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Disassembly Required: A Memoir of Midlife Resurrection

Disassembly Required: A Memoir of Midlife Resurrection

by Beverly Willett


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After a small-town southern girl turned New Yorker watches her American Dream implode, she musters the courage to begin again—resurrecting the powerful woman her daughters had glimpsed during their family’s darkest times.

I scrolled to voicemail on my husband’s cell phone. Instantly I heard a woman’s voice I’d never heard before.

“I love you. Call me at home,” the voice said.

My hand trembled. I inhaled my tears and stuffed my wails inside so the children, one floor above, wouldn’t hear.

“Want to come over here tomorrow and have a little time to be private instead of meeting at the office?” the voice continued.

Fear exploded in my chest. I couldn’t swallow. I wanted to bolt the doors and keep my family in suspended animation, safe and rolled up in their covers until I could figure out what to do next...

A raw and riveting memoir, Disassembly Required invites readers along, moment by gut-wrenching moment, on one woman’s journey from betrayal and devastation to resilience and recovery. From learning of her husband’s affair, to family court, to life as a single mother, Beverly Willett perseveres in resisting injustice, the loss of her family unit, and the sale of the beautiful Brooklyn Brownstone her family had called home.

Willett knows selling her house will require taking inventory of her possessions; she does not realize it will require taking inventory of herself. But as she surrenders her hopes for a life that hasn’t turned out the way she imagined, the world opens back up. And Willett leaps toward it, embracing uncertainty.

Disassembly Required is a story of quiet struggle and persistence. Unflinchingly honest in its examination of the discomforts of change, it celebrates the opportunities for transformation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781642931501
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Publication date: 07/30/2019
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,152,015
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Beverly Willett has written for The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The New York Post, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, and many more. A former entertainment lawyer in New York City, she now lives in Savannah, Georgia, and serves on the boards of the homeless authority and the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home. To learn more, watch her Tedx Talk “How to Begin Again.”

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Les Escaliers 1

Chapter 2 I Got the House 8

Chapter 3 Justice for Moms 18

Chapter 4 Sixty Days and Counting 26

Chapter 5 July Fourth 33

Chapter 6 Reconstructive Surgery 44

Chapter 7 House for Sale 51

Chapter 8 The War Room 60

Chapter 9 Hoarders 69

Chapter 10 Emptying Nicki's Nest 80

Chapter 11 Aging, Sickness, and Death 90

Chapter 12 Stuff 97

Chapter 13 Not Worth the Paper 107

Chapter 14 Meeting My Former Self 117

Chapter 15 Exorcism 129

Chapter 16 Bangladesh 138

Chapter 17 The Wall of Mom 148

Chapter 18 Cartage 155

Chapter 19 Open House 166

Chapter 20 Home 177

Chapter 21 Independence Day 184

Chapter 22 Hurry Up and Wait 188

Chapter 23 Empty Nest 197

Chapter 24 In Contract 207

Chapter 25 Countdown 213

Chapter 26 Reclamation 221

Chapter 27 Homeless 230

Chapter 28 Moving Day 237

Chapter 29 Closing Day 246

Chapter 30 Leap 256

Epilogue 261

Acknowledgments 265

About the Author 269

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