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How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over

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3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  218 ratings  ·  45 reviews
“I feel like I’ve joined an enormous club, something like the Veterans of Foreign Wars. We are weary with battle fatigue and sometimes even gripped by nostalgia for the good old, bad old days, but our numbers are large,” writes Theo Pauline Nestor in this wry, fiercely honest chronicle of life after divorce.

Less than an hour after confronting her husband over his massive
...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Pierced Librarian
I so wanted to love this book. Theo Nester starts her memoir with a resounding bang! I was captivated and felt like I was being told a profound story from a dear friend about family, love, loss, survival, and , what I hoped to be, triumph

Instead, somewhere around the middle the entire story turned ridiculous. Wait? You have family and friends that jet you off to Mexico and Arizona? You don't have to work and complain constantly about money? Wait? What! You started an affair with a man when you w
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Leah
This is a rare book that I read virtually cover to cover in a single night, not because it was so riveting but mostly because it was a smooth read and I spent a long evening home alone. As a fan of Brain, Child, I was attracted to the book because of the author's role in the magazine. The quality of the writing was high, but the second time I picked it up to finish the last 30 pages, it occured to me that the book seemed like a writer's exercise. Can I make this assignment into a fully fledged b ...more
Annie
6/10
This memoir is an honest recount from a writer on how her marriage unraveled, the ensuing chaos and emotions of the split and the process of rebuilding her life. It’s accurate and heartbreaking, while simultaneously hopeful and inspiring. Theo Pauline Nestor discovers her husband has been deceptive about his financial management, using money from his real-estate sells to feed his gamble habit. Theo has two daughters who she cares for as well, forced into a single parenting role. The story d
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Jeannie
Since I am going through a divorce right now this memoir attracted my attention. I related to nearly all of her feelings and thoughts on the ending of her marriage. I learned a lot from this book, especially the stages you go through. I found it sad and encouraging at the same time. She has such an easy-going style of writing which made this a quick read. I believe anyone struggling with divorce will benefit from reading it.
Elaine Torrence
A memoir of one woman's divorce and some of her family of origin. While feeling for her certainly, I can't put aside class issues.
Addie Capaldi
I can't really make up my mind about this book. I think I liked it. The narrator has a frankness that makes her funny and likable but about 2/3 of the way through the book she started to irritate me a little bit (really just the parts about her relationship with her new boyfriend). I'm sure she hates being compared to Elizabeth Gilbert but I can't help it. This book is kind of like Eat, Pray, Love but without the beautiful backdrops of Italy, India and Bali and just the grim reality of her navig ...more
Leslie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cecelia Hightower
Written by Jill Fredston in 2001. Jill and her husband are avalanche experts and co-directors of the Alaska Mountain Safety Center. They live outside Anchorage. According to Jill, she and her husband are such two different types of people that they would never be expected to get together. To me the book is written in the format that made me feel like I was sitting with he author, her husband and some friends and she was sharing stories with us.

Jill and her husband would take the summer months of
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Rhonda
I guess I didn't read the cover, because I didn't realize this was a memoir...actually a friend had read it and shared it with me.

The author shares a frank look into her life of separation and then divorce, and how it affected her and her two girls. One afternoon when she puts a chicken into the over to roast, she is married, before it's done, her husband has moved out of the house, at her request. Just like that. She confronted him about his gambling, he fessed up, and that was the end of thei
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Rebecca
I read this after reading "Writing is my Drink" and I thought it was a completely different author. After a great, detailed, vivid, first chapter, the book slows down towards the middle to a point where I lose interest with the authors journey.
It is a good book if you are in the process of divorce and want to learn how other women have walked your walked and to learn a few facts about divorce. In this sense it is an important addition to the woman's version of divorce.
Christina
Some very thoughtful and truthful reflections. Some beautifully crafted sentences. Some humor and some tears. Exactly how you hope a dear friend would talk to you when you are the one learning to sleep alone in your king-sized bed.
Sharon
I am reading yet another divorce novel, and who doesn't like a good divorce novel like someone going through it too?
Theo is an incredible writer! I hope she has more books as her sentences are magic!
Santica
Theo Nestor's memoir of the failure of her marriage and her subsequent journey through the divorce "process." She details her new life as a single mother coping with the three process stages (shock/denial, adjustment and acceptance) with raw honesty and humor. Anyone who has experienced divorce will be able to identify with this book. In many ways I felt like I was reading the story of my own life and finished the book in two days. Although she describes the harsh realities of a split family can ...more
Joelle
While I am not going through a divorce myself, the title of this book intrigued me. Theo Pauline Nestor finds herself at a place in her life where she no longer knows the man she married. In the time that it takes to cook a chicken Theo went from married to asking her husband to leave. How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed is a story of starting over and finding a way to keep it all together for your self and for your kids. Heartfelt and honest How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed makes me hug ...more
Jessica
I adored this book, down to the rat.
Juliej
I didn't really pay attention when I grabbed this book that it was a memoir - thought it was more "chick lit' and I thought the cover was fun. I was ready for something light, which this was not really. While it is humorous, its the story of betrayal and divorce and trying to pick up the pieces with young children. I stuck with it, and am just glad that I'm with a mate who has never made me doubt his love and integrity to us and to how he lives his life.
Joellen
I read this to try to understand what someone very close to me has gone through. Parts of it made me laugh out loud (once known as lol, but I'm pretty sure that's no longer cool*)and other parts made me sad for the childhood the author had. So it tells not only the story of her marriage/divorce but also her family history. She also suggests books on divorce that really helped her. Great book.

*if it ever was.
Kari
Theo Nestor writes evocatively about her own divorce, as well as being a child of divorce. She has a gift for language, and I found her incredibly relatable. A lot of memoirs merely recite the events of one's life, but this book, like Cheryl Strayed's Wild, makes the experience universal, finding meaning and poetry in life's tragedies and disappointments. I can't wait to read her next book.
Antonina Zaytseva
This book was so-so in my opinion. I would have probably been content with skipping it. I found the author a bit annoying, personally. At times I enjoyed her story but at other times she came off as needy and I felt as if though she had a strong sense of entitlement which made it hard to like her. Didn't really learn much from this book.
Lisbeth Coiman
In a serene voice the narrator tells us why her marriage came to an end; how she survived that first year of her divorce, and how she was determined not to let love die. This is a tale of a modern, self-sufficient woman who proves one more time that ending a marriage can be the best decision you make.
Heidi
A memoir from a woman going through a surprising divorce with two small girls. Could certainly sympathize with her. I think this book would be particularly interesting to someone in similar circumstances.

When David saw the title, he had some funny comments...like I was making plans. I'm not.
Holly
An interesting book, but came at a weird time for me. The author recounts the days and weeks after she kicks her husband out. Once the dust has settled a little bit, she looks around her house and realizes it is in disarray. I look around my house and decided today I better clean.
Kristi
I have never relished self reflective, poor me kinds of stories. I didn't love Eat Pray Love as the rest of the world did and I did not love this story either. Quick read, main character his an interesting childhood, but I was neither moved nor intrigued by her story.
Jennifer
Theo's contributed to Brain, Child since the very first issue, and to be honest, I'd read anything she wrote, including the alphabet--that's how much I love her writing. This book is a total gem, sparkling (yeah, I'll go there) with insight, wit, and compassion.
Englandjennifer
Hilarious, I caught myself nodding my head most of the time. Towards the end it jumped ahead and barely skimmed over the other side of divorce, I didn't quite like that part as much as the rest but still 5 star worthy
Courtney
I enjoyed the book, but the pacing threw me off on more than one occasion. It was a frank look at a life after a sudden unexpected divorce and it was interesting to see how the author coped under the circumstances.
Linda Moore Kurth
I love Ms Nestor's honesty about her feelings while facing divorce, taking care of her children, and her house. She made it easy to walk in her shoes. And I loved the account of her first post-divorce romance.
Eileen Petre
Love the way it's written and am fascinated by the similar aspects of divorce adjustment and the death of a spouse. There are so many women I know (regrettably) that should read this book.
Sue
Non-fiction - really good. Her husband gambles and she finds out and kicks him out. Live in Washington State. Has 2 young daughters - hooks up with an old love, Marcos.
John
I really enjoyed this book. Anyone who's been through a divorce will relate to Theo's tale of striking out on her own, wrangling kids, and making a life as an individual.
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Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008), which was selected by Kirkus Reviews as a 2008 Top Pick for Reading Groups and as a Target “Breakout Book.” An award-winning instructor, Nestor has taught the ...more
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