Carlie's Reviews > This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness

This Is Not The Story You Think It Is by Laura Munson
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's review
Aug 31, 2011

liked it

I liked this book. I think I wanted to like it slightly more than I did after I heard about the premise on NPR. Then, when I started the book the author kind of annoyed me. Her trust-fund baby background pushed all my prejudice buttons and set up a nice little tone of resentment that hung between the story and myself and threatened to undo all the possibility for mutuality and connection that is the very heart of enjoying a memoir.

Yeah, and then I got over it. Laura is a little bit spoiled. She had a life that is a little bit too charmed. But she knows it, and she feels a little guilty about it even privileged people, it turns out, can have brilliant experiences that can move others to compassion and inspiration. Her marriage isn't my ideal dream, she isn't who I want to become, she isn't even who I am or have been...but she's got something really grasp-it-between-your-fingers RIGHT and that rightness she discovered is the real inspiration.

I found her writing style sometimes annoying, sometimes pleasant and never breathtaking. I thought her story was sometimes eye-rolling and sometimes relate-able and I thought over all that the resolution was only somewhat convincing. Will they make it? Is four months enough to be able to say that they had "resolved" this marital crisis? I don't know. But I do know that the position of compassion instead of accusation, holding to yourself and solving your own problems instead of jumping to destroy the other person in a conflict is good and healthy and right...however very, very difficult and super un-American it may be.

After I read Munson's book I checked out some of the philosophers who influenced her and some of the writings she says are her bedrock go-to texts and frankly, I found them pretty much inaccessible to me. I don't "get" most of philosophy but I do get Munson's story, the beautiful aroma her book gives off because she steeped herself in the great thinkers and as a wife I hope to carry her kind of respect and compassion both for myself and my husband into my own married life. I hope it's catching.
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