman’s right to follow her own path—even if that means being “childfree by choice.” In her debut memoir, actress and comedian Jen Kirkman delves into her off-camera life with the same snarky sensitivity and oddball humor she brings to her sold-out standup shows and the Chelsea Lately roundtable, where she is a writer and regular performer. As a woman of a certain age who has no desire to start a family, Jen often finds herself confronted (by friends, family, and total strangers) about her decision to be “childfree by choice.” I Can Barely Take Care of Myself offers honest and hilarious responses to questions like “Who will take care of you when you get old?” (Servants!) and a peek into the psyche—and weird and wonderful life—of a woman who has always marched to the beat of a different drummer and is pretty sure she’s not gonna change her mind, but thanks for your concern.
It has been said that, over the course of a lifetime, a person will use only a fraction of the brain's capacity to learn. This would also be true of the heart's boundless capacity to love. This book is a collection of true stories spoken from the hearts of widowed women. Each was eager to crack open the door to her private world, and allow us an entrance inside. Many of the ladies have never told these stories to anyone, including immediate family. Their individual reasons for wanting to contribute vary, but they all share a common thread... to empower other widowed women. They speak candidly about being the single one at the dinner table, their desire to date again, and even the first time between the sheets. This treasured book will offer insight to those who are curious about dating and moving forward. From Granny Panties to Thongs is the portable paperback cheerleader for widows who hope to one day find love again.
A warm, heartfelt memoir of family, loss, and a house jam-packed with decades of goods and memories. After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents—first for their senile father, and then for their cantankerous ninety-three-year old mother—author Plum Johnson and her three younger brothers have finally fallen to their middle-aged knees with conflicted feelings of grief and relief. Now they must empty and sell the beloved family home, twenty-three rooms bulging with history, antiques, and oxygen tanks. Plum thought: How tough will that be? I know how to buy garbage bags. But the task turns out to be much harder and more rewarding than she ever imagined. Items from childhood trigger difficult memories of her eccentric family growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, but unearthing new facts about her parents helps her reconcile those relationships, with a more accepting perspective about who they were and what they valued. They Left Us Everything is a funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving family history to make sense of the past, and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the future. From the Hardcover edition.