cover image Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life

Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life

Delia Ephron. Little, Brown, $29 (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-26765-6

Playwright and novelist Ephron (Siracusa) balances profound sorrow with unconditional love in this radiant account of the “many left turns, some perilous, some wondrous” that her life took following her husband’s death. After a year of grieving the loss of her husband, Jerry—who died of cancer in their West Village apartment in 2015—Ephron reconnected with a long-lost acquaintance, a Jungian analyst named Peter, and was swept up in a whirlwind romance. But their honeymoon phase was unceremoniously ended when she was diagnosed with leukemia, the same cancer that her sister, filmmaker Nora Ephron, died of in 2012 (“‘You are not your sister’,” became a common refrain from the doctor, Ephron writes, “willing me to believe that I can have a different outcome”). Like a scene out of one of Nora’s movies, Ephron (“officially a cancer patient”) and Peter had an intimate hospital wedding. While moments of tenderness like these lend hope to her narrative, Ephron holds nothing back when recounting her harrowing episodes (even sharing a doctor’s note that recorded her “saying she wanted to die”), a rocky road that, after a brief remission, included traumatic stays in the ICU, toxic metabolic syndrome, and an excruciating bone marrow transplant that saved her life. Readers will be swept away by this triumphant story. (Apr.)