Once Upon A Romance

Once Upon A Romance's Review Of...
A Box of Darkness: The Story of a Marriage by Sally Ryder Brady


Cover art: A Box of Darkness: The Story of a Marriage Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: A Box of Darkness: The Story of a Marriage
Author: Sally Ryder Brady
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-65416-0
Release Date: February 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir
Year/Setting: N/A
Overall Rating: 3.0
Sexual Content Rating: None/Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: None/Negligible
Sally's Website/Blog: www.sallyryderbrady.com

Dear Readers:

This is the story of a relationship that was both intense and powerful built on secrets and obsession.

The Brady's originally met at the Boston Cotillion, where it was very hard for Sally to resist Upton as he was extremely charming and, as Sally points out, he danced like Fred Astaire. They didn't marry right away as Sally was enamored of a Greek gentleman and had accepted his proposal of marriage. Sadly, her swain's parents objected to Sally as she was not Greek and they didn't want their son to marry out of their faith. Eventually, the same problem turned up when Sally and Upton became engaged. This time, the problem was Sally's mother who objected to the fact that Upton's family was Roman Catholic and Sally's mother didn't want to darken the threshold of a Catholic Church. So, once again, Sally's chosen union was in trouble from the start, but against all odds this time she did marry the man of her dreams and she and Upton started their life together.

Upton and Sally were (as it seemed to others) an elegant and intelligent couple who lived the high life with other writers and publishers. Sally was an accomplished author and Upton worked his way up the ladder to become the Director of the Atlantic Monthly Press. They ran with the 'in' crowd; went on glamorous vacations on private islands; and, cruised to exotic locales with the rich and famous. They had a pretty good life to begin with, but lived life on a shoe string as Upton handled the finances and didn't do a great job. As the passing of time so often changes things Upton, the perfect husband, became more and more authoritative and dangerous to be around.

Upton passed away suddenly at their Vermont home and Sally began finding things that didn't make sense to her. She was going through papers one evening and discovered that her husband of forty years had homosexual tendencies and was not the man that she always thought he was. Sally went through her period of mourning discovering many things about her husband that she couldn't fathom, but with the help of a therapist came to terms with the life of secrets.

I admire Sally very much as she obviously really loved her husband greatly and tried so hard to make things right with their marriage. She raised four very well-adjusted children even though Upton was a heavy drinker and Sally never knew when he might go on a rampage. This was a difficult book to read as you could see that Sally and Upton were going down a hard road and you wished that they would 'see' the dramatic ending before it actually happened. Although a powerhouse of emotions are written well, there are parts that are dry and a bit too drab for such an interesting memoir.

Until next time, Amy

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