No Happy Endings

Dey St: HarperCollins. Mar. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9780062792402. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062792426. MEMOIR
In this follow-up to It's Okay To Laugh, McInerny, host of the podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking and founder of the Hot Young Widows Club, describes her efforts not to deny the past but make room for it. The author begins by covering similar territory as in her podcast and first book; shortly after having a child, she experienced a miscarriage and lost both her husband and father to cancer. With humor and vulnerability, McInerny illustrates the emotional toll of pretending that everything was fine. What does it mean to be a widow at 31? Is falling in love again a betrayal? Chapters on the author's blended family are the strongest and include discussions of becoming a stepmom and not liking the term, as well as raising a family with her second husband while making sure her son from her first marriage remained connected to her late husband's family. Yet, brief essays about feedback on her podcast feel out of place, interrupting the flow of the narrative, and reflections on the cultural expectations of her Catholic upbringing could have been expanded.
VERDICT Spanning memoir and parenting, this supplemental purchase is best for large memoir collections; it can be read alongside the author's first book or on its own.

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