All of This: A Memoir of Death and Desire

HarperOne. Aug. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780063052673. $26.99. MEMOIR
What if you were planning to divorce your husband when suddenly he received a terminal diagnosis? From the opening salvo, Woolf makes it clear to readers that this is not going to be a traditional grief memoir. Rather, it is a forthright portrait of one marriage, and the things that came after. From digging desperately through her jewelry drawer in search of the wedding ring she took off years ago to having frank discussions about her dating and sexuality with her four children after their father dies, Woolf takes readers on a journey that is nothing if not unforgettable. Is it comfortable or comforting? No, but it is brutally honest and empowering tale of a woman who emerges from her marriage and her husband’s final illness like a butterfly from a chrysalis—not neatly or painlessly, but nonetheless beautiful to behold.
VERDICT Be prepared to laugh, to cry, and possibly to be mortified at the level of detail Woolf feels comfortable sharing; but in the end, readers will definitely be glad they got on this roller coaster with her.
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