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I Love You and I'm Leaving You Anyway: A Memoir Hardcover – April 13, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

McMillan acknowledges conventional wisdom in this oddly paced memoir: "any chick old enough to have acquired a Diet Coke habit has heard that your relationships with men will be based - one way or another - on the one you had with your father." The film and TV writer (The United States of Tara) believes that her failed marriages are a reflection of the connections, however imperfect, she has tried to forge with her father, a pimp, drug dealer, and convicted felon incarcerated most of her life. McMillan's relationship attempts dominate the discussion: there's Scott, her first boyfriend in high school, who already has a girlfriend. There's her third ex-husband, Paul, a Harvard grad from an affluent family, and "a lot like my dad. They both loved me and left me anyway. Then, once they were gone, they refused to let me go." Only when McMillan manages to accept her father for who he is does she get beyond her past and look to the future. But by the time she realizes that her young son, about whom she talks not nearly enough, is the true love of her life, the story comes to an abrupt end.
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From Booklist

Psychiatrists are overly eager to blame young women’s issues with men on their fathers, but in McMillan’s case, the charge holds some weight. McMillan’s father, Freddie, is charismatic and earnest—but he’s also a drug dealer and a pimp who has been incarcerated for most of McMillan’s life. The television writer (whose credits include Life on Mars and The United States of Tara) jumps back and forth in time as she recounts childhood visits to prison to see her father, the foster families she stayed with, her teen years living with an unstable adoptive mother, and McMillan’s three failed marriages. The last of these, a union with a charming compulsive liar named Paul, who can’t seem to be faithful or work regularly without female adoration, is what wakes her up to her propensity for choosing men like her feckless father. But it is McMillan’s love for her son that finally brings her to a better understanding of men, and herself. An eye-opening read, especially for women prone to picking the wrong men. --Kristine Huntley

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; 1 edition (April 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061724653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061724657
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,014,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By lisa shea on August 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
to be perfectly honest, i hate the title of this book. i generally don't lean towards chick lit or self help (or whatever else you might think this book is) and i almost didn't pick it up because of it's obvious leanings towards some unstated audience. but, really, in this case, don't judge a book by it's cover and don't assume that the title is an adequate representation of the weight a book can carry. i am more than glad that i gave it a chance and not only enjoyed the reading, but i think i actually learned something about myself along the way (bonus!).

this is a memoir and it is definitely written for women, by a woman, but, what McMillan has to say is in many ways universal to humans. and her very journalistic ability to cut through to the raw and often painful truth of a situation is what makes this book extraordinarily readable. i don't know if i would go so far as to run around recommending it for all of the men i know, but it certainly isn't limited to the female audience. it is, i'd also like to mention, written for someone at least familiar with modern American pop culture, as the book references everything from Britney Spears to the band Pavement, Monopoly to Axe body spray, the website Hot or Not, and the Obamas. it is very current and relevant and i found that this made it even more applicable in so many ways, but on the flip side of that, the book might estrange some audiences.

"I am doing all kinds of things to "get over it," not realizing that there is no getting over it. There's only getting through it."

at the opening of the book, Tracy McMillan finds herself married and divorced three times, alone as a single mother, making life as complicated as possible and never quite getting it right.
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Format: Hardcover
Be forewarned. I am biased in this review. I knew the writer when she was 4. She had been in 40 foster homes when she came to live with my family. She was intelligent, beautiful , consumed with curiosity and hyperactive.We loved her but we had a lot of "rolling eyes" moments. If it seems to some that Tracy writes of her father sympathetically let me state that while he committed crimes he was a very charming person.Everyone who met him was charmed by him.Including my parents, the conservative minister and his wife.Some of our family's favorite "legends" are included in this book...the apples story..so what I want to say is that this book is real. Its true. It rings with honesty for those who were there at the time. My sisters and my brother read this book aloud on Christmas Day and they laughed and cried. We are the Ericsons. We have since emailed Tracy to tell her how much we loved the book and how proud we are of her...for her to turn her life into this marvelous book...and few know as much as we do that her life was not better but worse than she portrays it...proves not only that she is a gifted writer but a strong woman, one we are delighted to call sister!
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Format: Hardcover
Its hard to imagine that a memoir would be a gripping thriller. Tracy Mc Millan's life is set in a series of short scences, each one a snapshot of her life at certain stages. Few writers can flip back and forth from one stage to the near present, and hold your interest throughout. "I love you" is a fantastic illuminating journey from abandonment to coming home to yourself with wise humor and grace. Generally memoirs that feature abuse, abandonment, drug addiction, obsession are hard going and dip somewhere along the way in insight, glamor and reverence. Tracy manages to underplay expertly certain scenes like when she finally gets to meet the mother who abandoned her as a baby. Rather than a tear sodden, wrenching drama this scene is observent, wise and humorous to boot. Few writers can find humor, glamorous fashion scenarios and enchantment in prison scenes, multiple divorces, child abuse and ultimately a joyous sweet endearing recovery, Tracy does this and far more with a precise lightness which is generaly missing from this genre. I highly recommend this book if you want something that will hold you to your seat breathless like "Chaser" (the Korean gangster movie) the revolving scenes will carry you right through to the sweet end in Europe. Happy endings may take a different form but they are possible.
Mary Dowd
Freelance writer.
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Format: Hardcover
Father a pimp and mother a prostitute, but girl grows up to be glamorous writer. It reads like a shot. It's edgy, with sex, drugs and rock 'n roll, but it's also got suspense to burn. It's not a memoir as much as a page-turner. She builds this improbable world until it feels as real and as chaotic as anything you can imagine.
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Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading Tracy McMillan's book. I didn't want it to end. I found myself addicted to wanting to know and understand her story. Everyone who has ever wondered why they make the romantic choices that they do, needs to read this book. It's about learning about self through your heartbreaks and the hearts that you break. It's about tracing your roots and not being afraid to look at what you find. It's about embracing your history and owning who you are. Tracy manages to find humor even in the darkest of moments. It is one of her many gifts.

Where does love come from? How do we learn to give it in a healthy way. Why do we keep going down the wrong road? Through diving into Tracy's hunger for answers, you will find yourself seeking your own. I identified with her desire to love and be loved. Tracy writes, "It's like I have two opposing parts of myself: one that nurtures, and one that destroys." I LOVE the revelation that the birth of her son was all part of a master plan. She writes,"...My boy child's is going to bestow upon me one of the greatest gifts I've ever imagined wanting. A gift I don't even know I need. He's going to teach me to love men." This is one of those books that you will never forget.

Jen Grisanti, Story Consultant, Independent Producer, Writing Instructor for NBC's Writers On The Verge
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