cover image The Long Accomplishment: A Memoir of Hope and Struggle in Matrimony

The Long Accomplishment: A Memoir of Hope and Struggle in Matrimony

Rick Moody. Holt, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-62779-844-0

Novelist Moody’s touching memoir painstakingly recounts a year in his life that overflowed with tragedies. Starting in October 2013, after Moody (The Ice Storm) married his second wife, Laurel, they endured several setbacks, the most difficult of which was Laurel’s inability to carry a child to term. In heart-wrenching detail, Moody describes the miscarriages (“Neither one of the fetuses has a heartbeat,” one doctor informs them at an ultrasound appointment). Throughout, Moody weaves in other tales of hardship that sometimes slow the narrative, such as the deaths of several friends, and a toxic smell that forces Moody and Laurel to leave their Brooklyn apartment. Meanwhile, Laurel, an artist, faces her mother’s rapidly declining health, and Moody copes with his stepfather’s senility. “Total up some of the hardships,” Moody writes, “and ask yourself how we could possibly continue. We were two people who had been married less than a year... but we felt more like a traumatized couple, battered, and worn, and bruised.” Just as they felt that things couldn’t get worse, Moody and Laurel come home to find their house broken into and robbed; the resulting insurance payout, however, affords them the chance to try one last IVF cycle. Despite the digressions, this is a revealing, intimate memoir—and a moving love letter from Moody to his wife. [em](Aug.) [/em]