Love You Hard: A Memoir of Marriage, Brain Injury, and Reinventing Love

Abby Maslin thought she understood love. Married to her husband, TC, for only a few years, the young couple were happy and content with their ordinary life as parents and professionals. However, nothing prepared them for the night of August 18, 2012, when TC was brutally assaulted, left for dead mere blocks from their Washington, D.C., home.

A deeply revealing and intimate memoir, Love You Hard opens during the frantic moments Maslin realizes her husband is missing and the long hours of waiting in the hospital. TC's extensive brain injuries meant that his survival was far from certain. With heartbreakingly raw prose, Maslin writes about becoming her formerly active and vibrant husband's primary caregiver and how she drew upon her background as a fourth-grade teacher to help him relearn everything, including how to walk and talk. At one point, Maslin poignantly notes that the number of words their two-year-old son knew would soon surpass his 29-year-old father's then-limited vocabulary.

Love You Hard will resonate with anyone who has faced (or is facing) the loss of a life one expected to have and the struggle to start over. Maslin reflects upon her experiences with her father's long-term illness and TC's traumatic brain injury with a powerfully strong narrative undiluted by platitudes or saccharine. She is passionate, honest and even occasionally funny while bravely and boldly sharing her anger, grief and fear. Just as TC needed to relearn everything in his world, Love You Hard is Maslin's lesson of how to rebuild hers while discovering the true meaning of love. --Melissa Firman, writer and blogger at

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