No Last Words by Tara Kelly
EastOver Press, August 2023
Tara Kelly’s moving memoir, No Last Words, opens: “The day before Robert died was an otherwise perfect June day in Connecticut: warm but not hot, with a bit of a breeze, flawless blue sky, puffy white clouds—the sort of weather a sailor loves, and Robert was a sailor.”
Robert Willis was Tara’s husband, father of their children, restauranteur, sailor, bon vivant, and alcoholic. From an enchanted start in Manhattan to a townhouse in Brooklyn, from an island in Maine and back to rural Connecticut, in fast cars and sleek boats, Tara and Robert seemed to live a charmed life. But beneath the glittering exterior was the struggle of money, alcohol, and ultimately self-control and hard-won sobriety. When this couple seems to have reached an impasse, separation brings renewed love, and then tragedy brings new challenges. Kelly’s memoir is a clear-eyed excavation of the lives lived together and apart by two charismatic modern Americans, a story told in love and compassion for herself and others.
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