This Story Will Change : After the Happily Ever After
by Crane, Elizabeth






"Life is a work-in-progress, full of mystery and unexpected twists. The only certain thing is that whatever story you think you are telling yourself about your life, is that story will change. And then it will change again. One minute Elizabeth Crane andher husband of fifteen years are fixing up their old house in upstate New York, finally settling down roots after stints in Chicago, Texas, and Brooklyn, and the next she finds herself separated and in couples' therapy, living in a luxury apartment in the city with a old friend and his kid. It's understood that the fancy apartment and bonus family are temporary, but the situation brings unexpected comfort and much-needed healing for wounds even older than her strained marriage. Crafting the story as the very events chronicled are unfolding, Crane writes from a place of guarded hope and possibility, hyper aware that the conclusion she draws in the immediate aftermath might differ from what a future analysis might yield. As the story revises itself, Crane remains open to the process, giving conscious space to a permeating sense of change and chronicling a semblance of the real-time practice of healing. She interrogates new and old wounds and how some of our earliest memories inform the stories we present to the world, and how even the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are bound to morph and change"-





ELIZABETH CRANE is the author of six works of fiction, most recently the novel The History of Great Things and the story collection Turf. She is a recipient of the Chicago Public Library Foundation 21st Century Award. Her work has been featured on NPR's Selected Shorts and adapted for the stage by Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre. Her novel, We Only Know So Much, has been adapted for film. She teaches in the low-residency master's program at UC Riverside-Palm Desert. She lives in Upstate New York.





*Starred Review* In this gorgeous, impressionistic memoir, fiction writer Crane (Turf, 2017) turns to nonfiction to investigate her marriage and its dissolution. In short poetic threads, she narrates the story of husband and wife by shifting between voices; a distant-yet-knowing third person gives way to a second person perspective of self-accusation and a first-person litany of regret, speculation, and introspective wrangling. Crane grapples with the limits of perspective, admitting that her book "will be a one-sided story," warning us not to lapse into any assumptions about narrative ("I don't want this to be a story about losing one dude and then meeting a new dude and everything is better"), and revealing, in a small but startling twist, that an unkind comment her husband made years ago-one that she dwelled on obsessively-was a fabrication of her memory. When Crane leaves her upstate home to live in New York City with an old friend and his daughter, the reader wonders if this might be the new dude she promised to avoid, but instead she gives us an alternative version of family based on loving friendship. Crane resists cliché and refuses easy resolution, offering instead a fractured yet richly drawn portrait of a painful year and its surprising gifts. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.





An unexpected announcement by her husband of 15 years-"I am not happy"-leads a wife, brokenhearted and bewildered, to her writing desk. Divorce memoirs come in two main flavors: the doers and the done-to. This is definitely a done-to, with torrents of internal monologue revisiting and rehashing conversations and events, and the author renders it all compellingly and insightfully. Readers who have enjoyed Crane's path through autobiographical fiction are sure to love this refreshing memoir. Instead of first person, the author casts herself as "the wife," "she," and occasionally "you," a technique that creates an interesting doubleness: There is a narrator, and there is a main character, providing extra room for sympathy, evaluation, and analysis. (One tiny, darkly hilarious chapter, titled "Tinder Profile," does use first person: "I was married for fifteen years. We separated a year ago. I cry all the time still, I can't think about much of anything else. I hope you find that sexy. I don't go to the gym. Fuck the gym....Do not ask me to bike ride in the city, I didn't do it for my husband and I won't do it for you. I eat whatever food I like, but I don't cook and I don't drink. I have no time for your angsty middle-aged bullshit. Grow up. I'm really much nicer than this." Crane also forgoes names, using "the husband," "her bud," "his kid," etc. After escaping the small upstate New York town where her carpenter spouse fell in love with his client, the author returned to her hometown of New York City, where wealthy friends loaned her a loft in the East Village. This move marked a turning point in her mental state, which she chronicles with candor and grace. Despite the tumult in her life, it's clear that people really love Crane and want to help-and readers will see why. Reading about another person's pain should not be this enjoyable, but Crane's writing, full of wit and charm, makes it so. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.





An unexpected announcement by her husband of 15 years-"I am not happy"-leads a wife, brokenhearted and bewildered, to her writing desk. Divorce memoirs come in two main flavors: the doers and the done-to. This is definitely a done-to, with torrents of internal monologue revisiting and rehashing conversations and events, and the author renders it all compellingly and insightfully. Readers who have enjoyed Crane's path through autobiographical fiction are sure to love this refreshing memoir. Instead of first person, the author casts herself as "the wife," "she," and occasionally "you," a technique that creates an interesting doubleness: There is a narrator, and there is a main character, providing extra room for sympathy, evaluation, and analysis. (One tiny, darkly hilarious chapter, titled "Tinder Profile," does use first person: "I was married for fifteen years. We separated a year ago. I cry all the time still, I can't think about much of anything else. I hope you find that sexy. I don't go to the gym. Fuck the gym....Do not ask me to bike ride in the city, I didn't do it for my husband and I won't do it for you. I eat whatever food I like, but I don't cook and I don't drink. I have no time for your angsty middle-aged bullshit. Grow up. I'm really much nicer than this." Crane also forgoes names, using "the husband," "her bud," "his kid," etc. After escaping the small upstate New York town where her carpenter spouse fell in love with his client, the author returned to her hometown of New York City, where wealthy friends loaned her a loft in the East Village. This move marked a turning point in her mental state, which she chronicles with candor and grace. Despite the tumult in her life, it's clear that people really love Crane and want to help-and readers will see why. Reading about another person's pain should not be this enjoyable, but Crane's writing, full of wit and charm, makes it so. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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