From the bestselling author of A Three Dog Life, which “shines with honest intelligence” (Elizabeth Gilbert): a fresh, exhilarating, superbly written memoir about aging, family, creativity, tragedy, friendship, and the richness of life.
What comes next? What comes after the devastating loss of Abigail's husband, a process both sudden and slow? What form does her lifelong platonic friendship take after a certain line is crossed? How to cope with her daughter’s diagnosed illness? Or the death of her beloved dog? Is life worth living without three cocktails before dinner? How do you paint the ocean on a sheet of glass?
And how to like it? How to accept, appreciate, enjoy? Who are our most trusted, valuable companions and what will we do for them? Instead of painting an ocean, paint a forest, turn it over, scrape the surface, and presto: there is the ocean. When you’ve given up, when you least expect it, there it is.
What Comes Next and How to Like It is an extraordinarily moving memoir about many things, but at the center is a steadfast friendship between Abigail Thomas and a man she met thirty-five years ago. Through marriages, child-raising, the vicissitudes and tragedies of life, it is this deep, rich bond that has sustained her. Readers who loved “the perfectly honed observations of a clear-eyed and witty writer” (Newsweek) in Thomas’s “spare, astonishing” (Entertainment Weekly) memoir, A Three Dog Life, will relish this beautiful examination of her life today—often solitary, but rich and engaging, with children, grandchildren, dogs, a few suitors, and her longtime best friend.
"What Comes Next and How to Like It is a beautifully felt, deeply moving memoir, the best work yet by a woman who has already done some of the best work in the field. It's about friendship, and the shocks friendship can endure when it's true and deep. It's about the rueful pleasures (not to mention the jarring pitfalls) of getting old. It's about enduring tragedy, sickness, and loss. Thomas speaks of these big things by scattering the ordinary jewelry of everyday life: loving dogs (even when they chew your most precious possessions), Googling old boyfriends, rescuing an orphan mouse, and trees that try to grow in the crack between boards. Small speaks for large here, in a calm voice that talks to the mind while it fills the heart. Abigail Thomas is the Emily Dickinson of memoirists, and so much of this book's wisdom is between the lines and in the white spaces. It may only take you two days to read, but the impact will stay with you for a long, long time. Abigail Thomas fills memory with living breath."