I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.It's Okay to Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort
Published by HarperCollins on May 24th 2016
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Personal Memoirs, Family & Relationships, Love & Romance, Humor, Topic, Marriage & Family
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Joining the ranks of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Carry On, Warrior, a fierce, hysterically funny memoir that reminds us that comedy equals tragedy plus time.
Twentysomething Nora McInerny Purmort bounced from boyfriend to boyfriend and job to job. Then she met Aaron, a charismatic art director and her kindred spirit. They made mix tapes (and pancakes) into the wee hours of the morning. They finished each other's sentences. They just knew. When Aaron was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer, they refused to let it limit their love. They got engaged on Aaron's hospital bed and married after his first surgery. They had a baby when he was on chemo. They shared an amazing summer filled with happiness and laughter. A few months later, Aaron died in Nora's arms in another hospital bed. His wildly creative obituary, which they wrote together, touched the world.
Now, Nora shares hysterical, moving, and painfully honest stories about her journey with Aaron. It's OK to Laugh explores universal themes of love, marriage, work, (single) motherhood, and depression through her refreshingly frank viewpoint. A love letter to life, in all of its messy glory, and what it's like to still be kickin', It's OK to Laugh is like a long chat with a close friend over a cup of coffee (or chardonnay).
It’s Okay To Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort is a memoir that I basically decided to pick up because of the comparison to Let’s Pretend This Never Happened which is this hilarious memoir that embraces your inner weird. Alas, this book, It’s Okay To Laugh was not really all that similar to Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. However, Purmort’s book stands really well on its own two feet. It’s definitely one of those laugh-cry kind of books which the title warns you about ahead of time.
Essentially Nora McInerny Purmort’s book – It’s Okay To Laugh is a series of stories about her life. The vast majority of the stories focus on her grieving for her father, her husband, and a miscarriage as well as her stories of parenting Ralph, her son. There’s a few stories about growing up and being tall, some bad choices made dating, and how deeply she loved her husband. This is a book where Purmort’s vulnerability is on full display and I cannot help but really respect that. Also, while I have yet to experience any of the tragedy Purmort has, I can certainly empathize with her. She writes in a way where it is natural to feel empathy for the situation and for people experiencing the situation.
While I can relate to neither intense grief nor parenting — It’s Okay To Laugh gave me some food for thought. I thought about how I would feel to lose both a parent and a partner. I thought about how tough parenting is. While reading and examining these events through the context of my own personal lens, I felt like I related to some of the bad relationship habits Nora writes about and how she moves beyond those habits for the right person. I liked that she did not paint this rosy perfect portrait of her life. Instead, life is messy and hard and sometimes funny and that is accurately depicted in this book.
As for the writing style, this is not really the kind of book where I was laughing out loud a lot or sobbing or anything. It sort of reminded me a lot of Rob Sheffield’s writing. There’s a lot of music involved, there’s some self deprecation. There’s clear love for her circle. I just came out of this book really wanting to read more from Purmort. She just comes across as awesome, like, the kind of person you could definitely have a beer with.
So, if you’re a fan of books about people who come out the other side of tragedy with grace and some humor, books that are infused with honesty about tough situations, then yeah, get your hands on It’s Okay To Laugh: Crying Is Cool Too by Nora McInerny Purmort. It’s funny, raw, and immensely readable. I am certainly looking forward to whatever is next from Purmort.
Other reviews of It’s Okay To Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort:
Reading To Unwind – “This book is an amazing memoir”
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