Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness

Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness, by Dominique Browning.

At the start of this journey, all I could think about was loss: lost work, my children who had left home; my house slipping from my grasp; my parents slipping into their last years. Lost love, on top of it all, because I was finally forced to confront the failure of a relationship that had preoccupied me for seven years. Attachment, abandonment, misery - I was plagued, until, mysteriously, something in my brain shifted into a new gear, and I was no longer experiencing all the changes I was going through at the loss of everything I loved. Instead, I began feeling the value of change and ... experience, events - yes, some of them calamitous - that have unexpectedly come to enhance the quality of my days.

In other words, life.

It never gets easier. But if we're paying attention, it can get simpler.

I recently read Slow Love for the BlogHer Book Club and it was decent but not great. It almost read like “stream of consciousness” writing, although the author presents complete sentences and grammar. Browning’s story is interesting, and one that we can all relate to, but I frequently found myself bored, save for quick snatches of humor sprinkled throughout: “The table in my date’s kitchen was beautifully set; clearly we were to eat alone, while the children were led to a trough somewhere.”

Characters are introduced and then never spoken of again, save for the infamous “Stroller,” the married-but-separated man with whom she has been having an “affair,” and her two sons, though she is now divorced. She reveals some delicious gossip about Conde Nast, such as how she was actually scolded one time for not wearing enough designer clothing to work, yet she is lost after the magazine she works for closes its doors, as she has worked there for 13 years.

She finally decides to sell her New York house where she raised her children, and move to her vacation home in Rhode Island, away from Stroller, and it is here where she finds happiness. She also rebuilds the house since the foundation is sagging – must be nice to have the money to do this while unemployed. Browning’s musings are sometimes right on the mark, but unfortunately often reads like that one annoying friend (everyone has one) droning on about their entire life story.

2.5 stars out of 5.


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