They first meet in Paris in the spring of 1996. David is a divorced American attorney living on a converted barge moored on the banks of the Seine; Roni Beth is an empty-nested clinical and research psychologist working from her home in Connecticut. Now in their fifties, both have signed off on loving again until they meet each other.
Miracle at Midlife tells the inspiring story of Roni Beth and David s intense and transformative transatlantic courtship. Along the way, David the loner, living amid the beauty, freedom, and pleasures of Paris, brings Roni Beth, a responsible and overextended professional haunted by earlier loss and trauma, back to her core as a woman, while she helps him reclaim connections that tie him to a larger world. They wrestle internal demons (mostly hers) and external threats (friends, family and different perspectives) as they share adventures in their respective worlds. Throughout their journey, stories of courage, joy and integrity bring hope and delight to those who wonder how romantic love appears and evolves; inspiration to people in mid-life who, knowingly or unknowingly, have completed a chapter in their lives and are ready to move on; and comfort to anyone who longs to wrestle and conquer the demons of fear, born of history or of the unknown, and win. Testimony that love is real.
Tower’s memoir was a treat to read, perfect for an autumn weekend, curled up on the couch under a cozy blanket with a mug of coffee and some treats. Her journey felt like a dance or a song. Her history and daily life were the background music, the constant throughout the story, while her relationship with David was the back and forth, the push and pull of the music that kept you wanting more. Her emotional connections to each aspect of her life were written in such an honest and open way that I couldn’t help but feel that I was right there next to her experiencing it all with her in the moment.
The setting deserves some commentary as well. As someone with minimal knowledge of France, who has never visited the country and most likely never will, I found myself getting lost in her descriptions of the geography. And yet, her descriptions included such deep emotional connections that I never felt as though I was missing anything because I could feel what she was feeling. I imagine that these descriptions will be even more powerful for readers who have visited the country or have knowledge of its intricacies.
Miracle at Midlife releases October 25, 2016, from She Writes Press.
About the Author (from miracleatmidlife.com):
Roni Beth Tower earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Yale and later cross-trained at Yale Medical School, studying closeness in married couples. Now a retired psychotherapist and professor, she and her husband live in Tarrytown, New York, near their six grandchildren and airports that can regularly return them to Paris.
Thank you to BookSparks for providing me with a copy of this book as part of their Magic of Memoir tour.