January 19, 2021

#BookReview: My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me: A Memoir by Jason B. Rosenthal

Synopsis: An inspiring memoir of life, love, loss, and new beginnings by the widower of bestselling children’s author and filmmaker Amy Krouse Rosenthal, whose last of act of love before her death was setting the stage for her husband’s life without her in the viral New York Times Modern Love column, “You May Want to Marry My Husband.”

On March 3, 2017, Amy Krouse Rosenthal penned an op-ed piece for the New York Times’ “Modern Love” column —”You May Want to Marry My Husband.” It appeared ten days before her death from ovarian cancer. A heartbreaking, wry, brutally honest, and creative play on a personal ad—in which a dying wife encouraged her husband to go on and find happiness after her demise—the column quickly went viral, reaching more than five million people worldwide.

In My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, Jason describes what came next: his commitment to respecting Amy’s wish, even as he struggled with her loss. Surveying his life before, with, and after Amy, Jason ruminates on love, the pain of watching a loved one suffer, and what it means to heal—how he and their three children, despite their profound sorrow, went on. Jason’s emotional journey offers insights on dying and death and the excruciating pain of losing a soulmate, and illuminates the lessons he learned.

As he reflects on Amy’s gift to him—a fresh start to fill his empty space with a new story—Jason describes how he continues to honor Amy’s life and her last wish, and how he seeks to appreciate every day and live in the moment while trying to help others coping with loss. My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me is the poignant, unreserved, and inspiring story of a great love, the aftermath of a marriage ended too soon, and how a surviving partner eventually found a new perspective on life’s joys in the wake of tremendous loss.


Rating: 4 Stars
My Review:  
When Jason Rosenthal’s wife died of ovarian cancer, a shift in everything he thought he knew about his life was triggered. Grieving and single for the first time in almost 30 years, he was given an opportunity to move on in a way most don’t get thanks to a NYTimes Modern Love column his wife had written titled “You May Want to Marry My Husband” which was published just prior to her death in March of 2017. Through the permission she gave him to not only carry on with his life but to find joy and peace following her passing, he was able to speak more and more openly about grief and the grieving process, culminating in a TED Talk which led to further public speaking engagements.

This account of his relationship, her battle with cancer, and the aftermath as he struggled to move forward moved me deeply. As someone with little experience with true grief, I’ve realized it’s possible to both grieve a profound loss deeply and to move forward in life with happiness and excitement after said loss and that these are anything but mutually exclusive.


“Jason B. Rosenthal’s brilliant and achingly honest memoir captures the true boundlessness of love and the absolute heartbreak of loss. I smiled and cried the whole way through this extraordinary reading experience, convinced more than ever that, as Jason writes, ‘people are good.’” -- John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars

"The book is a 228-page love declaration to Amy." -- Washington Post

“Rosenthal’s grief journey is expressed with candor, humor, and gratitude…recommended for readers either experiencing grief or wanting to understand how to support someone experiencing loss.”  -- Library Journal

“Jason’s profoundly personal book is about loss and what comes after, but it is, at its core, also the story of two soul mates and a love that lives forever.” -- Katie Couric, journalist, New York Times bestselling author, and cancer advocate

“I feel very lucky to have known Amy since high school and watched admiringly as she built a family and a body of work that will outlast us all. Her partner through it all, Jason B. Rosenthal, is a man of honor and great sensitivity, and their lives together tell us how to live and how to say goodbye. This book is everything Jason is—warm, approachable, inquisitive, and relentlessly honest.” -- Dave Eggers, bestselling author of Heroes of the Frontier and The Captain and the Glory

“It's about love, loss, and family — and it's guaranteed to make you cry.”  -- Buzzfeed

“Rosenthal’s gut-wrenching, honest, and uplifting memoir offers reassurance and connection to readers experiencing their own losses.”  -- Booklist

“An essay gone viral leads to this memoir about deep loss and navigating profound grief…filled with advice and support for anyone else going through similar circumstances.” -- Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jason Rosenthal is a dad, a lawyer, a yogi, and an artist, and Dear Boy, is his first book. He delivered a TED Talk about moving through the loss of his wife of twenty-six years, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. He also penned a Modern Love column for the New York Times. Jason is filled with joy at the opportunity to work with his daughter, Paris, on the follow-up to Dear Girl, a book she wrote with her mom.

--This text refers to the audioCD edition.

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