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Compelling Story of an Age-Gap Love Affair

07 Nov Posted by in Robin Lowey | Comments Off on Compelling Story of an Age-Gap Love Affair
Compelling Story of an Age-Gap Love Affair

I caught up with Felice Cohen—author, motivational speaker, professional organizer and Holocaust educator—about her new novel last week. I just received the book in the mail this past weekend, and I’m already halfway and LOVING it! But I’ll save my review for an upcoming article. In the meantime, lets hear from Felice in her own words about her new book HALF IN —a true age-gap love story:

What is Half In about?

It’s a true love story that reads like a romance novel you can’t put down. At twenty-three, I was, like other recent college grads, hesitant about entering the real world, with the added stress of coming out in the early nineties. Focused on how to land a full-time position as a writer, falling in love was the last thing on my mind. But fall in love I did. With my boss, a woman thirty-four years older. In this candid coming-of-age memoir—as compelling as a novel—I chronicle the happiness and heartbreak of an age-gap love affair while struggling to figure out the direction of my future. Ultimately, this is a story about navigating life’s unpredictable path while following one’s heart, and finding acceptance.

Why did you write this book?

I wrote Half In because I didn’t have a choice. Not really. Not if I ever wanted to be happy again. At first, I wrote as way of therapy to get over the loss of Sarah (the older woman) after she died. I never thought of it becoming a book. I wrote to let out my feelings since I had to mourn her as I had loved her: in secret. On a whim I entered a piece I’d written into a first chapter writing contest. And won. An agent asked how much of the book I had completed. What book? I thought. That’s when I started thinking maybe it could be a book, one about an age-gap relationship. I soon started to notice that in my relationships after Sarah I was repeating the pattern I had started with her—keeping my heart out of it, only ever being half in.

Why are you passionate about this story?

I began writing the book to tell our story, but was finishing it to heal. I carried a lot of shame from our affair. I was 23 when it began (Sarah was 57), and kept our story a secret for three decades, still fearful of what people would think if they knew I’d been in love with a much older woman. I’d been mistaken. The real fear was examining what I had thought about myself. I’d been judging myself harshly for loving someone society deemed an unacceptable match, and had been anticipating that same judgement from others. Secrecy enabled me to compartmentalize this fear, which then intensified my shame. My heightened shame then kept me silent and kept me fearful. It was a vicious cycle. I realized the only way I could be happy was to tell our truth.  So, I did.


Felice Cohen, known nationally and internationally as the woman who lived in one of the world’s smallest apartments, is the author of the Amazon bestselling memoir Half In: A Coming-of-Age Memoir of Forbidden Love. Felice’s previous book, 90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 Square Feet (…or More), the recipient of numerous self-help book awards, was inspired by the YouTube video of her 90-square-foot New York City studio that went viral with over 25 million views. Felice has been featured on Good Morning America, NBC, CBS, NPR, Time, Globe & Mail, New York Daily News, the Daily Mail and more. What enabled Felice to “live large” in that tiny studio is that she has been a professional organizer for over 25 years. As the grandchild of two Holocaust survivors, Felice is also the author of What Papa Told Me, a memoir about her grandfather’s life before, during and after the war. The book has been endorsed by Elie Wiesel, is taught in schools across the country, has been translated into Polish and has sold around the world. Felice splits her time between New York City and Cape Cod, MA.  Website:  Twitter: @felicecohen ~ Instagram: @felicecohen90 ~ Facebook: FeliceCohen ~ YouTube: Felice Cohen

You can buy Half In here:

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