Review: Remember the Sweet Things One List, Two Lives and 20 Years of Marriage by Ellen Greene.

Posted February 12, 2009 by Rowena in Reviews | 11 Comments

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

For twenty years, Ellen Greene kept a running list of the thoughtful, funny, touching things that her husband, Marsh, said and did. She wrote them down secretly, then shared those thoughts with him every Valentine’s Day when he would find pages from her “Sweet Things List” tucked inside a card.

Married and divorced at a young age, Greene raised two small children alone. After another failed relationship in her late thirties, she swore she’d never again subject herself or her kids to men who treated them poorly. Then she met Marsh Greene.

In this beautiful tribute to a man and a marriage, Greene intersperses selections from her “Sweet Things List” with recollections from their years together. Written with grace and candor, Remember the Sweet Things captures the kindness, sharing, humor, and affection that defined the Greenes’ marriage, and encourages us to acknowledge the goodness in our own lives and relationships.

I sat down to read this book and finished it all in one night. It reminded me of my grandmother and how when we were younger, my younger brother Pete and I would sit around the kitchen table and listen to her stories of the islands. Now, my grandmother wasn’t exactly colorful with her words but for us, it was still pretty damn cool to listen to Grandma wax on about how she was in her younger years and how she met Grandpa and all of the cool things that they used to get into.

It was pretty cool to read through this book and to see the kinds of relationships that Ellen had before she met Marsh. To see the woman that Ellen was before she met Marsh, the kind of woman that Ellen wanted to be, the kind of Mom that Ellen wanted to be and then to see the confidence that being with Marsh brought her was very poignant and just kind of got you right in your heart. I loved reading about how they met, how they grew from boss and employee to friends and then to everything else. Their courtship was so cute and then the marriage proposal, all of it was just so good.

This book is about a real life happy ending, the ups and the downs that come with it and the strength and beauty of being in love. Marsh was a really great person to read about and Ellen was so lucky to have him. After I read the book, I was in tears because this was such a great tribute to a wonderful husband, from a wife who was thankful to have had him in her life. The way that Marsh made Ellen want to be a better person, the way that he loved her was sweeter than anything I could ever hope for.

I really enjoyed reading this book and am so glad that I gave it a shot. It’s not a fictional romance but it’s romance…at it’s best. I’m thinking that this would be the perfect book for anyone who wants to read about a couple who loved each other and about a wife who loved her husband so much that she kept a list going of the sweet things that he did for her. Whether it was helping her son with his Math homework and then telling him that it was his pleasure to help him or wrapping her handlebars on her bike to fix her grip, if she thought it was sweet, it went onto her list. This one of those books that will make you appreciate the little things in your relationships and make you celebrate them. This is a real gem of a book and I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something sweet…if you’re that person then leave a comment on this review and I’ll choose a random commenter to win a free copy of this book.

This book is available from Harper Luxe. You can buy it here.

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11 responses to “Review: Remember the Sweet Things One List, Two Lives and 20 Years of Marriage by Ellen Greene.

  1. Thank you Rowena! It sounds like a warm, uplifting book, a book to remind you that its not just the big things but also the little things that contribute to love 🙂

  2. Wonderful review Rowena! I just got this book from the library and thanks to your review I’m really looking forward to reading it.
    *Please don’t enter me for the contest*

  3. M.

    How interesting to read a non-fiction review on this site! What a nice idea this lady had. Reminds me a bit of how I used to keep a list of the funny or amazing things my firstborn said when he was little. It was a great collection, but then my computer crashed and took the list with it. I was heartbroken – and started a new list.

  4. web

    I’ve been thinking lately that I really should do something like this. I’m getting this awareness of mortality, and memories are so fleeting. After we lost our cat, my husband and I wrote down all our best memories of her, and I’m so glad we did — but if I lost *him*, I imagine I wouldn’t have the time or energy to do that for goodness knows how long.

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