Title: This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness
Author: Laura Munson
Release Date: April 1, 2010
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Laura Munson’s personal crisis begins the moment her husband tells her that he’s not sure he loves her anymore, then leaves without any further explanation. Munson takes us through her thoughts, raw and emotional, written during the months of the disaster, created by her husband. This is an unflinchingly honest look at marriage, midlife crisis, and the sources of our happiness.
Laura Munson wrote an essay that appeared in the New York Times last August. Called ‘Modern Love’, it was a precursor to this memoir, a shorter version of the events that take place in This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness. However, I hadn’t read the article when I first picked up this book, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I’d read some criticisms of This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness saying that it’s a bit indulgent on the author’s part. To that, I say: well, of course it is! As Munson makes clear from the beginning, the book was originally written as an effort to vent her feelings and just get through each day when her husband was going through his midlife crisis. Sure, it’s been edited and cleaned up, but really it’s a memoir of emotional struggle and trying to cope when the bottom falls out in your marriage. The question is whether it is a book other readers can get something out of, and I firmly believe that it is.
Munson is outwardly stoic and self-assured during her husband’s tantrums (her word, not mine), though on the inside, she is angrier than she thought possible. She demonstrates an incredible amount of patience – I don’t know if I would be able to do the same. Her husband doesn’t come across very positively in this book, so I admire her for being willing to publish something so personal.
The main message of This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness is about taking responsibility for your happiness. If you want to be happy, then make it such that it’s in your control. Happiness shouldn’t be dependent on others, it should come from yourself. This is something I firmly believe and I appreciated Munson’s discussion of the subject.
This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness is a great book for any married woman. Munson embodies patience and love, and it’s really inspiring to see how she deals with a nightmare situation in a marriage. Though this book definitely isn’t for everyone, I think if you find the article interesting, the book will be a rewarding experience.