This Is Not the Story You Think It Is...: A Season of Unlikely Happiness

This Is Not the Story You Think It Is...: A Season of Unlikely Happiness

3.4 38
by Laura Munson
     
 

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By the time Laura Munson had turned 40, her life was not how she thought it would turn out. Career success had eluded her; her beloved father was no longer around to be her biggest cheerleader; and her husband wanted out of their marriage.

Poignant, wise, and often exceedingly funny, this is the moment-by- moment memoir of a woman who decided to let go-in the

Overview

By the time Laura Munson had turned 40, her life was not how she thought it would turn out. Career success had eluded her; her beloved father was no longer around to be her biggest cheerleader; and her husband wanted out of their marriage.

Poignant, wise, and often exceedingly funny, this is the moment-by- moment memoir of a woman who decided to let go-in the midst of the emotional equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. It recounts what happened as Munson set out on her spiritual journey-and provides raw, powerful inspiration to anyone searching for peace in an utterly unpredictable world.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Laura Munson takes the spiritual stuff and the personal stuff and the love stuff and the pain stuff and she brews them all together in a very fun and touching memoir. I'm a fan. This is a wonderful book."
Marianne Williamson

"This Is Not the Story You Think It Is is true to its title. The book took me by surprise. I read it in one sitting and loved Munson's tone, wit, wisdom and writing."
Anita Shreve

"Let me tell you what this book is about. This is a book about saying yes. It's the story of Laura Munson's alchemical ability to create abundance and bounty in the face of scarcity and abandonment-no small triumph. Filled with gems big and small. . . Munson is a wonderful guide-wise, brave, and tenaciously honest."
Melanie Gideon, author of The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After

"This book is fabulous. Laura Munson's noble quest to become the source of her own happiness will take you by the hand and heart as it guides you through the steps to living a life without suffering. Her story pulls back the curtain on the only magic we ever need to know: how to make the shift from fear to love."
Arielle Ford, author of The Soulmate Secret

"Laura Munson's powerful and buoyant book gives us wisdom in generous slices. But it is Munson's abilities as a storyteller that show us how to discover-how to find and feel-the real wisdom that may arise from our lives, as messy and heartbreaking as they may be. Woman, wife, mother, neighbor-this fine writer converts her own life's journeys into a series of vignettes so focused and compelling, so heartbreaking, sometimes so funny, that they resound with the force of parables."
David Baker, poetry editor of "The Kenyon Review"

"Laura Munson has served up a whopping portion of sanity. This book has the potential to start a cultural revolution."
Leif Peterson, author of Catherine Wheels and Normal Like Us

"I loved this book. It's unusual, memorable and wry, laugh-out-loud funny too."
Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of Crazy Love and Mommy Wars

Publishers Weekly
A kind of colloquial diary composed during the rocky summer her husband was suffering a midlife crisis, debut author Munson aims to convince the reader, in her chatty, self-absorbed narrative, that her hard-won serenity helped conquer her husband's shakiness at committing himself to their future together. When her husband (who remains nameless) announced his uncertainty that he loved her, then embarked on bizarrely atypical behavior, leaving her and their two children, eight and 12, wondering where he was, Munson had her own notions about what was ailing him, reinforced by mountains of self-help books and therapists: his job was failing, he was drowning in debt, and he was worried about losing their fabulous 20-acre horse-and-ski farm in rural Montana. Munson hoped he could regain a sense of “gratitude” for what they had, namely 15 years of a loving family. Munson urged her husband to take a trip, as she had just returned from a month-long rejuvenating stint to Italy, or even helicopter lessons, yet his resentment of her ran deeper than she cared to confront. She concentrated on what she could control, namely creating a nice home and throwing herself into community activism, then witnessed with joy her husband's gradual coming around. Unfortunately, Munson's journey doesn't ring entirely convincing or forthright, and if the title truly reflected her marital crisis, the reader might run the other way. (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399156656
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
04/01/2010
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.16(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

Melanie Gideon
Let me tell you what this book is about. This is a book about saying yes. It's the story of Laura Munson's alchemical ability to create abundance and bounty in the face of scarcity and abandonment-no small triumph. Filled with gems big and small. . . Munson is a wonderful guide-wise, brave, and tenaciously honest. (Melanie Gideon, author of The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After)
Leif Peterson
Laura Munson has served up a whopping portion of sanity. This book has the potential to start a cultural revolution. (Leif Peterson, author of Catherine Wheels and Normal Like Us)
David Baker
Laura Munson's powerful and buoyant book gives us wisdom in generous slices. But it is Munson's abilities as a storyteller that show us how to discover-how to find and feel-the real wisdom that may arise from our lives, as messy and heartbreaking as they may be. Woman, wife, mother, neighbor-this fine writer converts her own life's journeys into a series of vignettes so focused and compelling, so heartbreaking, sometimes so funny, that they resound with the force of parables. (David Baker, poetry editor of "The Kenyon Review")
Anita Shreve
This Is Not the Story You Think It Is is true to its title. The book took me by surprise. I read it in one sitting and loved Munson's tone, wit, wisdom and writing. (Anita Shreve)
Linda Sivertsen
I cried and laughed so hard through these pages-often at the same time-that I thanked God I was alone in the privacy of my bedroom. If Eat, Pray, Love was a lifeline for you, Laura Munson is your new heroine. The wisest, most soulful, kick-ass friend any woman who's ever had grenades launched at her self- esteem or her belief in love could ask for. Read every page. To the end. And let it heal you to the bone. (Linda Sivertsen, author of Harmonic Wealth)
From the Publisher
"Laura Munson takes the spiritual stuff and the personal stuff and the love stuff and the pain stuff and she brews them all together in a very fun and touching memoir. I'm a fan. This is a wonderful book."
-Marianne Williamson

"This Is Not the Story You Think It Is is true to its title. The book took me by surprise. I read it in one sitting and loved Munson's tone, wit, wisdom and writing."
-Anita Shreve

"Let me tell you what this book is about. This is a book about saying yes. It's the story of Laura Munson's alchemical ability to create abundance and bounty in the face of scarcity and abandonment-no small triumph. Filled with gems big and small. . . Munson is a wonderful guide-wise, brave, and tenaciously honest."
-Melanie Gideon, author of The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After

"This book is fabulous. Laura Munson's noble quest to become the source of her own happiness will take you by the hand and heart as it guides you through the steps to living a life without suffering. Her story pulls back the curtain on the only magic we ever need to know: how to make the shift from fear to love."
-Arielle Ford, author of The Soulmate Secret

"Laura Munson's powerful and buoyant book gives us wisdom in generous slices. But it is Munson's abilities as a storyteller that show us how to discover-how to find and feel-the real wisdom that may arise from our lives, as messy and heartbreaking as they may be. Woman, wife, mother, neighbor-this fine writer converts her own life's journeys into a series of vignettes so focused and compelling, so heartbreaking, sometimes so funny, that they resound with the force of parables."
-David Baker, poetry editor of "The Kenyon Review"

"Laura Munson has served up a whopping portion of sanity. This book has the potential to start a cultural revolution."
-Leif Peterson, author of Catherine Wheels and Normal Like Us

"I loved this book. It's unusual, memorable and wry, laugh-out-loud funny too."
-Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of Crazy Love and Mommy Wars

Marianne Williamson
Laura Munson takes the spiritual stuff and the personal stuff and the love stuff and the pain stuff and she brews them all together in a very fun and touching memoir. I'm a fan. This is a wonderful book.
Leslie Morgan Steiner
I loved this book. It's unusual, memorable and wry, laugh-out-loud funny too. (Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of Crazy Love and Mommy Wars)
Arielle Ford
This book is fabulous. Laura Munson's noble quest to become the source of her own happiness will take you by the hand and heart as it guides you through the steps to living a life without suffering. Her story pulls back the curtain on the only magic we ever need to know: how to make the shift from fear to love. (Arielle Ford, author of The Soulmate Secret)

Meet the Author

Laura Munson lives with her family in Montana, where she writes novels, memoirs, short stories, and essays. This is her first published book.

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This Is Not the Story You Think It Is... 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
NicVA More than 1 year ago
Isn't that everyone? I recently happened upon a speaking engagement in which Laura Munson talked about this book. The subject matter definitely intrigued me, because I have found myself floundering in my marriage at times. This book shows the other side of the story that you usually hear. Her husband tells her after 20 years that he is not sure if he loves her anymore. Usually at this point, there is an empowering story of starting over. However, this story is about hanging in through really tough times, in the hope that this crisis will pass. It is not as simple as it sounds, but I believe that the author is very brave for attempting it. This book has given me another perspective when it comes to marital discord. It just shows that we all have choices, and you never really know how life is going to turn out.
drinal More than 1 year ago
I am not yet quite finished with this book, but I've been smitten with it from the first chapter. Without arrogance, the author shares how she wisely handled an extremely challenging period of marital discord. Most of us would have flipped out on our husbands if they behaved the way hers did, and there are times when I do want her to just tell him off. But to what purpose? She shows us that the purpose and long term outcome are what matters, not our ego or emotions of the moment. We can all learn from this, not just how to handle marital problems, but all relationships. The writing is honest and easy to read, yet intelligent. She expresses herself so well that the reader gets a deep sense of who she is. The food and cooking writing is wonderful! Laura is so deep inside my head at this point that I've found myself wondering how she would handle specific situations. An inspiring and enjoyable book. I look forward to that backlog of her novels that will almost certainly get published now. Thank you Laura for sharing this amazing experience with us. And thank your husband too.
RonAnne More than 1 year ago
As a member of the healthcare profession, and priveleged previewer of this book pre-release date, I must say that I heartily wish I could hand out this book to all my clients. No roadmap of the American marriage should be travelled without this wise, rocky, and witty sidetrip commentary for the survival of the inevitable marital pothole. How to get to the other side, in beautiful and funny language from the heroic Laura Munson. Read, listen, laugh, cry, learn... and survive the trip. Kudos and five big stars to this brave and terrific storyteller!
Alvs More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly provocative. Munson's angle and attitude are unique. She meets her challenge head-on, with astounding courage and compassion. You're drawn right in to confront her 'crisis' in real time, right alongside her. As fun and funny as it was gut-wrenching -- completely absorbing. I loved rooting for her and will always remember the 'lessons learned.'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was annoying on so many levels. In this book, the author claims that she is in control of her own happiness and that nothing that goes on around her, including hostility, neglect, rejection, disrespect and more from her husband, will take away from her happiness. Well, maybe she is happy. But she and her husband are teaching their children everything right about staying in unhealthy relationships. The parents chose to stay in an unhealthy relationship for the sake of the kids. I have a hard time understanding exactly what was saved and what this taught their children. Are the children now going to treat their future spouses the way the author's husband treated her? Or perhaps they will think it okay to be mis-treated by someone, or even abused. This was not an original story; rather, it was a familiar, sad story about emotional abuse. Frost it however you like.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Munson is a good writer. Slow to get going but with many brilliant pasages later. Just like jewels on a long silver necklace. Especially enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of nature, and the hard-to-put-into-words feelings she conveys. I'll be on the lookout for a novel one of these days!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Season of Unlikely Happiness: This Is Not the Story You Think It Is: A Literary Evaluation Fasten your seatbelt and prepare yourself for a thrilling, real-life journey with Laura Munson as you indulge in the pages of her memoir, A Season of Unlikely Happiness. If you are in need of some quality relationship and self healing guidance, this book is a must read. Munson uses a down-to-earth, realistic approach to her readers as she delivers the company of a therapist, novelist, and best friend all in the palms of your hands. The language she utilizes makes it an easy read and you can feel yourself slipping into her shoes. The mental illustrations she creates for the reader allows us to learn from her experiences. No matter what age you are or what type of struggles you are having, Laura Munson will teach you how to cope. A Season of Unlikely Happiness is a therapeutic, excellent read for men and women of all ages who need help dealing with the grey areas of their lives. After nine days of learning that her husband no longer loves her, you would assume that Munson's world would come crashing down. How would she be able to come up with enough energy to keep her devotion to her young children and to completing her daily writing tasks for work? Munson teaches her readers that we all have a choice- to either suffer, or simply to not. Sounds a lot easier said than done, right? Wrong! Munson's memoir takes you hand in hand with her through her journey of teaching herself not to suffer. We learn that the biggest thing in life is to stop "wanting" and start "creating." Although the writing does not end with a fairytale cliche ending, in a way it does. We, as readers, gain a sense of self love and assurance. With that, we can conquer any battle or climb any mountain, as Munson, in other words, preaches. Due to the fact that Munson uses a very realistic writing style, I actually found that it was a much more enjoyable read. I feel that when you are reading something that is meant to be therapeutic, an extensive vocabulary and background information are things that are not needed. She excludes these from her reading and practically keeps it naked- everything is out on the table. We are able to create a mental image of what the author is going through, and she calls us out on things that we are most likely thinking as we are reading. Just the fact that Munson had the idea of helping people through her writing makes me feel like she is a great author. She says in her memoir, "That's what this book is all about. Maybe it will help people. Maybe even save marriages, and jobs, and children's hearts from breaking. I wish I had this book on my bedside table right now. If only just to know that I am not alone" (15). And that is exactly how I felt while reading it- I was never alone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved loved loved this book! I bought it years ago, and have read it over 5 times cover to cover.  I leave it in my car and read it whenever I have the chance! Laura Munson tells this story with such wisdom and hilarity it makes it an excellent read! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldnt even get a quarter of the way through. i do not recommend this book.
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Lazibum More than 1 year ago
This book is part self help, part memoir. The author is raw in her reflections and that is interesting. Her rambling writing style captures how the mind races when in crisis. However, for someone who has read a lot of self-empowerment books, and received lots of "enlightenment" from Sunday messages... this book really doesn't bring anything new to the table. Would I recommend anyone pay $10 for it? Probably not. Buy it used, borrow it from the library or something. Although, I will say that this book reminds me how important it is to communicate in a marriage and be each others mirror. If you think your husband is toiling away at a fruitless task... you really oughta help him re-evaluate before he has a midlife crisis/breakdown.
EB23 More than 1 year ago
As a horsewoman and therapeutic riding instructor, I know timing is everything. Reading this well scripted memoir was just what I needed to continue writing my own. As my partner and I struggle with the same life changes, I find solace in Laura's thoughts and ideals. She left out the 'gory' stuff and kudos for that. We can certainly fill in the blanks with our own gore. I' m not one to reread books--save that for the movies-- but I don''t think I'll archive this one just yet. Nice work, Laura.
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Stephanie Stevenson More than 1 year ago
not what I expected, as the title suggested - but better.
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gl More than 1 year ago
This Is Not The Story You Think It Is. . . A Season of Unlikely Happiness is the true account of a woman who married her college sweetheart and their "happily ever after." They were young, beautiful, successful -- they grew careers and built their lives together. They moved to Montana and lived surrounded by the mountains and grounded by nature. Then suddenly, things fell apart. Laura's husband of fourteen years suddenly announced that he needed to be alone, that he couldn't say that he loved her and that he wasn't sure that he had ever loved her. Faced with the destruction of the life and family that she loved, Laura Munson fought -- for her husband, her marriage, and her sense of self. And through it all, Munson wrote. This Is Not The Story You Think It Is is Munson's account her strategy to overcome the crisis in her marriage. Wise and funny, it's written with love -- it's about a person going through a tough time and trying not to suffer, albeit she is not always successful. It's the story of a person choosing happiness over suffering and of working to remain well-adjusted. And teaching your children how to live.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago