“I Love You And…”
26 March 2010 by Elizabeth Louise
I just finished the book, “I Love You And I’m Leaving You Anyway,” by Tracy McMillan—an unedited proof one of my gals picked up at a conference for me. I assume will hit the shelves soon, and expect it to skyrocket to the top of the lists.
It took me a while to get engrossed in, which is the first attribute I rank a book on. The first two-thirds of the book consist of two storylines—her childhood, and her current place in adulthood.
To provide a quick synopsis, McMillan was the daughter of a pimp/drug dealing man who spent the majority of his life in prison, and her mother, a prostitute who gave her up as a baby. The account of her childhood takes you through numerous foster homes, back and forth to jail visits and her teenage years trying to fit into high school, hide the reality of her father’s situation and her chaotic relationship with Yvonne—her father’s ex-wife who marries her father and legally adopts her when he receives his first prison sentence. Continuing from there, she shares her marijuana/alcohol addiction, how her son affected her life decisions and the breakdown of two marriages along with numerous other relationships, all ended by her.
Told in parallel, the story of her adult life begins at the time she finds—yes, finds (online), not meets—her third husband. He fulfills her longing for a strong connection as well as a materially comfortable lifestyle. We enjoy take this ride with her, in detail, experiencing all her joy and excitement as well as the doubts. What I found most captivating is that she exhibits an acute self-awareness and acknowledgment of her fears, but an overriding acceptance that it is all happening for a reason and she is meant to experience the events of her life in order to learn.
And this is the underlying message throughout the book and what inspired me most. She knows she is meant to “ride through” her life. She is a perfect example of how your mental outlook can change what you get from your life, and how much you enjoy it — and it is apparent from the beginning. Having even just a small clue about the book is about, one would expect to open it to be confronted with anger and resentment. But it is apparent from the first sentence that she has accepted her father for the way he is and learned to love herself. It is written with love for her dad and nothing less. Not an easy task for a gal whose childhood dinners with dad mostly involved KFC in the jail’s visitor room.
Great book… stay tuned for it to hit the shelves.
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