One woman's unlikely fairy tale of re-making love
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mary L. Tabor, author of (Re)Making Love: A Memoir has a soft spot for romantic comedies. From the Grimm Brothers' whimsical tale of a frog-turned-prince to Julia Roberts' commitment-phobic role in Runaway Bride, she weeps and rejoices right along with the characters. It seems fitting, then, that the tumultuous trial separation of she and her husband-of-21-years should end happily, too.
Tabor was 60 years old when her partner, affectionately referred to as D. online and in (Re)Making Love—all other men are nicknamed with lower case letters—announced he needed to live alone. Heartbroken and taken aback, she agreed to her family members' suggestions that she blog about her loss. Apprehensively entering the world of online dating, she catalogs her run-ins with various potential dates, all-the-while dreaming of reuniting with D.
"I was no virginal princess," Tabor writes. "But I did want to fall asleep and be awakened by my prince."
To receive a review copy of (Re)Making Love, contact:
Anthony Policastro, CEO, Outer Banks Publishing Group
Mary L Tabor: firstname.lastname@example.org |
Reviews (a sample of the 43 reviews)
(Re)Making Love - A love story for any age, August 15, 2010By K. Mayfield (London, England)
Mary Tabor's (Re)Making Love is one of the best memoirs I've read in quite a long while - and I've read more than a few. I found myself fiercely cheerleading her on as she fought her way through an unwanted separation from her husband of 21 years. Her writing is smart, funny, lyrical and at times, heartbreaking.
How many times have you read a blurb that used the words "unflinchingly honest" when describing a memoir? I always say to myself, well of course, shouldn't it be? But often they are not. (Re)Making Love is that - and more. Mary puts beauty into ugly honesty, laughter into sad honesty and hope into painful honesty.
There is even a surprise ending!
I highly recommend this book.
Another Beautiful Book from Mary Tabor, August 10, 2010
Here is a book that stretches the promise of the lyric essay to book length, and the result, for the reader, is at least sixty-seven varieties of pleasure. (Re)Making Love is intelligent, occasionally heartbreaking, and ultimately inspiring. And, I almost forgot: Sexy. I want to be like Mary Tabor when I grow up.
Wonderful Story, August 10, 2010
Mary Tabor, starts her excellent book with a reference to the movie Charade, and ends with an equally effective metaphor from the same movie. There is nothing about Mary's insightful memoir that is a charade, of course, and that is just part of what makes (Re)Making Love a book that is deserving of the reader's attention. Mary Tabor has written a memoir that removes the veil from who we are as people, and who we are as people in relationships. There is no charade in the search for who one truly is, the writer knows this; a remarkable achievement in an age when the existential search for the soul has been mitigated to cliché adventures in a dark and stormy night. There is nothing cliché about what Mary Tabor has written and there is nothing cliché about the desire to understand the connection, the longing of romance and desire, that one person has with another person. Her story is wholly unique beautiful and imaginative. Not only has Mary remade love in her novel, she has remade the medium in which an author can communicate with her audience. (Re)Making Love: started as a blog and has been made, or remade, into a wonderful book that all should read. The work itself is a remaking of how we conceive of the memoir and how we remove the charade from our self.
A Story of True Love, January 16, 2011By Wart
Mary has shared with us in her book, "(Re)Making Love: A Sex After Sixty Story" that with hope love and forgiveness that everything is possible. I found her story uplifting as I go through my personal journey in life. It made me realize that those people who truly love you will forgive you, stand by you and support you always. Most of all there is always hope. Mary shows us that by living life and facing its challenges we grow and become better even from our personal failures. A true love story you must read with a real life happy ever after ending.
The Best Is Yet to Come, August 27, 2010By D. A. Hickman (Indianapolis)
Mary L. Tabor is charting new territory with her lovely memoir RL:SASS. Her story proves that beginnings occur in our lives at any age, that change comes when least expected and somehow we must endure and thrive. Her story is our story: indeed, a universal story of transition, finding peace, and discovering life anew. This is a book to read slowly, appreciating the subtle and the not-so-subtle. If you are looking for a kindred spirit, look no further. Women the world over will enjoy this book, regardless of age, location, personal circumstances. I'm hoping to watch her guest appearance on Oprah. Are you listening, Oprah?
From T.S. Eliot to The Wizard of Oz, Mary Tabor’s Great Read, October 24, 2010By Seymour M. Nemirow
Nietzsche and T.S. Eliot created hope and beauty in the face of modern despair. Mary Tabor has woven their prose and poetry into her own finely textured reflections on the near despair of lost loved ones--one dearly loved human being after another, early in life. Not enough: The fates lash one more stone around her neck; the love of her life loves her but insists they live apart, which they do.
How can the reader, not to mention the author, go on with her life or this book? I put the book down. Can I handle such tragedy, sadness? Yet there was something quite engaging between the lines, pulling me in. As the days and weeks passed, I found her story increasingly engaging, eloquent, witty. Written with high intellect. And using, film buff that she is, a kind of indirect lighting illuminating her life--romcom films, fairly tales, dreams, N.Y. Times headlines.
Tabor began a blog interacting with readers a few years ago. She highly respects her readers. It showed in her blog and now in the book, enhanced by lovely graphics, photos, tighter continuity and clearer context. Her emotional journey made me root for her one day, mock her the next, finally suspend judgment as she wove a tale postmodern yet romantic, Four Quartets and Hollywood, existential angst and quantum mechanics, why lovers cheat and why Christmas in Paris is a magic show. Above all we are detectives, partners with this Sam Spade (I'm showing my age) investigating who if anyone is guilty, and will be the next sentence, so to speak. The passion for her and us is in the search. Read it.
Former book reviewer, Hartford Courant, Los Angeles Times
Memoir as poetry, January 18, 2011By DCer (Washington, DC USA)
When I bought Mary Tabor's, (Re)Making Love: A Sex After Sixty Story, I had certain expectations about the book, and I was not disappointed. But I got more -- much more -- than I expected. I discovered that this memoir had a punch to it and transcended its own subject. It has subtle levels of complexity that I'm still discovering as I reread it.
There's no doubt that this is indeed the story of a woman in her sixties suddenly cut loose from her moorings, and her sometimes tragic, sometimes funny, road to finding love and herself again. The book is interspersed with literary references and some unlikely things (hint: has to do with cooking). It's also richly entertaining. Mary tells her story courageously and with breathtaking candor, and a surface reading of the book will be very enjoyable and rewarding.
But a deeper reading of the book -- beyond the plot -- will yield more, where you will discover themes and insights that Mary did not always consciously intend to reveal. This, though, is the stuff of great literature and writing, where the greatest insights are often gleaned and discerned by the reader who dares to plumb the psyche of the writer. It is through this that we internalize her experiences, recognizing and discovering ourselves, not just for how we have responded to life's crises, but how we might. There are cautionary tales here (e.g., Internet dating) that may just influence some readers on how not to react in a crisis.
Daisy Hickman, of the SunnyRoomStudio blog, interviewed Mary last October and characterized (Re)Making Love as a "living memoir." This is not as obvious as it seems. Mary began her book as a blog, writing about events as they unfurled and whirled. In the epilogue in her book, she writes that her daughter and son-in-law suggested that ". . . I write about my journey while I lived it. They said 'Blog,' while I wept, and I did." Thus, it is indeed a living memoir, full of uncensored, raw emotions and the stumbles and falls during her journey.
Yet, it's still more than that. Mary's exquisite writing skill infuses her memoir with poetic qualities. If you approach it this way, it will enhance your reading experience.
The book begins at the end-- the end of her marriage. In Chapter One, "I Need to Live Alone," -- the roundelay of her memoir -- Mary lays it out in stark simplicity: "I had been married twenty-one years when D. [her husband] announced, 'I need to live alone.' Oh so Greta Garbo. There was absolutely no noise." Announced; just like that.
From there Mary takes us on her journey, reaching back to her childhood, her losses of family, her gaining of family, her courtship with D. and the aftermath of the Announcement.
Thus, this is a book that I took in portions so that I could absorb more. In one particularly intimate and poignant chapter, "Deceptive Cadence," Mary skillfully weaves in Shubert's Opus 90, No. 3, in G Flat, which has much to do with "D." The three short pages of the chapter stopped me flat in my tracks. I had to read it again, but first downloaded the piece, and then played it while I read it. I was deeply moved-- more than I expected. I suggest the same for other readers; the results are palpable. I learned later that Mary wrote the chapter in cadence to the piece.
While Mary became unmoored, she did not become unhinged. She made mistakes and sometimes reckless decisions with the best of intentions: (Re)making love and getting off that awful island of Lost. She attributes her not completely losing it not to herself, but to her metaphoric passport. In the chapter, "The Last Place You Look," she writes:
"Here's how I think of my passport: On the front is a picture of my father. My picture lies under his and under my mother's. Remembering from where I've come has helped. My father's love, my childhood with them lay inside that passport to my destination."
And her children and their families helped too by keeping her under close watch, oftentimes helplessly as they learned of some of her missteps (essentially always with men), but their entreaties sometimes fell on deaf ears. Mary channeled the teenager within.
But while Mary is taken advantage of and sometimes mistreated in this book, she's no victim, nor ever invokes that role. She knows what she's doing and the risks she's taking. And she takes action when it's necessary. One particularly delicious instance is when a suitor, m.r.s., a widower "still married" as Mary soon learns, dumps her (in an email, of course) after a briefly promising start. He writes that he feels "badly" about doing this. A badly chosen word, "badly," to use with a professional writer. Her parting shot is searing. No spoilers here. Read it in the chapter, "I'm Cooked."
The book transcends itself because a deep reading of it reveals lessons and insights that affects all of us, regardless of age or gender. I bought copies for my two adult sons, as I wanted them to get their own unique experiences out of it.
As one of Mary's readers wrote of (Re)Making Love, "(Mary's) experiences and the way she brings them to us remind us why we bother to read in the first place . . ." At the end of a video interview posted on her website, Mary says so modestly of (Re)Making Love, "I hope it's worth your time." It is; it is. Her courageous -- and funny, insightful, thought-provoking, shocking and soothing --memoir is so well worth our time.
In closing, it's notable that Mary quotes Nietzsche often, and in Chapter 10, "Bliss," she informs us that Nietzsche uses the term "bliss" 26 times in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. (No, she had not found it then.) Nietzsche also used the term "joy" many times (from the German "lust," not in the common English usage, but rather as an active, participative joy). In Nietzsche's book is the famous poem "Zarathustra's Roundelay," where joy is used very hopefully:
O man, take care!
What does the deep midnight declare?
"I was asleep--
From a deep dream I woke and swear:
The world is deep,
Deeper than day had been aware.
Deep is its woe;
Joy--deeper yet than agony:
Woe implores: Go!
But all joy wants eternity--
Wants deep, wants deep eternity."
This joy Mary does find and continues to experience. You can experience it with her by not just reading, but absorbing this transformational book.
Oh, the paradox . . . January 27, 2011
By R. PlutaMary's well-written emotional story is a must-read for people who appreciate intelligence and all the good things in life.
The author takes us on a curve-filled tale accompanied with poetry, movies, art, music, food (with recipes), nostalgia and reminiscences both sweet and sour.
As with all masterful compositions, this one holds treasure greater than what the title alone suggests. Some people report reading the book at one sitting. However, this book is meant to be savored over time with the knowledge that all journeys have a beginning and an ending. When it's over, you'll want more.
Refreshingly Romantic, February 1, 2011By annaliz
Heartache and the brothers Grimm, loss and John Donne, the salving grace of the romantic comedy - Mary Tabor intelligently interweaves the fragments of a broken heart in her memoir, "(Re)Making Love." The effect is a distinctly affecting love story, where to read Mary is to wish your best friend had the author's wealth of allusions always at her disposal, or Mary's elegance with a phrase. Although her story of love lost and found has a well-tread tradition behind it, like a good romantic comedy, it's the experience of indulging in "Love" that proves an unparalleled joy for the reader looking to lose her (or him)self in one romantic's unapologetic search for the fulfillment that yes, you'll come to declare, she deserves. References to online dating and modern films may place the tale firmly in the 21st-century, but one of the work's more endearing qualities is its equally firm rejection of 21st-century irony (no Mary, don't ever become more `ironized'). Hipsters may moan over our inability to connect in a world where the threat of a disconnected laptop, BlackBerry or Smartphone spells disaster - Mary, no less "modern," is able to indulge without the whine, touching on clichés without ever becoming one herself. LOVE is one of the most difficult concepts, sentiments, burdens a writer can choose to tackle so directly, and consequently, the most unfailingly popular. Mary, in her fearlessness, has advanced the challenge to expert level - not only does she dare write about LOVE, but does so earnestly. Before or after 60, the earnest reader will respond to this recognition of kind, finding his or her own satisfaction, alongside the author, in "Love." I HIGHLY recommend it!
A Feast of a Book, May 11, 2011By KatyO “books books books” (Galway, Eire)
My review does not have the greatest title, but here's what I mean - Mary L. Tabor's '(Re)Making Love: A Memoir' is one of those books that you just have to read twice.
The first to be gobbled in one sitting, quickly, eagerly, willing the outcome to be a good one (and it is).
The second, to take time over, slowly and softly reveling in her marvelous writing. What a writer!
People often say that truth is stranger than fiction, and so it is in the case of this memoir.
The author's self shines through as she tells her tale without the slightest hint of self-pity, admirable indeed under such a set of circumstances.
What's more, she mixes and spices and weaves a story interlaced with fairy tales, movies, recipes and dreams. And the result is a truly inspirational book - moving, intimate, philosophical, elegant and honest.
I really loved reading this, and you will too.