Rewriting My Happily Ever After

Memoir; Non-fiction

Arranged marriages were like this. You moved from your father’s home to your husband’s house, trusting that the system has your back. Like the net that the trapeze artists don’t see but know will catch them if they fall, the tradition and the community that endorses this practise is supposed to be the invisible net that supports every couple who enters such a marriage purely based on their faith in their family’s good intentions.

At twenty-two, Ranjani flies out of Mumbai as a starry-eyed bride anticipating an American-style Bollywood-version of her very own happily-ever-after. And for a while life is good. By thirty, she has a Ph.D., a green card and a daughter. Although married life is not easy, Ranjani is secure in being somebody’s daughter, sister, wife, mother. 

When the family returns to India after fourteen years, her home situation deteriorates further. Two years later, Ranjani walks out of her marriage with her daughter and rebuilds a new identity as a single parent. Along the way, Ranjani suffers setbacks and losses yet learns to trust herself while moving forward with courage and confidence. 

Rewriting My Happily Ever After is an evocative, honest account of what happens when a long marriage breaks down in a culture that ignores divorce. It is a hopeful ‘what next’ memoir about the power of resilience in overcoming doubts and outdated beliefs, and ultimately finding happiness by being true to yourself. 

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Order the book

Story Artisan Press | Paperback, Ebook and audiobook | 300 pages | ISBN: 978-1-7340631-9-6; 978-1-7340631-8-9;  978-1-7340631-7-2| October 15, 2021


Rewriting My Happily Ever After is a brave, intimate look at reclaiming life after divorce. Ranjani Rao dives deep into her struggles, vulnerabilities, strengths, and triumphs as a newly single mother, offering a powerful manual for women who are transitioning into a new life. A must-read for anyone who seeks to understand the aftermath of separation and divorce.

~ Veena Rao, Author of Purple Lotus

Divorce can be ugly. It can also be sad, painful, and debilitating. But in "Rewriting Your Happily Ever After," Ranjani Rao shows how to not only survive divorce without rancor and bitterness but how to thrive in a new and independent life. From her arranged marriage in India, to her struggles with infertility, to the crushing responsibility of supporting herself and her daughter, Rao's story will resonate with women everywhere who've found themselves alone. This powerful, poignant look at one woman's ability to turn bad into good and move ahead with her life will benefit us all.

~ Melissa Gouty, Author of The Magic of Ordinary

For a raw, unfiltered view of the on-ground realities that await you when you finally walk away from a toxic marriage, and a roadmap of what to expect as you learn to create an independent life and embrace the joy of your authentic life, read this book!

~ Prachi Vaish, Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist

Ranjani Rao's writing is deeply moving and honest, reaching out to touch your core. This stark yet sensitive memoir is unafraid of laying bare its vulnerabilities, the open wounds of dislocation and the healing scars of transformation. A must-read!

~ Zehra Naqvi, Author of The Reluctant Mother

'Rewriting My Happily Ever After' is a book that is many things at once - an inspiring coming-of-age story, a pragmatic guide to life after divorce, an intimate account of a woman's journey of self-exploration. Ranjani does justice to all these objectives masterfully, telling her tale with great confidence, skill and grace. A must-read for men and women - this book affirms the necessity of honouring ourselves, our purpose, identity and happiness and that is relevant to everyone and to all life-stages.

~ Rohini S. Rajagopal, Author of What’s a Lemon Squeezer Doing In My Vagina?

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An engrossing and thought-provoking collection of essays by two women who examine their life trajectories as they move from Bombay to America and ruminate on the making and meaning of their life in the context of home, family and identity.

"It is never too late to craft your new story, to chart your own path."

Ranjani Rao, Rewriting My Happily Ever After

Life does not oblige you by lining up events in the exact sequence you desire.

Ranjani Rao, Rewriting My Happily Ever After

"Choosing freedom, however difficult, over familiarity that was toxic, was always the correct choice"

Ranjani Rao, Rewriting My Happily Ever After

"The empty room was a reminder that I could now begin to shape the space around me exactly as I wanted, literally and metaphorically."

Ranjani Rao, Rewriting My Happily Ever After

"The worst thing about your life falling apart is that the world takes no notice."

Ranjani Rao, Rewriting My Happily Ever After

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