Book Spotlight: Judy Goldman's TOGETHER

In her second memoir, author writes of a loving marriage and a medical accident that challenges everything

Henry Goldman’s back pain was growing worse when an ad in The Charlotte Observer pointed him to a physiatrist who specialized in aiding spinal issues without surgery. Desperate for normalcy, a life in which he could jog or play tennis again, he gave the procedure a try.

In her memoir, Judy Goldman traces the medical missteps that follow this decision, which led to paralysis in her husband’s legs. She reflects on her decades-long marriage to Henry and her fierce desire to protect the man who had always protected her. Together (February 12, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday) is a story about love, provocation, and the nuance of blame. We picked a few poignant moments from a book full of them. 

“Everything is okay. Then nothing is. That thin line. How a brushfire can erupt on a perfectly sunny, clear-skied day. How your life can be taken right out of your hands.”

“I don’t feel like cooking, so I drive over to Price’s Chicken Coop to pick up dinner. There’s a line of customers out the door and onto the sidewalk. But because the air is thick with the crispy promise of fried chicken, everyone is jovial. Construction workers in overalls, bank execs in subdued ties, suburban moms holding babies—a cozy coexistence of people who understand that the ordinary becomes extraordinary in a vat of oil.”

“Husbands and wives (like siblings) assume they do not possess the central quality the other possesses. If Henry is strong, I must not be. He can shield me forever. I did the same thing Patty Hearst did—married my bodyguard.”

“When a baby is born, anything seems possible. We see our very best selves in the making. Here comes the new-and-improved version of me! But then they grow as if driven by a restlessness. Things will live in them we never expected. We’ll be overwhelmed by what we failed to teach. We’ll be overwhelmed at their beautiful flowering.”

Categories: Arts + Culture, In Print