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Love You Hard: A Memoir of Marriage, Brain Injury, and Reinventing Love
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Love You Hard: A Memoir of Marriage, Brain Injury, and Reinventing Love

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  544 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Abby Maslin shares an inspiring story of resilience and commitment in a deeply affecting new memoir. After her husband suffered a traumatic brain injury, the couple worked together as he recovered--and they learned to love again.

When Abby Maslin's husband, TC, didn't make it home on August 18, 2012, she knew something was terribly wrong. Her fears were confirmed when she
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Dutton Books
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Average rating 4.47  · 
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 ·  544 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A full review to come soon but for now, this: I finished Abby’s story with tears streaming down my face. It’s a story of transformation, of marriage, and of the human experience. Read this book.
Abby Maslin
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I am delighted to finally share my book, LOVE YOU HARD, which will be released on March 12, 2019, but is available for preorder now ( This is a story about waking up to your life and running toward heartbreak with everything you've got. It's also a story about true love: how we define it and how we choose to let it lead our lives.

I can’t wait to share this journey with you.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
I think this book is what people call "compulsively readable." I devoured this book. The first half had me stress reading...that thing that happens when you are so invested in the people you are reading about that you start taking on their stress and worries--in a good way ;).

The funny thing is I know these people and I know how events eventually played out, but Abby (I can't bring myself to call her Maslin in a non-joking way) still managed to keep me riveted, page turning and ignoring my
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I just read the last page of this book and my heart is broken wide open. In the best possible way.

I don’t know what I will remember most. The fish tacos, the bottle of contraband pills, TC’s Thanksgiving speech, or the passage where Abby described living amongst military veterans and how that made TC’s injury seem less conspicuous.

A beautiful diamond nestled in an empty and messy lobster claw is the PERFECT metaphor for this love story. That might have been my favorite part. No. Forget it. I
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Abby Maslin's marriage changed forever on the night that her husband was brutally attacked by teens. Her husband TC survived but would never be the same man that she had married. With intensive therapy TC has now recovered, and is still recovering. Written from Abby's pov, this memoir gives insight into what love and marriage vows really mean...Love You Hard. How DO you love someone who has changed through no fault of their own, into a person that you don't know if you recognize, let alone love. ...more
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
She's not a professional writer, but she sure can write. Her voice is immediate, vulnerable, and honest. She doesn't make herself a hero or a villain. She's just someone who made the choice to stay.

She's real, she's competent, and I respect the heck out of her journey.

Here are a few quotes that I think show just how well she can get her feels into readers' heads:
I've never known my husband's body like this. The mechanics of it. The excretions. The fluids. The first time I memorized TC, I did so
Christine (Queen of Books)
CW: suicidal ideation, traumatic brain injury, assault

Love You Hard reads like a blog. There's nothing inherently wrong with that - in fact, it makes for easy reading! - but it also meant that some things aren't given the explanation or detail they may require. (As always, I'm unsure if this comes down to the author not wanting to go there, the editor cutting those bits, a combination of the two, or neither of them thinking further detail needed.) In that sense, parts of this felt unsatisfying
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible memoir. This family’s resilience in the face of very challenging obstacles is remarkable. The author is open and honest about her challenges and perceived weaknesses. Any partner of a loved one battling illness will benefit from reading her honest accounting of their experience following traumatic brain injury. It wasn’t easy but what part of illness and caregiving is? This couple had many choices to make but in the end they chose to work together to make their lives and ...more
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Somehow when I first picked this up I did NOT read the subtitle closely enough and so I was shocked and rapt when Maslin started retelling the experience of reporting her husband missing and assuming he had too much fun drinking with his friends or he was having an affair, to find him hours later, barely holding onto life in a nearby hospital. I'm so glad that by the nature of her job she was able to quickly take a leave and all in her sister for backup to help her get through the ordeal as her ...more
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Must read!
Caroline Mea
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Abby Maslin has written a touching memoir that is equal parts real and hopeful. In 2012, Maslin's husband did not return one night after a baseball game in Washington, D.C. He had suffered a brutal attack that left him with a severe and debilitating traumatic brain injury. This one event changed their lives forever.

Maslin's memoirs details her navigation of her husband's recovery and the impact that it has on their relationship. What I loved most about this account was how honest and vulnerable
Danielle Mella
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was easily the best book I have read this year and perhaps one of the best I have ever read. I went back and forth between listening on audible and reading because I couldn't stop devouring it once I had started. Abby and TC's story is incredible and raw. Abby is somehow able to put her experience into words in a way that I don't think many writers can. This book made me think about my own life, how I live it, and in many ways I felt transformed just by reading it. Cannot recommend enough.
Tara - Running 'n' Reading
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, definitely worth rounding up!

Whoa, y’all, I went into this one blind, on the recommendation of a trusted reading friend, and it was so much more than I could have imagined. Author Abby Maslin narrates her own memoir about the events leading up to and following the traumatic brain injury her husband suffered as a result of a random attack one evening on his way home from a baseball game. As a healthcare professional, I was fascinated and intrigued by the medical side of this story; as
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Love is hard. It wasn’t meant to be easy. All this time, I believed TC and I were connected by the simplicity of the connection we shared. That glance nearly eight years ago at a bar that set everything else in motion. But it occurs to me now that a glance is not what is kept us bound. It’s the choice; it’s our faith in each other that inspires the effort to make it every day forward.”

Oh man. This was beautiful, incredibly touching, and brutally honest. Abby’s resilience is truly an
Katie Janowicz
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this memoir on accident while browsing and I feel certain it was meant to grace my life. Being married to someone with a TBI, who has suffered from seizures and Aphasia, among other challenges, I certainly felt a connection to this family’s experiences but what I can’t fathom is how they were able to come to terms with the act of violence that caused TC’s injury. I deeply admire the author’s truth and her courage to find herself. While on the tight rope of balancing all her other roles ...more
Lauren Archer
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you love memoirs don't pass this one over. Maslin put a lot of time and love into this book just like she does with her family and it absolutely shows throughout this memoir.

For my full review visit:
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book turned me inside out. I appreciate that Abby was brave enough to provide all the unsavory details of her family's journey in the hopes of helping others. I was heartened by her candor and inspired by the new definition of love they created together. This is a beautiful reflection on marriage, family, and tragedy.
Shelved because of this WaPo article:
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“To survive, we must simply live. To love, we must love hard.” This book has left me emotionally exhausted, but the messages of hope and love and perseverance will stay with me for some time. Abby Maslin shares an honest and raw account of her husband's attack, his recovery from brain injury, and the road the family takes toward reinventing a new normal. I was in constant awe of her strength and TC's desire to recover. A true love story developed from the worst of circumstances. An excellent ...more
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cried and laughed at this beautiful memoir of a family dealing with a brain injury and the aftermath.
Keeney Gabe
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!!! Seriously, the second I started reading I was glued to it. Reading on the go, in public, even at a rock concert! (Sorry, Animal Collective!) Abby hooked me with her blog back when TC's assault first happened. The way she writes, it's like she's speaking directly to you. Like you're the most intimate of friends. She bares her whole soul in her writing, sparing no detail of the attack and the aftermath. Not just on TC's health, but their marriage and her own ...more
Bethany Sullivan
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We have all been hit by life in excruciating, unjust, and unforeseen ways...and left with the question of "what do I do now?" In Love You Hard, Abby Maslin takes that primordial human experience and explores it through the intimate account of nearly losing her husband--and her marriage--to assault and brain injury. Through graceful language, raw emotion, and even self-deprecating humor, she relates how she and her husband faced extreme trauma and re-built their vision of themselves as ...more
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, read-in-2019
I’ve followed Abby since learning of her husband’s injury on the news when we were practically neighbors in DC in 2012. Her memoir of the incident and the aftermath is well-written, detailed, honest, and raw without being full of platitudes or glossing over her own darkest moments. She makes it easy to relate and feel hope alongside her as she navigates a life and marriage she didn’t plan for when she was barely 30 years old. She and TC are a reminder that there are extraordinary people out ...more
Linda Kotis
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As one who knows the family (Abby Maslin was my daughter’s 4th grade teacher) and was living on Capitol Hill when TC was attacked, I am struck afresh by the authenticity of Ms. Maslin’s prose. The story is gripping – the surreal nature of the hours following TC’s disappearance; the slow realization that TC is gravely injured and everything is not going to be okay; and the ultimate decision by Abby and TC to stand up to the unfair lot handed to them. Ms. Maslin spares us nothing. She shares her ...more
Christine Mott
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Abby and TC’s world is turned upside down when he is brutally attacked after attending a baseball game with his friends. Having a toddler at home they have to figure out how to rebuild their lives after the horrific crime. I could not put this book down. I love how brutally honest she is with her feelings! They wanted to deal with everything in private but the media’s attention in DC makes it impossible.

They go through hell and back and have to adjust their lives differently from what they
Aviad Eilam
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I learned more from Maslin’s experience and her telling of it than all the self-help books I’ve ever read, combined.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book, and I am in awe of this story. Abby's style of writing is easy to follow and even easier to find yourself immersed within. I was hooked on this story after just one chapter and I found it hard to put the book down. I am grateful that Abby shared her raw and honest story with the world and even more grateful that I had the honor of reading this book.
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I felt like a one hundred percent creep reading this book, and yet, couldn’t put it down.

I knew the author was local to DC (I picked up the book after it was featured in the local bookshop) but it wasn’t until a few chapters in that I realized the reason her last name sounded and face looked familiar is because her daughter shares the same preschool class as my son. Knowing this, what was the most respectful thing to do? Somehow, knowing we occupy the same neighborhood, frequent the same parks,
Judy G
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If it is a difficulty to read Maslin's memoir that is a drop in the bucket next to having lived her life starting on August 2012. As I began this I did not like this woman who doted on her husband from below his pedestal. I did not think I could possibly relate to her or be able to read her book memoir
Even when I finished the book I was not sure if I understood her
And that is irrelevant really when you read what she has done to sustain her marriage and bring life to her husband who in early
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a book! I'll be recommending this to any young couple as a look into what love really is and what it means to be with some "in sickness and in health, for better or worse". I honestly expected this book to be a little on the preachy, expecting some, "Look at how I loved my husband unconditionally through all this". But that couldn't be further from the case. Abby is completely open, honest and most importantly, human. It was not always easy and she seriously questioned things.

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“Everyone it didn't happen to seems to have a bold opinion about what I ought to take away from this terrible event.” 5 likes
“To survive we must simply live. To love, we must love hard.” 2 likes
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