In this warm, deeply personal, and often humorous book, Nancy McCabe re-examines and gains new understanding of her early life and her ill-advised marriage. Borrowing from Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights and Kafka’s “Metamorphosis,” how-to essays and before-and-after weight loss ads, a curriculum guide, Bible study notes, an obsession with Tom Swiftie jokes, and women’s magazine columns and quizzes, McCabe examines the many influences that led to her youthful marriage—and out of it, into finally taking control of her life.
“This is a failed-marriage memoir with an interesting twist: the narrator admits to entering the marriage in bad faith yet remains committed to the union. It’s also a redemption story of a young woman growing toward independence. That it eschews. . . a victim narrative and owns up to the narrator’s failings is refreshing.”—Michele Morano, author of Grammar Lessons: Translating a Life in Spain and Like Love
“Why should a reader care about some writer’s long-ago, short-lived marriage? Because when the writer is Nancy McCabe, the examination of that long ago marriage helps us understand our own struggles for love and independence. . . .This is an immensely lively performance from which we emerge not merely entertained but enlightened and grateful. McCabe’s done the difficult work of probing her heart, which brings us closer to apprehending our own. . . .An engaging, spirited, and thoughtful work.” –-Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Heating and Cooling: 54 Micro-Memoirs
“They say it is impossible to understand another person’s marriage, and perhaps equally impossible to comprehend your own, but Nancy McCabe’s Can This Marriage be Saved is a wise, funny, and inventive attempt to put those notions to rest. McCabe recounts her early years vividly, with delightful honesty and remarkable insight. Every page is a pleasant surprise.” Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic and Desire and The Truth of the Matter
“Nancy McCabe’s memoir Can this Marriage be Saved? is luminous in its need to know even the hardest truths. This story of a young woman ascending is by turns heartbreaking and triumphant. This is a book for anyone who has traveled, or is traveling, the long road to self-acceptance. I’ve read and admired Nancy McCabe’s work for years, but she’s truly at the top of her game in this brave new memoir.” Lee Martin, author of From Our House, Yours, Jean, and the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Bright Forever