Both Sides Now: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Bold Living

Nancy Sharp. B&B (booksandbooks.com), $16.96 trade paper (316p) ISBN 978-0-9839378-6-9
Lifestyle blogger Sharp begins her memoir by describing a time when she had what appears to be a fairytale existence: the caring husband, who held a prestigious job as VP at Business week, the Upper West Side apartment, the loving family, friends, and career paths that come with a certain kind of upwardly-mobile NYC lifestyle. Sharp elaborates on her beautifully blessed life with her husband Brett beginning with the couple's idyllic June 1993 wedding at the Woodbridge Country Club, where her 84 year-old grandma Casey, "proud as a Grande Dame," holds court and hosts the affair. Then, in 1998, just as the couple is settling into this perfect life, Brett is diagnosed with brain cancer. He dies on February 21, 2004, three years after the birth of twins conceived on a third try at in-vitro fertilization. These are the harrowing facts of Sharp's tale. The reader is given timelines and memories that highlight the process of love, loss and grief through vignettes both raw and somber, but they lose potency by jumping back and forth in time. And by speaking to her husband in third person "You were so sick and so tired that you almost welcomed the diagnosis," Sharp makes this a singular love letter to her lost life and love and while her story is heart-wrenching, she provides little room for us to be part of the process. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 03/10/2014
Release date: 01/01/2014
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