NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The beloved author of Here for It returns with an all-new collection of heartening, deeply relatable, and laugh-out-loud essays about what happens after happily ever after.
“Funny, insightful, and hopeful . . . a profound meditation on what it means to come home, and on finding your way again after the chaos of life takes you off your path.”—John Paul Brammer, author of ¡Hola Papi!
After going viral “reading” the chaotic political news, having one-too-many awkward social encounters, and coming to terms with his intersecting identities, R. Eric Thomas finally knew who he was and where he was going. He was living his best life.
But then everything changed.
In this collection of insightful and hilarious essays, Thomas moves back to his perpetually misunderstood hometown of Baltimore (a place he never wanted to return, even to be buried) and behaving completely out of character. They say you can’t go home again, but what if you and home have changed beyond recognition? From attending his twenty-year high school reunion and discovering another person’s face on his name badge, to splattering an urgent care room with blood à la The Shining, to being terrorized by a plague of gay frogs who’ve overtaken his backyard, Thomas provides the nitty, and sometimes the gritty, details of wrestling with the life he thought he’d left behind while trying to establish a new one.
With wit, heart, and hope for the future, Congratulations, The Best Is Over! is the not-so-gentle reminder we all need that even when life doesn’t go according to plan, we can still find our way back home.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
They say you can’t go home again, but sometimes you have to anyway—and that’s exactly what inspired this book of witty and insightful essays. TV writer and playwright R. Eric Thomas grew up in Baltimore with no happy memories of the place, but when his husband, a pastor, was assigned to a congregation in Charm City, he had little choice but to return. In Congratulations, the Best Is Over!, Thomas shares stories of his new life in Baltimore: his career, his aging parents, being married to someone who unfortunately likes hiking, the joys and pains of gardening, and plenty more. The stories he tells feel breezy and entertaining, but just when he has you laughing, he’ll add a detail that makes you think. We loved Thomas’ best-selling first book of essays, and this second collection is every bit as funny and heartfelt.
In this hilariously candid memoir-in-essays, bestseller Thomas (Here for It) offers a glimpse at his experiences returning to his hometown of Baltimore from Philadelphia after decades away. The conversational pieces cover a wide range of subjects, including his marriage to a minister (whose job search landed the couple back in Maryland), his infatuation with Oprah's Favorite Things, his attempts to build himself a Nancy Meyers kitchen, and his experience attending his 20th high school reunion only to discover the name tag he (a Black man) was assigned displayed the photo of a "white guy with blond hair." The mood isn't all light, however: Thomas opens up about his father-in-law's death and his own bouts with depression ("It's really more of an ongoing partnership than a struggle"), and he punctuates the proceedings with regular soul-searching, repeating the question "Who am I now?" as he revisits key locations from his past. The unfailingly entertaining essays burst with personality and amount to a full-fleshed portrait of all the beauty and difficulty of coming home again. This tender memoir captivates.