Alone: A Love Story

Overview

A memoir of falling in love, the fallout of infidelity, and everything messy in between — and the inspiration behind the hit CBC podcast.

“Beautifully and powerfully written, Alone: A Love Story left me heartbroken and inspired at the same time.” — Terry Fallis
“A lyrical tribute to the intoxicating, dramatic, destructive and ultimately empowering nature of love.” — Anna Maria Tremonti
“Michelle Parise is the best company. Her passion and humour leap off the page.” — Camilla Gibb

The church wedding, the new house, a beautiful baby … Michelle was sold a dream and bought into it. But one day, nine years in, she wakes up in an empty bed, and The Husband isn't there. Then, he drops The Bomb — he was having an affair with a woman at work.

Adrift and on the edge of forty — fuelled by grief, booze, and one-night stands — Michelle battles the monster she calls Loneliness, juggling being a part-time parent and part-time partier. Though dangerously close to rock bottom, Michelle takes a chance on love again with a dashing but complicated man — The Man with the White Shirt.

Michelle, an expert in "emotional forensics," dives into the wreckage with candour and humour, uncovering a story about falling in and out of love, divorce, single parenthood, and the messy world of dating. What she finds, beneath it all, is life and the courage to face it alone.

“Michelle Parise knows how to shape and deliver a story that will keep you coming back for more.” — The Atlantic

Reviews

This is a lyrical tribute to the intoxicating, dramatic, destructive and ultimately empowering nature of love. I could not stop reading Michelle’s story, and now I cannot stop thinking about it.

Anna Maria Tremonti, host of More with Anna Maria Tremonti podcast

Michelle Parise’s story of love, betrayal, loss, and ultimately redemption, is filled with moments of grace, humour, pain, hope, and wisdom. Beautifully and powerfully written, Alone: A Love Story left me heartbroken and inspired at the same time.

Terry Fallis, award-winning author of The Best Laid Plans

Michelle Parise is the best company. Her passion and humour leap off the page.

Camilla Gibb, author of This Is Happy

Michelle Parise knows how to shape and deliver a story that will keep you coming back for more.

The Atlantic, on the podcast Alone: A Love Story

The storytelling is exemplary. The way the narrative unfolds, moving back and forth in time, conjures up the full scope of emotion — horror and anxiety and wonder and happiness. Parise's is a very particular story but in many ways it's universal and familiar. The thing I'm most struck by is the neat way she walks the tightrope between hope and despair, darkness and light.

Sharon Bala, bestselling author of The Boat People on the podcast Alone: A Love Story

Alone: A Love Story is an emotional memoir of a life exploded — the end of a marriage, referred to as The Bomb — and the chaos that follows. But it's also about what blooms in the wreckage. Beautifully written, intimate, alive and accessible, the story flows like a conversation with your most interesting, wise and exciting friend.

Emily Urquhart, author of Beyond the Pale

Michelle Parise is remarkable at rendering the (nearly) universal human experience of deceit into a tightly woven tapestry of vulnerability, rawness, and humour, and while she’s doing it, makes you contemplate your inner life with more acceptance and compassion.

Britt Wray, author of Rise of the Necrofauna

Brave, resonant and oh so raw. In Alone: A Love Story Michelle turns her greatest shock into a story that lets you get close enough to feel its sting and understand its nuance. Her book doubles as a survival guide for when it’s your turn to rethink your relationship with love itself. Plus, Michelle Parise channels some seriously steamy Canadian Bridget Jones divorcee realness.

Andrea Silenzi, host of Why Oh Why podcast

A courageous and full-throttled confessional. Michelle Parise has written a fierce and compassionate book about losing yourself to grief and then finding yourself again with humour and grace.

Daemon Fairless, author of Mad Blood Stirring

Ardent, urgent, and honest, Parise’s wildly intimate voice reminds us that as long as we are feeling — feeling longing or loss, collapse or curiosity, the things that make us human — we are never really alone.

Adrian McKerracher, author of What it Means to Write

Parise took her story, one of pain, rage and ultimately hope, and decided to own it, to reframe it, to tell it to the world on her terms. Alone: A Love Story tells a unique, nuanced story of healing. We’ve seen enough stories about self-destructive ‘lost’ women. Parise explores the more real female narrative: we bleed but we’re masters at covering it up. Parise’s writing is addictively, heartbreakingly great. She will inspire you and she will devastate you, and you will be better for it.

Katie Boland, actor, filmmaker, and author of Eat Your Heart Out

Dating, love, marriage, parenthood, and scrape-yourself-off-the-floor heartbreak is illuminated in Alone: A Love Story. Michelle takes us into the heart's dark corners with dark humour and deep honesty, pouring out her story like a funny, fierce friend who trusts you with everything. I don’t know anyone who won’t see themselves somewhere in this story (but be glad Michelle’s the one doing the telling). Ultimately, Alone: A Love Story gives us something we all want: to feel less alone.

Christa Couture, musician and author of How to Lose Everything

For anyone who has had a marriage fall apart, Alone: A Love Story is a book to keep close. Parise is unflinching as she reports back from her broken heart and, as strange as this might seem, comforts by showing us the way from loneliness to standing tall . . . and alone.

Laurie Brown, host of Pondercast

Michelle Parise has turned us into confidantes, revealing her experiences of love, dating and divorce. Alone: A Love Story is equal parts pain and hope, served with a side of laughs — and we’re all wiser for it.

Duncan McCue, CBC Radio host and author of The Shoe Boy

Gutsy, searingly honest, and full of heart, Michelle's beautiful memoir about mid-life fuckery reveals an exciting opportunity for self discovery amidst a wild unravelling.

Jen McNeely, founder of SheDoesTheCity

About the Author

Michelle Parise

Posted by Dundurn Guest on August 16, 2019
Michelle Parise photo

Michelle Parise

Michelle Parise is an award-winning journalist, writer, and performer. She has worked for the CBC for more than two decades, in everything from children’s television to music programming and documentary making, as well as at the helm of many national radio programs. She’s also a soccer player, parent, and champion campfire builder. The daughter of Italian immigrants, she was born and raised in Toronto where she still lives today.