Left on Tenth

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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

If you pitched a movie about a recently-widowed woman in her seventies who reconnects with a man she dated in college, leading to an exchange of emails and the pair falling in love fifty years after their first date, the studio exec would say it’s too far-fetched. Yet that’s just what happened to Delia Ephron, writer, bestselling novelist and screenwriter of You’ve Got Mail.

When Delia’s beloved first husband Jerry died of cancer in 2015, after thirty-five years of marriage, she struggled without him. Focusing on the day-to-day, she decided to make one small move forward and cancel Jerry’s dedicated landline. This spiralled into days of frustration, prompting Delia to turn to words to process her grief and bewilderment. Her New York Times piece about the woes of customer service caught the eye of Peter, who emailed to commiserate. He was recently widowed himself and reminded Delia that years ago, when they were college students, they had been set up by her sister Nora. Cautiously, Delia replied. Over a few short weeks of email exchanges, Delia realized that she and Peter were undeniably soulmates. Months later, still caught up in this whirlwind romance, Delia made another life-changing discovery: she was profoundly sick.

Left on Tenth is the spirited story of Delia’s second chance at love, and a heartfelt and miraculous account of life after cancer.

© Delia Ephron 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

Critics Review

  • Tender, witty and romantic – there is something so calming about Delia’s writing that makes you immediately want to get cosy, slow down and shut off the world for a moment.

    Emma Gannon
  • If it’s possible to fall in love with someone by reading their story, I just have. A testimony to the power of love, laughter, hair, friendship and cake.

    Sam Baker
  • I absolutely loved this book. All of life and death and everything in between is in the pages, and Ephron has a lightness of touch while getting right to the heart of the matter which is completely addictive. Moving, painful, sweet and funny, it’s a beautiful book and a joy to read.

    Clover Stroud
  • Illuminating, generous, sparkling with wit, wisdom, humanity and wonder. There is nothing Delia Ephron is afraid to say; even if it’s her inability to say the right thing. This is a luminous memoir that faces the death of the person you love, falling in love a second time, and an illness that threatens everything all over again. There is not one word that does not shine.

    Rachel Joyce
  • Playwright and novelist Ephron (Siracusa) balances profound sorrow with unconditional love in this radiant account of the “many left turns, some perilous, some wondrous” that her life took following her husband’s death … Readers will be swept away by this triumphant story.

    Publisher's Weekly [Starred Review]

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