A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2021 • From New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Henderson comes a turbulent love story meets harrowing medical mystery: the true story of the author’s twenty-year marriage defined by her husband’s chronic illness—and a testament to the endurance of love
Eleanor met Aaron when she was just a teenager and he was working at a local record stored—older, experienced, and irresistibly charming. Escaping the clichés of fleeting young love, their summer romance bloomed into a relationship that survived college and culminated in a marriage and two children. From the outside looking in, their life had all the trappings of what most would consider a success story.
But, as in any marriage, things weren’t always as they seemed. On top of the typical stresses of parenting, money, and work, there were the untended wounds of depression, addiction, and childhood trauma. And then one day, out of nowhere: a rash appeared on Aaron’s arms. Soon, it had morphed into painful lesions covering his body. Eleanor was as baffled as the doctors. There was no obvious diagnosis, let alone a cure. And as years passed and the lesions gave way to Aaron’s increasingly disturbed concerns about the source of his sickness, the husband she loved seemed to unravel before her eyes. A new fissure ruptured in their marriage, and new questions piled onto old ones: Where does physical illness end and mental illness begin? Where does one person end and another begin? And how do we exist alongside someone else’s suffering?
Emotional, intimate, and at times agonizing, Everything I Have Is Yours tells the story of a marriage tested by powerful forces outside both partners’ control. It’s not only a memoir of a wife’s tireless quest to heal her husband, but also one that asks just what it means to accept someone as they are.
About the Author
Eleanor Henderson’s novel Ten Thousand Saints was named one of the Top 10 Books of the Year by The New York Times and was a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. An assistant professor of fiction writing at Ithaca College, she lives in Ithaca, New York, with her husband and two sons.
A New York Times Notable Book of 2021
A Vogue Best Book to Read in 2021
“A love story for the ages. A riveting medical mystery. A heartbreaking family epic. A charming coming-of-age tale. Eleanor Henderson’s brilliant debut memoir is all these things at once. But perhaps the most apt description for this book would be: absorbing. I dare you to put it down once you’ve turned the first page. I loved it.” —Joanna Rakoff, author of My Salinger Year
“Love is patient, love is kind, but in Eleanor Henderson’s new memoir, love is also senseless, chaotic, pathological. You want a peek behind the curtain of someone else’s marriage? Read this book. You won’t be able to put it down.” —Mary Beth Keane, bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes
“Propulsive and brutally honest, Everything I Have Is Yours tells the story of one woman’s addiction to saving the addict she loves. Can a marriage built upon crisis and trauma survive? Where is the line between self-sacrifice and self-destruction? And can we rewrite the damaging narratives that shape our own stories so that our children, at last, will stop repeating them? A raw, beautiful book that champions radical acceptance as a means of beginning anew.” —Anna Solomon, author of The Book of V.
“Everything I Have Is Yours is a gripping portrait of a marriage so full of love, chaos, and heartbreaking, head-slapping contradictions and consolations that it will leave you wondering how any of us survives the institution. Eleanor Henderson is a writer of extraordinary talent, depth, and feeling, and this memoir might be the most candid book I’ve ever read.” —Adrienne Brodeur, bestselling author of Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me
“Everything I Have Is Yours took my breath away. In prose both poetic and precise, this rich, resonant exploration of codependency and chronic illness offers an important challenge to our notions of strength and weakness, sick and well, victim and aggressor, and forces us to ask difficult questions about the limits of devotion. This book is heartrending and profound—it will be a gift to so many who wonder if they’re alone.” —Nina Renata Aron, author of Good Morning, Destroyer of Men’s Souls
“[Henderson] gracefully executes a triple toe loop (as a wife, a mother, and a caregiver), then nails the landing with humor and a certain offbeat panache. . . . The generosity of Henderson’s memoir will melt your icy heart.” —The New York Times Book Review
“[An] incredible memoir . . . about the depth of the marital bond . . . Everything I Have Is Yours is not a traditional love story, but it is a love story?one as heart-wrenching as it is heart-filling.” —BookPage (starred review)
“An intimate, absorbing, and painful look at chronic illness in a relationship.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Henderson depicts a different kind of marriage story in this earnest memoir. . . . Henderson unpacks this medical mystery in the context of relationships and modern love. Just how far would you go to save the person you love?” —LitHub
“Marriage memoirs are like confessions?the more honest the better. And Eleanor Henderson’s mesmerizing chronicle of her two-decade marriage is ruthless. . . . Rarely has codependency been chronicled with such precision, such poignancy.” —Vogue
“A reflection on the powerful intersection of mental and physical illness . . . of love, acceptance, and the bounds of marriage.” —GMA
“‘It is a confusing time to be a woman who loves a troubled man,’ Henderson writes in this unflinching memoir of her husband’s long and confounding medical conditions. She tells their story with a novelist’s eye for detail and the honesty of a trusted friend.” —The New York Times (Editors’ Choice)
“Henderson’s writing will pull at your every heartstring. She is raw, emotional, vulnerable. Through it all, she allows herself to be wholly human.” —Associated Press
“Everything I Have Is Yours . . . has aspects of medical mystery and horror story, but most readers will leave it with the impression of having taken in a love story as blisteringly beautiful as it is truthful.” —Shelf Awareness