Books We Love: Cars from a Marriage

April 27, 2010 at 12:16 pm , by

Just finished reading an engaging new book that brings a whole different meaning to the term autobiography. Cars From a Marriage by New Jersey blogger Debra Galant is an entertaining story of a marriage told through the prism of various cars that the couple has driven over the years.  The novel starts with a burgandy Mustang hatchback, which is what Ellis was driving when he first met Ivy, the daughter of…of course!…a car salesman.  And the final chapter centers around a sporty red Chrysler convertible and all that that implies.  In between, there are other cars—including a family-friendly station wagon—all of them…ahem…vehicles for an enjoyable tale of Ivy and Ellis’ relationship and  the twists and turns it takes over life’s long road. Gimmicky?  For sure!  But the novel is both laugh-out-loud funny and a thoughtful portrait of the complexity of marriage.  I highly recommend.  Oh, and you should also check out the author’s fun facebook group where she’s invited her fans to share their own automobile adventures.

Categories: Family, Fun, Home, Ladies' Lounge | Tags: | 1 Comment

LHJ Reader on WE-TV’s “The Locator”

April 14, 2010 at 11:28 am , by

The editors here at Ladies’ Home Journal get to do a lot of cool things in the course of a day’s work, but here’s one of the coolest things we’ve done in a while:  We helped one of our readers, Leticia Schaub, get reunited with her dad, who she hadn’t seen in 25 years.  Okay, we didn’t quite pull this off on our own. Leticia, who lives in Monroe, New York,  had written to us telling us how eager she was to see her father. She’d been trying to track for years, ever since he left her and her mom decades ago to remarry and start a new family.  We were touched by Leticia’s story—particularly her forgiving spirit—and so passed her letter along to  Troy Dunn, host of  The Locator, a reality show on WE-TV.  Troy worked his usual magic, and found Schaub’s dad, Gilbert Velez, living in Florida.  Troy brought Gilbert to New York, and …well, if you want to see what happened, tune into the broacast tonight at 10 PM.  A warning: Be sure to have a box of tissues on hand.

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Can Sandra Bullock’s Marriage Be Saved?

March 26, 2010 at 4:26 pm , by

sandraThat’s the question that the New York Daily News posed to two of the marriage counselors who are behind Ladies’ Home Journal’s signature column. And the good news for Sandra and her biker husband Jesse James is that both of them think it can!  Despite the revelations that Jesse cheated on his glamorous and oh-so-loyal wife, marriage counselor Flo Rossof, who is one of our Can This Marriage Be Saved contributors, thinks the relationship can indeed be salvaged. “Sandra would have to get to a place where she could give her husband the gift of trust,” Rossof said.  Another one of our marriage counselors, Robin Newman, concurred. “Fight for your marriage, fight for it,” she advised Sandra. Of course, both marriage counselors stressed the fact that Jesse would have to put his cheating ways behind him.  And after reading about the latest revelations, I wonder if he’ll really be able to do that.

Two Good Books About Motherhood

March 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm , by

three wishes


Just finished reading two memoir-type books about being a mom that I highly recommend:  The first is Three Wishes: A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Motherhood by Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones and Pamela Ferdinand.  The authors were all successful journalists who, as they  approached age 40, realized that they each wanted to have a child.  The book is a riveting account of their journey to motherhood, which takes some unexpected twists and turns but ultimately ends with the babies they so wanted.  The other book is Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom by Kristin van Ogtrop, which looks at motherhood through an entirely different prism.  Anyone who has tried to balance the demands of a job and a family will appreciate the frustrations—and the rewards—that the author so perfectly captures.

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Want a Husband? Forget About Marrying “Mr. Right”

February 2, 2010 at 6:55 pm , by

41PUwy3R0hL._SL500_AA240_An interesting—and provocative—new book is being published by Dutton this month:  Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb. Gottlieb, who is 40-something and single, makes the case that many women have too high expectations when it comes to searching for a partner.  And she should know: Her first chapter lists 70 qualities she’d been hoping to find in a guy, ranging from “financially stable” and “kind” to “over 5’10” but under 6’0” and, of course, “madly in love with me.”  But she then proceeds to argue that women have unrealistic expectations of finding a “perfect” husband and that they’d be better served (in other words, married) if they simply settled for a nice, responsible guy who’s “good enough.”  Gottlieb makes a persuasive argument, but I’m not convinced:  I suspect that any woman who feels as though she’s “settling” will ultimately not be happy in a marriage.  As anyone who has been a wife for a while knows, the men we choose, in fact, don’t turn out to be as perfect as they might have seemed during the courtship and honeymoon phase. But call me a romantic:  I still think it’s smart to wait until you find a guy who seems like Prince Charming…at least for a while.  What do you think?

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Writing and Reading About Marriage

January 6, 2010 at 8:42 pm , by

committedI was eager to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage, for a couple of reasons.  First, I’ve been married to one husband for many years and thought I’d find the subject matter pretty fascinating.  But the biggest reason was that I totally adored Gilbert’s last book, Eat, Pray, Love, and I couldn’t wait to read more of her work.  I just finished it, and I’ll say this: Committed is not Eat, Pray, Love.  Though Gilbert’s writing is lovely, the topic just isn’t quite as engaging. Still, I did pick up a few fascinating tidbits about marriage that I thought I’d share:

• Couples who wait until they’re 26 years or older to marry are less prone to divorce than younger couples.

• Married men live longer, accumulate more wealth, excel in their careers and are happier than single men.

• The better educated you are, the more successful your marriage will be.

• Marriages where the man and woman regard each other as equals tend to be more stable and happier.

If you want to hear more, pick up the book.  Like I said, it’s not Eat, Pray, Love, but it’s still worth reading.

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Wife to Govenor Sanford: Take a Hike!

December 11, 2009 at 5:59 pm , by

imagesI always cringe a bit when I see political wives stoically stand by their cheating husbands and vow to forgive and forget. (Think Hillary Clinton. Elizabeth Edwards. Silda Spitzer.)  So I wanted to stand up and cheer for Jenny Sanford when I read the news this morning that has filed for divorce. (In case you missed the headlines earlier this year:  She’s the wife of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford who made a total fool of himself last summer when he disappeared from work for a few days.  When he finally turned up, he told his staff that he was “hiking the Appalachian trail,”  but it eventually spilled out that he was cavorting with his lover in Argentina.)  Fortunately, Mrs. Sanford was not by his side at the press conference when the governor revealed more than anyone wanted to know about his affair.  Mrs. Sanford’s announcement of her divorce comes a few days after her impressive interview with Barbara Walters and a few months in advance of the publication of her memoir, Staying True. Personally, I’m sorry that their marriage could not be saved, but I applaud Mrs. Sanford for behaving like one classy lady throughout it all —for not standing ashen-faced at her husband’s side playing the role of pathetic victim.

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