From TLC book tour website:
Television writer Tracy McMillan managed to work her way into a killer Hollywood career—a privileged world of pool houses, premieres, and big-time producer deals—despite being the daughter of a fur-coat-wearing, El Dorado–driving, smooth-talking pimp named Freddie. But success couldn’t save her from the pattern of self-destructive choices—stemming from her history with her father—that would shape all of her romantic relationships. I Love You and I’m Leaving You Anyway is her comic, tragic, and ultimately victorious story, the riveting true tale of how having a father obsessed with women made her a woman obsessed with men.
Pages: 334 (hardcover)
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Source: Received as part of TLC book tour.
As I wiped the tears away, the first word which came to mind when I finished Tracy McMillan's memoir I Love You and I’m Leaving You Anyway is "Wow." Her journey to self-love is one that many can relate to even if the specific steps are different. Throughout the book, Ms. McMillan's humor and insight cut through the pain we experience with her as she leads us through her past. Even though I got frustrated with some of Ms. McMillan's choices, I was cheering for her. I feel like she spoke to all of us who have come into relationships seeking validation, value, and acceptance.
My favorite parts of the book were all in the chapter entitled, "I love you and I forgive you." I appreciated that she reevaluated relationships from an adult perspective and then gave thanks for what she learned from having all the connections. One of the most moving moments for me is when Ms. McMillan is saying goodbye to her foster mother June. She is reunited with one of her foster brother's and remembers how she felt like she was part of something. It reminds me a little bit of how I feel when I go to my parent's house for Thanksgiving. Even though I get annoyed, frustrated, and try to demonstrate all the ways in which I am different than my family, I am glad to be tied to something bigger than myself.
I also really loved Ms. McMillan's son, Sam. His presence seems to ground Ms. McMillan in a really lovely way. I appreciated all of his questions and answers to many things. I loved the epiphanies Ms McMillan had about men since she became the mother of a son. Another one of my favorite scenes is when Sam interacts with Freddie (Ms. McMillan's father) in prison. It is beautiful to see the two parts of her lives come together and to feel the happiness and joy she has in that moment.
Most of all, I appreciate the hope the book provides. Hope to those of us who seem to be so far behind in the journey of self-love. Hope to those of us who find it hard to believe that we have not missed our window to finding love. If I had read the book before I was married, I may have been a little less surprised that my Partner would end up being someone who loves watching nature shows and enjoys eating yogurt rice every day. Maybe I would have spent less time trying to figure out what was wrong with him and how I could fix myself to be with him. Instead, maybe I could have enjoyed and trusted the peace I feel around him sooner or enjoy the fact that being with him feels both like an adventure and a safe resting place. Ms. McMillan dedicates her book, in part, to "[her] fourth husband, wherever you are." << After such a wonderfully written and provocative journey to self-love and understanding of men through her son, I am cheering for her to find a Partner with whom she can have a healthy and fulfilling relationship.