Winner 2017 New Mexico Book Association
Design Trade Book Non-Illustrated
Praise for Banged-Up Heart
Melis’ stirring story is beautifully told, both philosophically reflective and emotionally poignant: “Joe had been like a symphony—strings, brass, wind, and percussion—largely agreeable, occasionally discordant, and always provocative.
Her account is also remarkably candid: she openly discusses her infidelity during her first marriage and sexual experimentation in her second. Despite the heartbreaking losses she endured, she manages to produce a life-affirming memoir detailing personal triumph.
A sad but inspiring tale of love and mourning.
More than just a love story or a memoir of mourning, Banged-Up Heart comes down solidly on the side of life. It takes you deep inside an ordinary woman, her deeply felt grief butting up against her desire for more than companionship: passion, sexual fulfillment, and self-realization. It bears eloquent witness to the wild trust it takes to fall madly in love and risk profound loss?a second time. Ultimately, it shows that it is possible to dance with a banged-up heart.
Exceptionally well written, impressively candid, and ultimately inspiring, Banged-Up Heart: Dancing With Love and Loss by Shirley Melis presents an intimate and clear-eyed account of finding love late and losing it early—as well as the strength it takes to fall madly in love a second time, be forced to relinquish that love too soon, and yet choose to love again. A truly extraordinary memoir, Banged-Up Heart is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary American Biography collections.
—MIdwest Book Review
An intimate look at the power of love, filled with honesty and passion, Banged-Up Heart is the best memoir I’ve read this year. Bravo.
—Anne Hillerman, New York Times best-selling author of Spiderwoman’s Daughter and Song of the Lion
Shirley Melis tells a love story filled with joy, heartache, and shocking honesty that makes Banged-Up Heart a page-turner.
—Sally Armstrong, Author of Uprising: A New Age Is Dawning for Every Mother’s Daughter
Banged-Up Heart invites us into an intimate, compelling story of deep love, one found unexpectedly after a painful time of raw widowhood. In meticulous detail, Shirley Melis crafts an uplifting testament to her own persisting determination in the face of devastating tragedy. Her courage to open herself again despite this confrontation with double loss is a shining example of human resilience at its most transcendent.
—Barclay Braden, PhD, Originator of Depth Journaling, writer, psychologist
In Banged-Up Heart, Shirley Melis lays bare the heartbreak of being widowed twice in four years. But that’s just the start. Her candor and insights, delivered in crisp, unsentimental prose, will pull you into this inspiring account of love, loss, and resilience.
—Patricia Galagan, writer, editor, fine art photographer