It’s not every day you pick up a book you can’t put down. Maybe that’s because I can relate in some minuscule way to this next title, or maybe it’s the fact that Alex Delon is a laugh-out-loud, relatable writer. I’d hazard to guess it’s a little bit of both.
“Leaving You…For Me” is Alex Nicollet Delon’s debut novel, and it’s a perfect title to add to any list in anticipation of Valentine’s Day (and beyond). I should forewarn readers, it’s not your typical love story…but it’s one that I couldn’t put down.
I read it in a single day.
I don’t think I’ve done that since the Harry Potter books came out some twenty plus years ago.
In case the cover of suitcases and barbed wire isn’t an indication, this is a book about a breakup. Er, breakup would be putting it mildly. It’s a real-life account of Delon and her life following the dissolution of her marriage of forty-seven years. For the first time since she was seventeen, she has to navigate the dating scene.
In her sixties.
On her own for the first time in decades.
At first I was a bit apprehensive about reading a book about divorce…who wants to talk about that before the biggest Hallmark holiday of the year?
Leave it to me to share an unconventional love story right before Valentine’s Day. I mean, if we’re being serious, I remember reading somewhere that the days leading up to most major holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, etc.) often coincide with the most number of breakups…and for good reason. Gift-giving occasions can trigger conversations like “what are we?” and “let’s be exclusive” and “I want to get married” etc., etc…all things that can send one or both people into panic mode and/or a place that reevaluates the longevity of the relationship.
Either way, I’m not recommending this book because I’m advocating for divorce or the like. It’s actually just a rad read that, like the author, I think a lot of people can relate to.
To be completely honest, it’s so much more than your average “I went through a divorce, feel sorry for me” kind of schtick. It’s a modern coming-of-age book that I think would make a great read for men and women alike.
There are passages that will make you laugh-out-loud – like when she calls one of her sons for a jungle juice recipe to serve at a party.
There are parts that will sting – like reading about the husband of one of her best friends, and how he defies his wife’s wishes to not resuscitate her because he isn’t ready to let her go yet. This one hit home for me, because I’ve watched loved ones die after refusing continued medical intervention (for better or worse).
There are parts that will make you cringe and want to re-read what you’ve just read – like a blowjob gone awry and how Delon laments how the “dating pool has stagnated into a cesspool.” Or maybe the part where she looks up her husband’s credit card statement and calls him to catch him in a lie that he’s been cheating on her for quite some time.
Last, but certainly not least, there are parts that will make you stand up and cheer – like when Delon comes to see her life after divorce as “glitter(ing) with opportunity” and that anything (is) better than being “lonely with a side of rejection.
It’s a book that delves into the “life after the Hallmark happy ending.” I know I’m not the only one to say this, but it was always something I wondered growing up…do the people in those movies and books always live happily ever after?
Well, even though they started with nothing, raised three children, and built a successful business together…Delon’s story isn’t all that uncommon.
Breakups are never easy; anyone who says otherwise is full of hot air. This book is about as unfiltered as they come…and that’s probably why I couldn’t put it down. Delon doesn’t shy away from the awkward moments; instead, she shares them candidly and calls a spade a spade (including herself) whenever appropriate.
This is a book that encourages single souls to embrace time in their lives that they have to themselves. Don’t jump into relationships just to be in the company of another warm body; be in one because that person captivates your attention in more ways than one. It’s a book that celebrates taking chances, because even if the outcome is different than you expected, you will come out stronger than if you had passed up the opportunity.
Despite everything she goes through and describes in great detail throughout the book, Delon aptly writes, “healing begins with a decision, then a commitment to action.” Apply this as needed to your own life, because while many of us may not be on the brink of divorce, there is so much sage advice in this book to be proactive about our own happiness and to never let other people dictate that for us.
To learn more about the author, click here.
To order this book (non-affiliate link), click here.
I received this book complimentary on behalf of the publisher, but all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. All photography featured in this post is my own unless noted otherwise; please seek permission before copying or reproducing the images.
Book Stats: Leaving You…For Me by Alex Nicollet Delon
Page Count- 292