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Two Minus One: A Memoir

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First published November 6, 2018

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About the author

Kathryn Taylor

1 book134 followers
Kathryn Taylor is the author of Two Minus One: A Memoir (November 2018 from She Writes Press) which received a starred Kirkus Review and was subsequently named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2018. It was an Amazon Best Seller and was selected as one of the September 2019 selections of the Pulpwood Queen’s Book Club. Taylor has participated on author panels at the Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Convention, and the Pat Conroy Literary Center. She is an avid reader, enthusiastic traveler, and incurable beach lover. Taylor resides outside of Charleston, SC with her rescue dog, Lucy, where she enjoys all three of her favorite past times.


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5 stars
49 (28%)
4 stars
37 (21%)
3 stars
41 (24%)
2 stars
28 (16%)
1 star
15 (8%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 61 reviews
Profile Image for Nancy.
1,409 reviews316 followers
September 19, 2019
Two Minus One by Kathryn Taylor tells the story of the unexpected unraveling of her second marriage. Just over 150 pages, it is a quick and easy read. The tone felt even and subjective as Taylor describes her long friendship with the married man who unexpectedly announced his love, leading to courtship and marriage. He professed his devotion...until he came home one day and told her it was over. Having given up her job, home, and friends to support her husband's career, Taylor had to deal with grief and recovery at age 60. The memoir will be an inspiration to women who are grieving over a failed relationship. I read a Kindle version of this book.
Profile Image for Ashley.
484 reviews216 followers
November 19, 2018
Reviewed on: 5171 Miles Book Blog.

Thank you to BookSparks for allowing me to be a part of the Magic of Memoir Blog Tour this fall! Be sure to check out the BookSparks site to view the rest of the line-up!

Never in a million years would I have guessed I’d an enjoy a memoir centered around divorce, but from the moment I picked up this book, I was completely absorbed in the author’s story. The writing in this book feels as if you have sat down for a deep conversation over lunch with a close friend. Two Minus One is deeply personal and told with unflinching honesty. There is absolutely no sugar-coating in this book, the author shares her personal triumphs and lowest lows with readers to help those possibly in similar situations, to gain perspective.

I think every married person thinks about what divorce would entail, simply because it is so prevalent in the world. It’s terrible to imagine, and in many cases, it seems worse than facing the death of a loved one. In itself, it is a death of sharing a life with the one supposed to your other half. When the relationship crumbles, the loss must be one of the worst things a person can live through. Knowing my own thoughts on the subject as a married woman for the past decade of my life and witnessing the life changes martial separation forced personal friends into, I still had no proper understanding of the devastation divorce causes.

Based upon my general lack of interest in the subject of divorce and the large age difference between myself and the author, I was surprised to find each time I picked up the book, I was completely engrossed in the story. In a small way, Kathryn’s journey read like Fiction because I was anxiously awaiting what would happen next. I felt almost as baffled and blindsided by her husband’s request to separate as she did, I was shocked by his accusations, and was eager to find out his reasoning.

Ultimately, I found this memoir to be a stunning display of humanity, featuring both the beautiful and the ugly. I was impressed by the author’s resolve to push forward, even when getting up each day felt like more than she could bear. True strength lies in simply surviving the absolute worst when we feel our weakest and most broken, and I think the author exhibited her strength in the most profound way. I appreciated reading the wisdom age and experience provided the author, along with being able to learn by walking in her shoes. I’m grateful I read this book, though I have no experience in such a monumental situation, I now feel as if I have a better grasp of the heartbreak a broken marriage entails. If you’re a fan of memoirs, I recommend Two Minus One. I think many readers will be surprised by the life lessons they take away from this short book, simply by witnessing Kathryn Taylor’s fortitude.
Profile Image for Nan Williams.
1,421 reviews70 followers
April 23, 2021
It would seem that this book was written at the direction of a therapist to review her life and marriage through rose colored glasses and then to attempt to justify her reaction to her husband’s wanting a divorce. I understand that that can be very helpful to those undergoing therapy for various problems. I can not understand wanting to air one’s dirty linen in public. And of course, she didn’t think she did. She was careful to present herself as the perfect woman, the perfect wife, the perfect friend. One does not have to be trained in psychology to see through her presentation of herself – it was all too obvious to me, and doubtless to others.

There was nothing, at all, enjoyable or redeemable about this book. Helpful to others going through the same thing? Really? I would suggest that anyone experiencing any of life’s traumas should be a bit more realistic and be willing to take responsibility for one’s own failings.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sherri Thacker.
1,209 reviews233 followers
September 17, 2018
While reading Two Minus One only one word comes to mind - MEN CAN BE JERKS! And I say that with an attitude!!! This was a fast read and I read it in just a couple of hours. This book is about a woman who’s husband decides out of the blue he doesn’t want to be married anymore and it’s her raw words of how she dealt with it all and started over. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Dawnny.
Author 1 book21 followers
August 5, 2018
Divorce is never easy and divorce later in life (grey divorce) is even worse. This is the true account of Kathryn Taylor. How she fell in love and never saw the ending of her marriage coming. Blindsided by an opportunist that was suppose to love her. This book is very helpful for someone going through a divorce. It lets you know someone else has been through it and what they did to manage. That it is okay to go to therapy and seek council in your best interest. You can learn a great deal from this book. An emotional journey.

Novels N Latte
Book Blog
Profile Image for Literary Redhead.
1,587 reviews484 followers
July 17, 2019
TWO MINUS ONE: A MEMOIR by Kathryn Taylor is a heartbreakingly honest recounting of a heartless dumping by a gutless husband and the slow road back to recovery. The author is unsparing in her emotions, which makes this such a supportive book for anyone going through an unexpected, unwanted divorce. TWO MINUS ONE is another engaging example of the fine works written in the female voice published by She Writes Press. Highly recommended!

Pub Date 06 Nov 2018

Thanks to She Writes Press and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are fully mine.

#TwoMinusOne #NetGalley
Profile Image for Vanessa.
300 reviews3 followers
September 4, 2018
What a surprising book this was. I was thoroughly engrossed in Kathryn's story and how she was just so honest and frank.
Kathryn and her husband started their relationship as neighbours, then friends and then lovers and marriage. After blending their families together and moving for husbands job, Kathryn thought things were going well. She had no knowledge how things would turn.
On a weekend away to visit Husband's dying brother, in the car he say's " I'm done with the marriage and don’t want to talk about it,”.
What a shock she had.
Kathryn relied on her closet friend in her time of grief and after many tries found a therapist.
Time heals all wonds - not so. But with the devastation of her husband leaving in such a shocking way, it took her time to sort through her feelings and move on.
She has put her life out in ways that many wouldn't and it actually gave me hope that if this were to happen to myself or anyone I know, then I could draw from Kathryn's book and her strength that she possessed to get her through this period in her life.
A must read, for anyone. Whether your in a relationship- solid or not.
Profile Image for Ellen Notbohm.
Author 26 books68 followers
January 10, 2019
This is a brave, brave book. A woman of that “certain age”, who is not discontented with her single life, takes a well-considered second chance on love and marriage, leaving a 30-year career, house, hometown, friends and family, to relocate with her new husband for his job. In a heart-stoppingly short period of time, he leaves in a profanity-laced cloud of nonnegotiable accusations. There she is—no income, no support network, no discernible future. What would you do? In Taylor’s case, you dive, you survive and then you thrive. This could easily have been a revenge memoir but it’s not. It’s plainly told tale of despair, introspection, resilience, tenacity, and a well-fought struggle for self-determination. The story reaches for and touches some of our basest fears—at one point I had to put it down for a day or two—of being blindsided, of abandonment, of loneliness, of all things unknown and scary. But from there, the rise to healing, strength of self, and undreamed-of achievement is thrilling and believable, and its message can cross over to many of life’s challenges beyond divorce. Taylor has provided that worthy message for all, but most importantly, she extends a great beacon and balm for women of “gray divorce,” from someone who never thought she’d be there, might have thought she’d recover, but did, in spectacular fashion.
Profile Image for Lisa.
602 reviews44 followers
November 7, 2018
Two Minus One is a memoir by Kathryn Taylor, released today! Thank you to @booksparks for sending me a copy as part of the Magic of Memoir tour.
Kathryn tells the tale of what her life was like when her husband decides one day that he does not want to be married any more. She had recently moved away from family and retired from her 30 year profession in order to support his career, so she finds herself alone and too old to start again. Two Minus One follows her divorce and attempts to rebuild her life.
I found this one hard to connect to. I felt like it was written more in a journal type reporting style than anything resembling conversational so I never really connected to the author as much as I’d have liked to. Her story is sad and her strength admirable, I just wish I was able to connect with her a little and really feel what she was going through. Her relationship was skimmed over with just day to day details so I never got the feeling that they even cared about each other. I hope this story helps others in the same situation though.
Profile Image for Susan Peterson.
1,522 reviews249 followers
October 21, 2018
Two Minus One is an intimate account of the shocking and unexpected disintegration of a marriage. This memoir is the personal account of one woman’s emotional journey as she tries to pick up the pieces of her life and move forward through grief and loneliness. The author did a wonderful job of sharing this sad time in her life with honesty and integrity. This would be a great book for anyone who is going through a divorce or any painful time.
Profile Image for Kayo.
2,350 reviews26 followers
August 17, 2018
Interesting book about being blindsided in your marriage, and the subsequent divorce. What a mess author had to deal with. Dealing with divorce is never a picnic, having gone through it myself. Very informative.

Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
Profile Image for Jill Anderson.
Author 4 books322 followers
September 21, 2018
I read an ARC copy of this a while ago and realize I never posted my review!
I haven't read much non-fiction lately but this is one that hit home with me, and will likely do the same with most women who have gone through a divorce, especially later in life.
The author gives us a glimpse into her very painful (and unexpected) separation from her second husband who had given no indication ahead of time that he wanted a divorce. Blindsided, the author takes us deep into her journey of emotions - everything from wondering if she can go on (and trying to find the right therapist - and one that her insurance will take!) to adopting her dog, Lucy, to decisions to move, cut ties, rebuild her life, and reach out to help others (as she quotes ~ "If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.")
If you've been through something like this, you may find yourself nodding your head a lot throughout this quick read!
August 29, 2018
I am not a big book reader. This was a complimentary ARC copy and I know the author personally, so was very interested to read this memoir. I would have never guessed by knowing the author that she went thru such trials in her life. She is truly an inspiration. the book was hard to put down; couldn't wait to see her next conquest! The book will give you a new outlook on life and you will realize that "the grass is not always greener on the other side".

Profile Image for Donna Everhart.
Author 5 books1,336 followers
November 12, 2018
Kathryn Taylor's Two Minus One, A Memoir, is an unflinching, thoughtful and self-reflective account of Taylor's unexpected divorce from a second marriage. She reflects with honesty what it's like to experience the full commitment, comfort and security that comes only with a steady, solid marriage on one day, and the very next is confronted by sudden indifference, betrayal and abrupt defection. Confused, and heartbroken, she had to find her own way back to living life under her own terms.

If I were going through divorce, this is the book I'd want to read. Excellent for providing insight and resources to those who may be facing a similar transition back to single life.
50 reviews1 follower
September 21, 2018
A true story about being blindsided by marriage and promises. Great memoir, will draw you in and wont let go. Very sad and uplifting at the same time.
Thank you NetGalley for the free advance copy!
Profile Image for Michelle Massi.
73 reviews
July 11, 2022
This is probably a great book for someone who is in the thick of divorce and loss. It just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t connect. I’m sorry for what the author went through.
Profile Image for Denise.
280 reviews24 followers
November 6, 2018

When a woman is blindsided by the one person she admires, trusts and loves so deeply......you have, Two Minus One by Kathryn Taylor.

A personal testament of Divorce, a journey of healing and growing. A story of self-confidence and most of all, self-importance.

Kathryn has written a touching, emotional memoir of a time when her life came crashing down and her struggle to climb back to being whole, once again.

Divorce is not an easy road and it's different for everyone, a very personal time in one's life, but Kathryn had managed too weave her experience and insight into something, I believe, all women can and will relate to.

You will find hope and balance, support and appreciation in knowing that you are not alone by the words Kathryn has so lovingly shared with us all.....and, that there truly is such a thing as healing.

Thank you Kathryn Taylor for personally gifting your memoir to me, in order that I may relate to, grow from, share and review for those in need of this story within "their" lives.

Novels N Latte Book Blog
Novels & Latte Book Club

Profile Image for Kristine.
44 reviews
September 16, 2018
I found this memoir about being blindsided in a marriage and then subsequent divorce informative. It was an intriguing and fascinating read.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a digital ARC for me to read and review.
Profile Image for Janet Graham.
2,079 reviews3 followers
September 11, 2018
Thriving Solo After Divorce
Through the concise telling of her story, those of us who belong to the Sisterhood of Abandoned Wives can begin to heal ourselves. 'Gray Divorce' of older women presents many different issues than those faced by younger women. By realizing our needs we can help ourselves out of the hell hole of pain, loneliness and guilt. The author takes us along on her journey and we learn as she learns, what to take and what to leave behind. This is an emotional book for any divorced woman to read, but it can be cathartic to healing. I received this book for free and this is my honest review.
Profile Image for Bonnie Eldridge-labaff.
197 reviews12 followers
November 25, 2018
Book review

Good book. We never know when we are devastated by a choice or act of something we have no control over will but us on the edge of despair. Sometimes being so close to the edge makes us reevaluate our existence and where we should be going
1 review
September 3, 2018
Readers will benefit from traveling with the author on her unexpected journey. The raw emotion and authentic experiences reveal the author’s fortitude and survival instincts. Readers learn how to endure and recover. The hope and insights provided will be valuable to readers that are dealing with divorce or any other life altering situation.
Profile Image for Lovely Loveday.
2,001 reviews
July 25, 2018
Two Minus One is an emotional heartfelt read that is sure to pull at your heartstrings. There are times in your life when life throws you a curve ball and you have to decide on how you will react. Taylor has beautifully written a novel that comes from the heart as she shares her own personal story of love and heartache. A story that shows how she chose the path of light and not darkness by choosing to overcome grief and suffering. While you never forget, you can find ways to accept the things you cannot control. This remarkable read is perfect for anyone who has experienced loss, suffering, or heartache. 
Profile Image for Ameera.
65 reviews3 followers
November 24, 2018
The writing style was a bit off for me. But the book might be helpful to those who find themselves in a similar situation.
Profile Image for Story Circle Book Reviews.
636 reviews61 followers
November 9, 2018
Kathryn Taylor, already divorced once at 40, "never saw it coming" when a married man named Jim befriended her and her two teenaged daughters, helping with typically manly tasks such as erecting a fence, building shelves in her new home, and even volunteering to read to the students in the public school where she taught.

She didn't see that Jim was really planning all along to leave his wife and children, and marry Kathryn. His plan succeeds, and after Jim's divorce and a few years of increasingly close friendship, he assures Kathryn that he's "in it for life" and they marry. Kathryn quits her job as a public school teacher to move to Charleston, North Carolina, for Jim's new job. They are happy—at least, Kathryn feels they are. They enjoy traveling, dining out, frequent daily phone calls, and evening cocktails and conversation. Jim is attentive and buys her thoughtful gifts. Kathryn frequently asks Jim, "Tell me the story of us," because she knows that "his love for me was do deep and selfless, and my need for confirmation and connection so strong. . . the happiness we had found together was the true story and real strength." And Jim tells the story again and again.

So Kathryn is understandably shocked to her core when, five years into their marriage, Jim tells her with no prior warning that their marriage is over, that she is "mean and despicable." Two Minus One is Taylor's sparely written memoir about the crushing loss of her second marriage, and about her determined emotional recovery.

From searching for a good therapist (one who would take her insurance) to leaning on the support of her loving daughters and closest friends, Taylor chronicles the hard road back to self-esteem and financial self-sufficiency. Having invested everything in her second marriage, including moving hundreds of miles away from home, and having left her job, Taylor knows the deck would be stacked against her attempt to reenter the teaching field at age 60, after five years of retirement.

As a somewhat skeptical reader, I wondered why, when Taylor wrote more than once that Jim offered only a "rare smile," and that communication was not his specialty, that she saw no warning signs at all of his impending abandonment. Similarly, I wondered why she was so financially constrained before receiving her settlement, given that she had worked as a public school teacher for thirty years—surely she would have had some retirement funds and had written that before her second marriage she felt financially secure.

Still, my heart went out to Taylor as she climbed out of her initial despondency to rebuild her life after divorce. She finds part-time work supervising student teachers at a local college, and through therapy and friendships, reclaims her sense of self and self-worth. She eventually understands that her husband's cruel words, while aimed at her, did not make them true. Taylor taps into her inner resiliency to find a new peace, to try new social situations, and to bask in the joy of her friendships and the love of her daughters.

I wish Taylor had been more specific in the final chapter of the book, where she writes about challenging herself with new social experiences and enjoying music each day but isn't specific about what these experiences are. Additionally, the last chapter sounds a little like a speech, repeating things she had already written about finding resiliency and choosing optimism. Still, this is an absorbing read that any woman finding herself adrift and alone in late mid-life will find both inspiring and strengthening.

by Judy Gruen
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
July 11, 2019
The author reviews her life in an attempt to understand why her second husband left her, seemingly out of nowhere and without warning.
He claims she's mean. She denies it but then gives examples of her meanness: She comments on a vein he has on his leg so he gets it checked out and the doc deems it nothing to worry about but she complains that she shouldn't have to look at its ugliness. She names her puppy "Lucifer", though she shortens it to "Lucy".
While I did sympathize a little that the author made major life changes (retirement, relocation) to benefit her husband and his career shortly prior to the marriage busting up, I mostly see her as overbearing and needy. She repeatedly mentions her need for support and laments when people (mostly new neighbors) fail to provide it or go out of their way to include her in things. She's sad that her former in-laws and step-children don't maintain communication or a relationship with her. It's all just so unreasonable, selfish, and pathetic.
In the beginning, he was completing her honey-do list while he was married to someone else. They even vacationed together with their kids but without his wife. I mean, WTF? Sounds like cheating to me and if he'll do it with you, he'll do it to you. In the end, it seems like she lost her husband in the same way she obtained him and I can't sympathize with that.
Profile Image for Jana Coleman.
12 reviews
November 21, 2019
This book was way more moving then I thought it would be, touched me more than I thought it would, and I enjoyed reading it so much more than I thought I would!!! I got to meet Kathryn at her book signing at the Destin, Fl Barnes and Noble where I work in the café. I didn't even know we had a signing going to the day, she came over to the café for a drink and a bite to eat, and I'm so glad so came over! I may have never found her book had she not. Her life story and mine may not be carbon copies, but I've been in my own situation where I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. It amazes me how much of our dealings were the same in many ways, but the situation were in no way the same. I also love the fact to she is writing memoir, and she isn't famous or in politics, she is a normal human being, living a "normal" - what is that anyway? - life! We need more books like this, we need more writes like this! Thank you Kathryn for writing this book, thank you for signing a copy for me with your motivating inscriptions, and thank you for you kind heart and coming into the Barnes and Noble Café!
Profile Image for Janilyn Kocher.
3,235 reviews58 followers
October 10, 2018
Two Minus One is a memoir about a woman who had to rebuild her life twice, at 40 and at 60. Her second husband blindsided her By announcing he was done with the marriage. The book focuses mostly on her recovery and her ability to establish a life based on her needs and wants and no one else's. She was fortunate to have supportive friends, family, and therapists. It's a good motivational read for anyone facing difficult challenges. The one aspect that puzzled me and the author never addressed was her own pension or lack of one. According to her she worked for over thirty years as a teacher, yet she claims she was without income without her husband's support. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance read.
Profile Image for Donna Cameron.
Author 1 book24 followers
January 8, 2019
I love reading memoir—for the opportunity to glimpse other people’s lives and at the same time ask how I would respond in similar circumstances. Kathryn Taylor’s memoir did not disappoint—it was a thought-provoking chronicle of how a woman faces betrayal, abandonment, and the shattering of both her dreams and her reality. It was gratifying to follow her journey of healing and discovery, and to watch her self-awareness blossom. It was inspiring to see her consciously avoid self-pity or bitterness. Two Minus One is a powerful reminder that heartbreak isn’t permanent, and that what grows from the ashes may be what we need most.
March 31, 2019
I met Kathryn by chance in Barnes and Noble while she was signing her book. I normally don’t approach tables set up for fear of being pulled into something I am not interested in. However, I felt drawn to the table by the inviting smile on her face. I am not currently going through a heartbreaking situation, but I think the emotions discussed can be related in so many situations in a woman’s life. I felt completely drawn in to her story and the genuine emotions displayed. I would recommend this book to women in general but especially to women going through a difficult time. Having met Kathryn it is clear to see that she is a pleasure to be around and deserves happiness.
571 reviews7 followers
September 23, 2020
Katherine is not a naive woman and has already been through a divorce. Jim is a helpful neighbor who courts and misleads her and over time convinces her to be his wife. She is happily married for 15 years charishing, trusting and sacrificing her needs for his. They take trips abroad, he buys her gifts and professes that she is a perfect wife. Out of the blue without an explaination, he blindsides her by saying he is done with this marriage. This memoir is detailed with the pain of abandonment, the loss of self and her learning to let go of the past and become the woman she is meant to be.
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