No Happy Endings

A Memoir
Narrated by: Nora McInerny
Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (744 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The author of It’s Okay to Laugh and host of the popular podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking - interviews that are “[A] gift to be able to listen [to]” (New York Times) - returns with more hilarious meditations on her messy, wonderful, bittersweet, and unconventional life.

Life has a million different ways to kick you right in the chops. We lose love, lose jobs, lose our sense of self. For Nora McInerny, it was losing her husband, her father, and her unborn second child in one catastrophic year. 

But in the wake of loss, we get to assemble something new from whatever is left behind. Some circles call finding happiness after loss “Chapter Two” - the continuation of something else. Today, Nora is remarried and mothers four children aged 16 months to 16 years. While her new circumstances bring her extraordinary joy, they are also tinged with sadness over the loved ones she’s lost. 

Life has made Nora a reluctant expert in hard conversations. On her wildly popular podcast, she talks about painful experiences we inevitably face and exposes the absurdity of the question “How are you?” that people often ask when we’re coping with the aftermath of emotional catastrophe. She knows intimately that when your life falls apart, there’s a mad rush to be okay - to find a silver lining, to get to the happy ending. In this, her second memoir, Nora offers a tragicomic exploration of the tension between finding happiness and holding space for the unhappy experiences that have shaped us. 

No Happy Endings is an audiobook for people living life after life has fallen apart. It’s an audiobook for people who know they’re moving forward, not moving on. It’s an audiobook for people who know life isn’t always happy, but it isn’t the end: There will be unimaginable joy and incomprehensible tragedy. As Nora reminds us, there will be no happy endings - but there will be new beginnings.

©2019 Nora McInerny (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about No Happy Endings

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    5 out of 5 stars

Puts it together

I didn't know that I was in a three year mourning experience. I lost my father as a dutiful son without telling him what a prick he was. I lost my mother and brother. One my mentor. The other my guardian angel. You put it all together. Now I can say entering my third trimester of life, Bring it on. Thank you.

30 people found this helpful

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Love Nora!

I lost my husband six months ago, and several folks had shared Nora's Ted Talk with me about "moving forward, not moving on" and I appreciated her outlook, particularly as time went on in my own journey. I was interested enough in hearing from her to spend a credit on this book and am very happy I did so. She doesn't take herself too seriously, yet is authentic in her descriptions of her life's challenges and sadness. Thanks for the book, Nora - maybe you will read this, even though you say you try to stay away from online comments!

21 people found this helpful

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Excellently done

I loved this book- I am currently grieving my husband who died of the same cancer Nora’s husband had. You give me hope, Nora of getting through this time and also of surviving. A lot of what you said is exactly what I am going through right now. Thank you for not being “positive “ but thank you for being hopeful.

14 people found this helpful

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Feminist crap

I like to read/listen as an escape from the daily crap that we're forced to see in the media on a daily basis. This book started out ok, but Nora dedicates a good portion to feminism. Today's "feminism" actually degrades women and what we as women have fought so hard to attain. I still had about 8 hours left of listening, but couldn't waste another minute on this book. Disappointed I invested the time and money!

28 people found this helpful

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Both/And™

Nora, you are brilliant. I am a huge fan of every thing you create and produce, because you have that same "both/and" perspective that I developed and embraced ever since I was old enough to think, old enough to notice and then embrace, the ambiguities that are required in order to survive on the planet.

And I was a temporary glamazon (glamorous tall person - you might want to use that moniker) fourth grade when I was 5'7", but rapidly lost that advantage when everyone else started catching up. I am still 5'7' but I'm no longer "tall".

Your title, "No More Happy Endings" is a perfect example of the both/and balance. "Happy endings" vs. "no more"? Perfect example. "Hot Young Widows Club"? Even better. Conventional thinking suggests widows cannot be "hot" is , but reality, or my limited concept of it, says anyone or anything can be both hot and widowed.

If there was a "Steve Jobs Prize" for original and authentic thinking, you've won the prize. So keep on thinking different.

12 people found this helpful

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Engrossing

A story you want to come back to everyday to learn how it turns out. Very honest and engaging storytelling. Made me laugh and cry. Definitely recommend!

12 people found this helpful

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I needed this book

This book is for anyone struggling with the loss of their husband. Everything Nora wrote I could relate to. It lets fellow widows know they aren’t alone and their feelings aren’t crazy.

11 people found this helpful

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Nora - great writing , great voice...

A frank discussion of all manor of difficult topics. Nora holds your interest with her no nonsense approach to many of life’s turns.

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whine fest!

if you are not already unhappy enough, you should try this book. bad things happen to good people all the time and I get that talking it "through" may help but waaa waaa. Sorry I ever started this cathartic mess.

7 people found this helpful

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  • kc
  • 05-23-19

Refreshingly honest

I had the pleasure of meeting Nora before ever hearing her story or her accomplishments. I’m appreciative to have listened to this book and admittedly have said out loud while listening, “YASSS! SO MUCH YASSS!” Nora is one of the most refreshingly honest and genuine people you’ll ever meet. Thanks Nora!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-24-20

Listened day and night

Thank you, Nora. The way you make sense of the world and tragedy resonates with so many, even for those who have not known the same kind of loss. I believe Nora has taught me to be a more compassionate person.