Life falls around you . The roof leaks,you find our kids smoking pot, your marriage not just dissolves but it implodes most gruesomely around you and you find yourself rebuilding what you knew was not a perfect life but at least a life you could live with.
If you are lucky to have girlfriends who lend you books like Create the Marriage You'll Love then you'll find comfort and hope for a little while that you might be able to put things back together, " If he could only read this book he would see how we could make it all work out !" You slip the book to him in a box of his stuff that you found in your now spacious closet. Then have to mumble a," a please may I have the book back? I have to give it back to my friend." after you are served with divorce papers.
There are the forays into romance and bodice rippers as your body grows accustomed to a more spacious bed. Your favorite at this time is the Outlander Series because really who can resist a tall strong Scottish man in a kilt named Jamie. Your best friend offers some erotica from her bookshelf with a wink and a caveat," For when Sex in the City and a glass of wine just won't do it"
You think it must be kismet that Sharon Old's Stag's Leap is published and win the pulitzer the same year you are divorcing and rediscovering your poetic voice. Some days you grieve with her over the dissolution of her 30 year marriage. yet somehow her divorce seems so mature and reasonable while you swing from depression, anger and extreme highs of self-confidence in your ability to be an adult.
Soon though you know you are going to have to read THAT divorce book. And for one glorious week you fall asleep with visions of Gelato, meditation and beaches. Yes, you admit you read Eat Pray Love. For one week you could imagine yourself as Julia Roberts( you pretty woman) at the same time holding on to the words of your therapist's, " You will not believe how you feel in one year." Only Eat, Pray, Love is a fantasy. At least for you. Not that fantasy is bad. On occasion you admit to occasional trips to fantasy island. It is called buying a lottery ticket. For the 24 hours before the numbers are called you can fantasize about paying off your mortgage, buying a brand-new car, and replacing your front door. ( Ever the practical yankee). But there are few fortunate women who have the resources to take a year off from life to heal. You are too busy volunteering in your kid's schools, nurturing a new relationship with your crock pot and trying to accustom yourself to the reduced circumstances your checkbook( ever the book that is always being written) relays to you.
Which is why when you saw Bootstrapper by Mardi Jo Link at the bookstore you told yourself that once you got caught up on the phone bill, electric bill and gas bill you would treat yourself to a book. Bootstrapper is a divorce memoir about a woman with dreams of farming and how by TRUE GRIT she gets through that year of living dangerously. You can relate to the worry about how her kids are doing through the schism. You laugh along with her as she surrenders her wedding gown to an ex-con. You can empathize with the personal discomfort that comes from accessing services that are meant for other people, not you.You cry along with her heartbreak that comes when dreams are redefined. And when you turn the last page you know you will have to read the acknowledgments at the end of the book just so you can still hear her voice. This is the book that tells you that it will be alright. This is the book that tells you that you can keep the homestead (farm). Because Mardi did it and you can too!