Synopses & Reviews
The Aftermath of Forever: How I Loved and Lost and Found Myself is a memoir that chronicles the romantic coming-of-age of a woman in her 20s experiencing dating in the San Francisco Bay Area. After the disappointment of a failed marriage, Natalye Childress embarks on a soul-searching journey to discover what happens when the one you thought you would be with forever breaks your heart. Using music as a vehicle to express herself, she revisits ten men from her past and paints a portrait of their relationships through the mixtapes she has made them. Her quest for love takes the form of delving into the hedonistic world of noncommittal beaus, abusive boyfriends, and friends with benefits. She candidly dissects her love life on the page as she shares the inspiring and hopeful moments alongside the awkward and painful realizations that accompany dating in the present day, when everyone is looking for something different. These men, although they leave her life almost as quickly as they entered it, collectively help shape her future as she embarks on a quest not only to find love, but to find herself. Ultimately, she learns the age-old lesson that in order to truly be loved, she needs to first love herself.
"With unflinching honesty and exquisite spareness, Natalye Childress explores the spectrum of romantic love, in its tender, wild, painful, and redeeming dimensions. Though each of these finely tuned pieces can stand alone, when they are read together and in sequence the collection achieves a striking intensity of narrative momentum and richness of emotional resonance." —Noelle Oxenhandler, author, The Eros of Parenthood and The Wishing Year
"The story is a path of self-discovery to cope with how life moves on after experiencing heartbreak from someone once held so close." —Dylan Sirdofsky, Sonoma State Star
Love and music collide in this refreshing, uplifting memoir that chronicles the romantic coming-of-age of a woman in her 20s experiencing the dating scene in the San Francisco Bay Area. After the disappointment of a failed marriage, Natalye Childress embarks on a soul-searching journey to discover what happens when true and everlasting turns out not to last that long. Using music as a vehicle to express herself, she revisits 10 men of her past and paints a portrait of their relationship through the mixtapes she made them. Her quest for love sees her take up with noncommittal beaus and abusive boyfriends and give the always-complicated friends-with-benefits relationship a try. She candidly dissects her love life as she shares the inspiring and hopeful moments alongside the awkward and painful relationships that accompany dating in the modern world, all on the way to discovering the truth of the age-old maxim: in order to be truly loved, you need to love yourself first.
About the Author
Natalye Childress is a writer, an editor, and a music journalist. She formerly worked for the Associated Press, Crittenden Research, and the Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, California. She is currently the editor of Berlin Beat and writes for Slow Travel Berlin.