wondering who you are

Tin House, July 2015

"When you say you’ll take him 'in sickness and in health,' you don’t think you’ll be cleaning up vomit in the airport. Even if you think cancer, you certainly don’t think he’ll forget the day you married and the day you buried his mother and the days you had children. But you’re not thinking about any of this when the skycap wheels him from the limo to the airplane that will take you across the country to your new home in California—the one you barely had a chance to move into before the surgery—where your girl is finishing school. You’re thinking how great it is to be doing something normal, out of the wretched cancer hospital, on your way to eating real food again, when you look down and see that his eyes are as wild as a frightened puppy’s."


"Lea's account of her loss, and her adjustment to the new man her husband has become, is unflinching." —BBC

"Her stunning account of his recovery efforts and her willful refusal to give up on marriage to the stranger occupying her husband’s body is fantastically heartfelt and inspiring." —Booklist

"I was carried forward by the linguistic ferocity of a self-proclaimed badass, but also by great empathy for the husband whose medical tragedy lies at the heart of this story." —Chicago Tribune

"A quietly wrenching memoir that’s as much about what makes any of us who we are as it is about Lea’s own story." —Minneapolis Star Tribune


"In this brave, inspiring memoir [Lea] recounts the losses, and what it took to rebuild."
People, Summer's Best Books

"A memoir as addictive as a thriller... An admirable and heartening story about love, the resilience of marriage and what 'in sickness and in health' really means." 
O Magazine, 4 Memoirs So Compelling They Read Like Novels

"One of [my] favorite reads about exploring your origins and seeing yourself clearly."
The Week: Sherman Alexie's 6 Favorite Books About Identity

"As a reader, she does a remarkable job narrating her heartbreakingly honest memoir. Listeners can hear both joy and despair in her voice as she recalls their early years and current struggles to reach her distant husband. Her prose is elegant, and her reading is heartfelt and professional. This inspiring audio will touch listeners with its compassion and grace."
Booklist Audio Review