I loved a new memoir about death & love


Ralph the Toddler and I crossed paths for the first (and, so far, only) time at a Minneapolis backyard party last summer.

The little dude was impossible to miss: He nonchalantly picked up a garden hose, engaged the trigger, and proceeded to spray the adult attendees for several seconds until someone frantically intervened.

It was awesome.

Now think about an entire book filled with such awesomeness. Such a book exists … by the Mother of Ralph herself, Nora McInerny Purmort.

That book has been much anticipated hereabouts, partly because it’s a follow-up to the local author’s well-known blog, My Husband’s Tumor.

That blog chronicled Nora’s love affair with one Aaron Joseph Purmort amid his horrific and ultimately fatal battle with brain cancer.

Wacky fun, eh?

In Nora’s upcoming memoir, “It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too),” it surprisingly, definitely is.

Oh, it’s sad, too. Very, very sad. So are other events in the author’s life, such as the death of her father, and a miscarriage that robbed her of a second kid as her partner succumbed to his illness.

The book’s title says it all. At times, you’ll want to cry (and, if you are lucky enough to run into the statuesque writer, give her a hug).

But the book is often hilarious. Several times during my stop-everything, in-less-than-a-day devourment of this priceless volume, I threw my head back and guffawed.

Gallows humor: It’s my fave.

Nora, a novice author, has a nice, light touch that reminds me of Elizabeth Gilbert (and I am referring more to her charming memoir “Committed: A Love Story” than to its prequel, the wildly overhyped “Eat, Pray, Love“).

The book covers a lot of ground. It is about Nora as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, as a sibling (including to a sister, the amazing Meghan McInerny Wilker), and as an inconsolable but sometimes-horny widow.

I hesitate to say more about Nora’s book because I do not want to ruin it for you. Just read it. You won’t regret it, even though it is often a total bummer.

And, no, Ralph’s hose attack is not in this book … but maybe it will be in the sequel to what is sure to be a nonfiction hit of the year, Nora?

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