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A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen Waite is a look back at the illusion of a wonderful marriage, and its quick unraveling.
Book Review: A Beautiful, Terrible Thing
Waite bravely recounts the the beauty and destruction of her once-perfect marriage. Everything had been great- she recounts their easy courting, joyous meeting of the family, their happy marriage (twice), their international trips together, the excitement of opening a restaurant, the surprise of getting pregnant – it’s all so perfect.
Until one day it’s not.
Her adoring husband changes, almost overnight, and this book follows Waite in the months after as she tried to pick up the pieces. She discovers that her husband is suffering from a mental illness, and she finds herself with a newborn and needing to grieve the loss of a life that she’d thought she’d had and have.
The book is told in alternating chapters of ‘before’ and ‘after’, keeping the storyline engaging, and putting into harsh relief the dichotomy of her situation: how beautiful things were before, and how terrible they were after. It’s also a story of her facing this adversity, the love and support of their families, and her becoming a mother amidst the backdrop of an incredible loss.
Would I Recommend It?
Yes, if you like memoirs and/or books about relationships, family dynamics or mental illness.
Maybe not, if you’re not in a good spot relationship-wise at the moment. The book itself takes an emotional toll on the reader. While someone going through a tough breakup might find kinship and solace in her journey, and her rising above it, the book is One. Long. Breakup. So, if you’re not in a spot where you can emotionally take on someone else’s breakup, you may want to keep it on your TBR list until you’re ready.