Here's a representative selection of messages from the last few weeks, equally divided between men and women. I love hearing from people who have read Innocent Spouse. That's why we writers write. We like to write and sell books, of course, but we also like to hear from the readers who read them:
Carol:Just returned from a week in Jamaica and had the pleasure of reading three books: the Agassi book, the Jim Axelrod book, and yours; and yours kicked ass! Simply, you are a remarkable, remarkable woman. What you have given us is an inspiring, compelling, impressive, and beautifully written book. I appreciate your humanity and your humility…very, very brave of you to do this. Cheers!
JK, Washington DC
Hi, Carol. Well…I spent the weekend reading Innocent Spouse. It is a very compelling read and exceptionally well written – fascinating, tragic, uplifting, inspiring and more. Congratulations! Best regards, AN, Williamsburg, VA
We talked just briefly at the book signing at Borders Books two weeks ago. I was planning on flying home to California the next day and you assured me that your book, "Innocent Spouse" would keep me entertained for the entire flight. Well, I have to say that I found what you said to be the absolute truth. I could not put the book down or take the luxury of closing my eyes during the long flight, because the book was entirely engrossing. I loved it! The story of deceit, the name dropping of people we all "know", the issues of balancing motherhood (my daughter is exactly one month younger than your son), the decadence of extreme wealth, and then impoverishment; all were aspects of your book that I found intriguing. Your tenacity and commitment to your goals added a force that brought the story together for me and made it that much more compelling. So, thank you for being there that day and bringing my attention to your book. I can't wait to share it with friends.
Last week I finished INNOCENT SPOUSE.......wow, that is a harrowing tale and you sure bring it to the reader full force. I am not quite certain what kept you from the Calvert Street Bridge but clearly Spencer played a huge role. In any case you are one strong woman!
PW, Washington DC
Dear Mrs. Joynt,
I am reading your book "Innocent Spouse" and would like to thank you for sharing your story. Your strength is therapeutic for others; in so many ways, especially how you looked out for Spencer in dealing with the loss of his dad; and your struggle to overcome. Walking the walk; is the journey we have shared.
My mother lost my dad and brother in an auto accident; when I was three years old; and from her grief, became narcissist towards me; to the extent it was damaging; and has affected the relationship with my daughters. While you worked out your pain and helped Spencer; my mother used "spankings" towards me as a means for dealing with her pain; to control and intimidate my life.
I became the "mascot"; dealt with family life as best as I could; completed my education; raised my family and when the youngest went to college; I returned to New York; to "water myself". Reading your book has also inspired me to keep the faith when trying to reach and book artists, then being turned down or ignored. Thank you for the insight and peace; on a day, when it is being said, "the world is ending". Not for me, I have too much to live and be thankful for.
LK, New York
The book arrived at lunchtime and totally derailed my plans to be on a disciplined work schedule today. I thought it would be good, and it is good--it's terrific! Wow! Congratulations!
Could not put down your book until
I finished it. Wonderful on so many
levels. I am a Florida resident and would love
to hear you speak.
Any plans for a book signing in Naples, FL? There is a too big contingent of widows here who would find this book helpful and inspiring.
I just finished reading Innocent Spouse. I read it in three days which is a record for me especially considering that I normally don't read non-fiction. You are quite a good writer. I could identify with you as a fellow small business owner, and as a parent of an only-child son. Our son, William, is two years older than Spencer. (My wife and I are) in the wine retail business and had to close a store that was losing money in 1997. I too walked out a little before the actual last moment, and our family had one of its most enjoyable vacations ever. Anyhow, thank you for sharing your story.
I'm halfway into the book and look forward to the time I can set aside to read it. You are a terrific writer and now I understand why Crown was so interested in publishing the book.
I read an article about you in Vogue magazine. I saved the article (with many others) to get to at a later date. Thankfully, I found time to read through my "pile" last week on vacation. I promptly ordered your book from Amazon.I just finished the last page of your incredible journey and I hated so badly that it ended! You are an amazingly strong, smart inspiration to women everywhere.
Thank you for sharing your story! I wish you and Spencer the very best!
-PW (Austin, TX)
Dear Mrs. Joynt,
Thank you for sharing your story in Innocent Spouse. What a remarkable, strong woman you are!!! You are living proof that women are probably stronger than men, how admirable your attitude is of moving forward, and how important it is in life to look through the front windshield rather than the rear view mirror.
I had first learned about the book through your interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show. I became interested b/c a friend of mine was blind sided by a somewhat different, but mainly similar situation to your own, involving the IRS. I bought a copy of the book for her, and then decided to purchase a copy for myself. You should feel flattered b/c I tend not be an avid reader of books. I had trouble putting yours down!! I was struck and impressed by your determination and your frankness, and how adroitly you shared your thoughts and feelings along the way, at each development/roadblock, aside from your dedication to your son and his well being, and how good you were for one another. How lucky Spencer is to have you for a mother!!
Thanks again for sharing your story which will no doubt be of interest to, and benefit others, who either have a spouse with two "separate" lives, an IRS problem of this nature, as well as the challenges of single parenting.
TS, Ann Arbor
Carol: I read your book from many angles: the mother of a son almost the same age, a woman business owner, a woman who has also overcome incredible challenges (including 2 cancer scares and bringing my younger son back from the brink of autism due to a vaccine injury), a woman who knows what it feels like to wear a business as an albatross around her neck, a mother who put the education of her son above all priorities even when we couldn't afford it, and as a writer.
You are the epitome of resilience and strength. I hope you remember that in all families, the mother is the anchor. You did an extraordinary job under horrendous circumstances. I hope the next phase of your life brings you peace, joy, and a calm.
C, Ashburn, VA
I love the book and just left you a big wet kiss review on Amazon - a first for me! - The book is very good and I think you have a really important message for women on financial literacy and avoiding submission. Cute but alas transparent that you fig leaf that xx is Paolo - why oh why did you give kh a second chance?
While I don't know you personally, I wanted to let you know I finished your book Innocent Spouse and a lot of your emotions hit home for me. My husband was killed in a plane crash 4 years ago, He was the pilot and 3 others perished with him. I discovered after his death that he had withdrawn his 401 k monies in 05 and still not filied our taxes at the time of his death. 2/07. So I am still dealing with the IRS and trying to close the estate. He left me such a mess, lawsuits with the plane crash, a mortgage with my name on but a house that is in his name only and no will.
My daughter adored my husband and he was a wonderful Step dad. So I totally related to your situation and needing to take care of you and your son, as I did with my daughter and myself.
Seeing you as a survivor gives me more hope. I am blessed with a Godly man for an attorney and have a very strong faith so I have weathered most of the storm and still am walking upright. Thank you for sharing your story and allowing me to see/feel and experience your pain and frustration. I so have felt many of those emotions. Guess it’s a girls club we never expected to be a member of. Wear your badge of courage and strength proudly, as I intend to some day when my issues are resolved. God Bless you and your son.
Carol, I don't even know if I have the words within me to express the sorrow and empathy I have for you and your son. Am a little embarrassed to say that even while reading I am holding back tears. I felt that during your passage of telling yourself not to cry that I should at least be able to do that since I wasn't going through what you were. But your story is so compelling that I was feeling as though I were there in the room with you. Again, my heart goes out to.
Its been fascinating reading your book the last two days. It was given to me by my best friend last week, after she and I watched you on the TODAY show. We heard Matt Lauer start off and when your story started we both listened and immediately looked at the TV without a word. Then, we stopped and looked at each other and I said "oh my god!"
I am going to continue to read your blogs and website as well as hopefully be able to hear your radio broadcasts someday. You are an inspiration of continued strength which I too have become and hope no one has to (as we say in Florida) walk in my flip-flops.
I just reviewed your book on Amazon (purchased it on my Kindle). Altho I love my Kindle, there is nothing like the feel of a book and must own a hard copy of this book.
I’m soon to celebrate my 20th year as Controller for a restaurant group. I so related to your vendor dealings, etc. I recognized a lot of the names in your book. I think you did a wonderful job holding it all together for so long in a very tough business.
Thank you for a book about women in business dealing with adversity. I wish you much happiness in both your personal and professional life and your son also!
I wanted to tell you that after I bought your book at the Newseum following your discussion, I quickly read it and very much liked it. You told the story in a compelling and interesting way. What was particularly significant to me was how throughout your struggle, you worked so hard to protect and care for your son. Not that it was expected you would do so, but I found that to be a wonderful love story conveying a mother’s strong feelings and sacrifice to be sure her child did well. I think you made the readers want to hug your son for the things he was dealing with as a young boy, and hug you for all you did for him as well as for your courage throughout.
I enjoyed your work very much. I hope you find great success with the book and a next step in life that takes advantage of your many skills.
I read it immediately and finished it in two days. It was terrific, very emotionally honest, and SO readable. Carol, I’m not going to forget it… less a tax story and more a marriage story—a great feminist fable about leaving “business affairs” to one’s spouse. The book is also cautionary tale about the restaurant business!
LM, New York
I really enjoyed reading your book. I found myself relating to bits and pieces, such as balancing the work, kids, and husband's stuff - of course on a much smaller scale than what you dealt with. I also found myself rooting for you with everything going on. I am glad that the IRS made the correct finding to find you Innocent!