Pitcairn Romantic Non-fiction Side-trip

So this little side-trip is one that I have delayed for years. Six years ago, I married my college sweetheart–at 41. Just after I reunited with Dan, my mom gave me a book written by Rudy Gulliani’s ex-wife, who had gotten back together with her ex-boyfriend after divorcing from Gulliani. She had then begun to hear the stories of others who had reunited with long lost loves, and she wrote a book about it. So I have been meaning to read this book since Mom gave it to me, but there are so many books in my TBR (to be read) pile, that this one just didn’t get to the top. Until…I called my mom one day and she said “Well, I have news, and I figured you would understand…” The news turned out to be that she had recently been back in touch with the guy she dated the summer before senior year of college (coincidentally the same summer that Dan and I had first dated). He had become a widower and knew my mom had lost my dad (6 years ago, just before Dan and I married) and might be someone who understood the grieving process he was going through. Well, he gained a shoulder to cry on, but they both also found themselves back in the throes of their teenage passionate feelings. So I figured I better read the book and quickly send it back to my mom.

While it wasn’t as amazing as all the great literature I’ve been reading lately, it was a fun little read, and certainly let me know that my mom and I are in good company in this process of reconnecting with old loves. The stats on the success of these relationships turn out to be quite good, too. So you will find the usual summary/review combo below. And stay tuned, because I’m about 20 min from the end of Satanic Verses on audio. I should have that review up tomorrow (there’s really not a lot to do here on Pitcairn other than eat, sleep, relax, and read, after all).

Goodreads summary: “The former First Lady of New York writes of her reunion and subsequent marriage to her high school sweetheart, more than thirty years after their breakup, and chronicles dozens of similar reunions among couples nationwide in what experts call a twenty-first-century relationship trend.

Poignant and heartwarming, My Boyfriend’s Back captures the love story of former high school sweethearts Ed Oster and Donna Hanover-journalist, actress, and First Lady of the City of New York from 1994 to 2001-who, more than thirty years after their breakup at Stanford, reconnected, rekindled their love, and married, becoming part of what experts are calling a “twenty-first-century trend” in relationships. Exploring the myriad ways rekindled love is different from new love and why so many couples are reuniting now, Hanover also details the role of the Internet in this trend, and offers some recommendations-and some warnings-for aspiring “reunitees.”

Accompanied by a wide array of other couples’ stories from across the country-including celebrities Carol Channing, Suzanne Pleshette and Tom Poston, Nicole Miller, Liza Huber, and others-who have also rediscovered their early loves later in life and are building committed lives together, this book combines expert advice and inspiring anecdotes to help readers reconnect with past loves. Whether it’s Googling an ex-boyfriend or attending a class reunion, My Boyfriend’s Back encourages readers to find out whatever happened to the ex they can’t forget; it is the book single, widowed, and divorced romantics everywhere have been waiting for.”

My review:My Boyfriend's BackMy Boyfriend’s Back by Donna Hanover

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have been reading a lot of truly great literature lately, so it feels almost unfair to compare this book. It is a fun little read about the phenomenon of high school and college sweethearts reuniting years later. My mom got it for me 7 years ago when I was becoming one of those people, reuniting with my college boyfriend to start our wonderful marriage and family in our 40s. Now my mom herself is one of those people, head over heels with a guy she dated one summer in college. I am putting the book in the mail to her tomorrow.

I enjoyed reading the stories of reconnection in the book. What I liked less was when the book veered toward self-help in suggesting this as a potential way for people to actively seek a mate. To the extent that reconnecting becomes a strategy, I have to wonder if what works when it happens spontaneously won’t become too forced and a source of disappointment.

Overall, cute book, but pales when compared to most of the amazing literature that fills my life.


About Beth Parks Aronson

I am Associate Professor of Psychology at Lamar University. Previously, I was a psychologist in private practice in Jenkintown, PA where I specialized in anxiety disorders and working with people living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. I am a little addicted to good literature. Ok, a lot addicted.
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2 Responses to Pitcairn Romantic Non-fiction Side-trip

  1. Pragya says:

    Ah, how little stories and books weave on in our life. It’s wonderful to know about you and your mom. Even though you gave it 3 stars, I think you will always cherish that book, if you ignore the self help bit. 🙂

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