Thursday, 12 February 2009

What to read when your husband has left you for another woman...

Any suggestions? All help gratefully received, on this rainy black night in february...

29 comments:

Kath said...

Dear Justine, I have been reading your wonderful blog for some time now and would like to say how sorry I am about your sad news. I've been racking my brain for what to read in a situation like this but could not come up with a definite answer. Poetry did it for me in the past. My friend published a small brochure of rather heart-warming poems last year and if there is anywhere I could send you a copy,please let me know.
Katerina

betsytacy said...

Fay Weldon's Lives and Loves of a She Devil, of course--especially if one is inclined toward revenge.

Gondal-girl said...

The Innocent Libertine by Colette- if you are the one leaving

Ariel - by Sylvia Plath

Amy said...

I'm so sorry.

Gondal-girl said...

oh dear Justine, reading the thread of other's comments, there is an assumption this is biographical - I assumed it was abstract - hope you are ok

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Heartburn by Nora Ephron
The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard

oxford-reader said...

For some strange reason 'Gone With the Wind' popped straight into my head when I saw the title of this post .... but somehow I don't think it would suit.
Actually, have just read 'The Rose of Sebastopol' by Katharine McMahon - that centres around a woman who has lost the love of her fiancee, and ends up in the Crimea, and becoming stronger for it. You should read it, even if it's not suitable for this theme!

*jemima* said...

Dear Justine,

I hope everything is okay and I am hoping fervently against hope that what happened didn't happen and I am wrong about what you just wrote...

The timing is just awful :(

Books can be friends so I recommend something warm like 'The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets' or the 'Anne of' sequels as mentioned before.

Keep well.

x

Paperback Reader said...

If you want raw emotion and to address the pain then I would suggest Dorothy Whipple's Someone at a Distance.

Justine Picardie said...

Thank you everyone! Wow, that makes me feel better, to know that there are such lovely readers out there... Am off to the bookshop now. I'm going to start with Heartburn, because I'm feeling heartbroken...but Nora Ephron always makes me laugh.

petal47 said...

May I recommend B Monkey, by Andrew Davies? It's an odd book, but gripping and I read it in one sitting. It might offer some comfort in an inverted way...I hope for the very best for you, Justine.

Cornflower said...

I second "Someone at a Distance", and I hope very much I'm interpreting this post incorrectly, but it seems I'm not.
All good wishes.

Lou said...

Dear Justine,
What can I say? I'm so sorry.
Another idea might be to get hold of the movie version of Heartburn,with Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson.Watch it in bed with a big block of chocolate.
Hang in there!
Love Louisa

Jean said...

Although not "literature" Joanne Trollope does have a way of expressing women's reactions to relationships and breakups. Marrying the Mistress and Other People's Children spring to mind. I know what it feels like - had a long-term lover years ago who I thought was my soulmate, go off with another woman he'd been secretly and concurrently having an affair with. It's pain like no other and the closest I've ever come to wanting to kill someone. I wrote my pain into a novel which was trash and still lies deep somewhere on my hard drive but you have the talent to get a good book out of it someday. It does help and so do good women friends.

Justine Picardie said...

Have just spent the evening with a very good female friend, who cooked me homemade chicken pie, and then we ate ice-cream, chocolate and cherries. It turned Friday 13th into something far less horrible. I think the DVD of Heartburn is a good one for Valentine's Day tomorrow, though another of my friends suggests that we watch Mickey Rourke in 'The Wrestler'. Which is a long way from Joanna Trollope, though as it happens, I always like her novels. Anyway, have been reading 'To the North' by Elizabeth Bowen, which is suitably yet bracingly bleak.

Blithe Spirit said...

Oh, that's rotten news, but it's a good opportunity to spend time with your girlfriends and draw strength from real friendship.

Anything by Mavis Cheek makes great reading for the heartbroken, particularly Getting Back Brahams or Three Men on a Plane - she always leaves me in stitches - her characters are strong but flawed women who start out heartbroken but always come through with humour and realize they are much better off without the cads.

This Valentine's Day, I'm buying myself the chocolate (the really good, dark, expensive stuff) and settling in for a night watching old Maurice Chevalier movie musicals from the 1930s, which again, always make me laugh. Love Me Tonight, Love Parade and The Smiling Lieutenant will have you in a better mood in no time. Or try some of the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movies.

oxford-reader said...

I agree with Blithe Spirit, Justine. Musicals are like fairy tales, and are great for taking you into another world and taking your mind off things. I recommend all things Rodgers and Hammerstien.

Justine Picardie said...

Love Blithe Spirit...

Jill said...

It has been 15 years since I was looking for this answer. I read a lot of Fay Weldon and poetry that made me cry. Unfortunately a lot of my old favorites were spoiled as could never see heartbroken heroines in the same light. Conk him (Mr Rochester)on the head, Jane! Last week I watched a new make of Tess of the D'Urberville's, although she'd have been better off kicking Angel good riddance (in the pants, on her wedding night) I was sympathetic. I am softening. I am sorry for anyone who's husband leaves her for another woman it is truly mindbending. I hope this was question in general and not personal.

Justine Picardie said...

V. personal, unfortunately. I am truly seeking the advice of others out there...

kairu said...

How I wish that your question had been a general one and not a personal one, Justine. I am so sorry. I don't have any advice, but I am holed up on my own single girl's Valentine's day with a pile of Preston Sturges movies, red velvet cupcakes, and strawberries.

"Heartburn" is probably a classic. I also love "The Last Chinese Chef," by Nicole Mones, about a widow who finds herself in China after the sudden death of her husband.

Rob Hardy said...

I hesitate to offer any reading suggestions, which may be wildly off the mark, but I do offer my sincere sympathy.

Primrose said...

Dear Justine (oops, went to type Dear Daphne there)

This is what happens when I'm away for a week or so?

I'm so sorry - hurting for you here. As to what to read - whatever gets you through the night. Poetry, the simple books of your childhood. Mythology, biographies of the great artists and minds of our time. Fairy tales, the Bible, any comfort books that will soothe the spirit.

Write it all out as well. Get those feelings out - it's all material.

Wish I could wave a magic wand and take some of the pain for you I love your Blog so much and feel I have gained so much from your insights. Hope the days are not too dark.

Sending you a small ray of sunshine from Australia.

Maggie said...

Dear Justine, so sorry to hear this news. I'm afraid I can't make any suggestions for what to read for this life event... But I have suggestions for anyone whose parent/s have dementia.

Of course one way to escape life's happenings (for want of a better word) is to follow dovegreyreader and return to childhood reading. I've been reading some of my old favourites, and find them immensely comforting, like a snuggly blanket.

I also just read your piece on Jade Goody (was in London last week, so am still playing catchup on blogs). I bought your sister's book the day it was published, and wept a lot.

You seem to be having a hard time at the moment. I'm sending you positive vibes (can you tell I was a teen in the 60s? ;-) ) and will be thinking of you and hoping your luck will turn.

Best wishes from Liverpool,

Maggie

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Carmina said...

It is always too sad to hear something like this, but life continues and you have to move on, everything happens for a reason and we have to accept it. I have been in your situation and I read a book called Sildenafil Citrate and it helped me a lot!