This Is Not a Love Song; A Novel

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-04-11
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press
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From the author ofLove Is the Drug, the wickedly funny, pull-no-punches story of Julia, a hip, young writer whose life is thrown completely out of whack when her free-spirited soul mate decides to free himself from her, leaving her reeling.Brilliant young writer Sarahbeth Purcell combines witty melodramatics with her own brand of hard-edged, tough-girl cadences inThis Is Not a Love Song, a fantastic new novel filled with characters who are idealistic enough for readers to relate to and just cynical enough to respect.When Julia first met Chase one February day two years ago, she knew something was different. An intelligent, free-spirited artist, Chase was not like the other guys Julia had dated. He was her soul mate. At least for two blissful years. And then, with nothing more than a single note left on a bedside table, he was gone -- following his lifelong search for peace and inspiration on another spontaneous road trip across the country. But this time, he wasn't coming back. Devastated and depressed, Julia turns to her friend Delia, a gorgeous and tortured alcoholic who approaches life with the spirit of a warrior. Through terse phone calls and late-night crying jags, Delia helps Julia navigate her heartbreaking loss.Hilarious and heart wrenching,This Is Not a Love Songis a story about hope, healing, and that endless search for the truest form of affection -- loving yourself.


Chapter 1

Pictures of You

May 12, 2004



"He's gone."



"Are you crying?"



"He left a note. Said he had to find something."

"He's done this a million times before, Julia. I wouldn't get too worried."

"No, I don't think he's coming back this time."


"Because he usually tells me when he's leaving. He left a note. Like a Dear John letter."

"A what?"

"Dear John letter."

"Wasn't that some awful sitcom in the late eighties?"


"Dear John. You know, with that guy fromTaxiin it."

"Delia, he's gone."

"Okay, he's gone. What are you going to do? Find him?"

"I don't know where to look."

"Well, let's see, you still have a million postcards and letters from the million other times he has done this. Look through those. Think about it. I'm sure you can figure it out."

"What if he doesn't want me to find him?"

"Have you ever looked for him?"


"Then how would you know?"

"Because if he had wanted me to come, he would have invited me."

"If I followed that line of reasoning, Julia, I wouldn't have been to half of the parties I've been to."

"Well, I'm not crashing Chase's mid-twenties crisis."

"Why not?"

"It seems . . . rude."

"Oh my God. Chase just left you a note and may never come back with no real explanation andyouare worried about being rude?"

"What will I do if I do find him, Delia? Beg him to come home?"

"Yeah, I guess you don't really want to pull aNot Without My Daughtermove."

"So what then?"

"So lie around and be miserable for a while. Get a bottle of wine. Remember the good times, Julia."

"Are you being sarcastic, D?"

"Jesus, Julia, I just got off work and I don't know what to tell you. I'm sorry. I really am."

"He's gone. All I've got are those stupid letters and memories."

"Exactly. And just like every time he leaves, I know you, and I know that you will scavenge through them for some new hidden meaning. So go get them out and do it. Get it over with."

"I don't like my life, Delia."

"I don't like mine, either."

"Is it because of this?"

"I don't think so. It's a lot more than guy troubles. I know mine is, anyway, and I have a sneaking suspicion yours is about more than that, too."

"Oh. That makes it worse, doesn't it?"

"Yeah, or better. Look on the bright side. Chase isn't totally responsible for your misery."

"Not exactly a ray of hope, there."

"I gotta go. Go buy some ice cream. Rent some girly movie. I think that's what you're supposed to do. It's the rule."

"Thanks, D."

"Uh-huh. 'Bye."Copyright ©2006 by Sarahbeth Purcell

Excerpted from This Is Not a Love Song by Sarahbeth Purcell
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