I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott


“That’s one of the strange things about life: Even when we know how much worse it could be, everyday pains are still pains.”

4/5 stars


Nonfiction – Essays/Memoir

Goodreads Summary

Acclaimed essayist and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott presents a charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-essays about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on her successful life’s to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list—and herself. 

Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy. 

But once she’d completed her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She’d done everything “right,” but she felt all wrong. What’s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options?

In this memoir-in-essays full of spot-on observations about home, work, and creative life, Philpott takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood with wit and heart. She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife; reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary; and advises that if you’re going to faint, you should get low to the ground first. Most of all, Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down and set off on a transcontinental hike (unless you want to, of course). You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that?

Like a pep talk from a sister, I Miss You When I Blink is the funny, poignant, and deeply affecting book you’ll want to share with all your friends, as you learn what Philpott has figured out along the way: that multiple things can be true of us at once—and that sometimes doing things wrong is the way to do life right.


First things first! Yes, you did see that genre above correctly. Perhaps you did a double take? This is the first nonfiction book I have ever reviewed on my blog. WHAT?! Yes, it’s true that I tend to read a whole lot of fiction and almost zero nonfiction.

Anyway! I Miss You When I Blink first caught my attention because:

a.) the title is adorable!

b.) the cover is adorable!

However, this book offers a lot more than those two things. 😉 Mary Laura Philpott’s essays will delight anyone that is Type A or knows someone that is Type A. As a Type A individual, I felt like she had crawled into my brain and taken the thoughts straight out of it. Her stories are real and unfiltered and deal with the day-to-day struggles of life.

Philpott touches on the difficult subjects of wondering if you’ve failed as a wife, mother, and person. But she sprinkles delightful humor throughout that left me laughing out loud and telling my husband listen to this!

“Also, I truly do not care what anybody does with my body after I’m dead. Dress it up in a sequined jumpsuit and fly it from a flagpole if you want. I won’t need it anymore.”

Quite frankly, I think that any woman—mother, wife, single—would find this book to be relatable and enjoyable. I highly suggest picking up this fun read when it hits stores April 2nd! Or preorder it by visiting Mary Laura’s website below.

Thank you to Mary Laura Philpott and Atria Books for my Advance Reader Copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

Author Mary Laura Philpott’s website

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