She channeled her grief the best way she knew: by writing a New York Times op-ed. The piece caught the attention of Peter, a Bay Area psychiatrist, who emailed her to commiserate. Recently widowed himself, he reminded her that they had shared a few dates fifty-four years before, set up by Nora. Delia did not remember him, but after several weeks of exchanging emails and sixties folk songs, he flew east to see her. They were crazy, utterly, in love.
But this was not a rom-com: four months later she was diagnosed with AML, a fierce leukemia.
In Left on Tenth, Delia Ephron enchants as she seesaws us between tears and laughter, navigating the suicidal lows of enduring cutting-edge treatment and the giddy highs of a second chance at love. With Peter and her close girlfriends by her side, with startling clarity, warmth, and honesty about facing death, Ephron invites us to join her team of warriors and become believers ourselves.
From the very first pages of Left on Tenth, I was caught up in the author’s journey. Moving on from loss, rediscovering love, and then fighting an illness that could do her in.
As she relates her experiences, I felt as if I were right there with her, rooting for her.
I learned more about how one can battle such an illness, and know that there might actually be a good ending to it all. She describes how a “confluence of events” seemingly came together to create her miracle treatment and her new life. Every step of the way felt just like a dream, albeit with some brutal agony along the way via the treatment, and I marveled at it all. 5 stars.