A red book cover with a white silhouette of a face with long hair and a lipstick stain

The Aftermath of Forever: How I Loved and Lost and Found Myself. The Mix Tape Diaries

by Natalye Childress Author

The Aftermath of Forever is a memoir that chronicles the romantic coming-of-age of a woman in her 20s dating in San Francisco. After the disappointment of a failed marriage, Natalye Childress embarks on a soul-searching journey to discover what happens when the one you thought you would be with forever breaks your heart. Using music as a vehicle to express herself, she revisits ten men from her past and paints a portrait of their relationships through the mixtapes she made for them. She catapults herself into the hedonistic world of noncommittal beaus, abusive boyfriends, and friends with benefits. She candidly dissects her love life on the page as she shares the inspiring and hopeful moments alongside the awkward and painful realizations that accompany dating in the present day, when everyone is looking for something different. These men, although they leave her life almost as quickly as they entered it, collectively help shape her future as she embarks on a quest not only to find love, but to find herself. 

One of our interns made all the mixtapes and listened to each one while reading the chapter it goes with. Check out her review of the experience here.





Aftermath of Forever: How I Loved, Lost, and Found Myself. The Mix Tape Diaries from Microcosm Publishing on Vimeo.

Comments & Reviews


"refreshing and empowering"



"The Aftermath of Forever is a personal and private look into the mistakes and romantic experiments that follow the crushing disappointment of being blindsided by divorce. On an even higher level, though, the book is really about one thing: an upset 20-something transitioning into adulthood."

-Last Weeks Memoir


"The story is a path of self-discovery to cope with how life moves on after experiencing heartbreak from someone once held so close."

Dylan Sirdofsky - Sonoma State Star


"This is a naughty, logical and well-written collection with a built-in appeal to men and women in their 20s and 30s."

Nicolas Grizzle - Bohemian


Most people like to pretend they don't have dirty laundry, but Childress gleefully airs hers to the world… If Helen Fielding grew up keeping a sexy Tumblr and listening to indie bands she might have been able to write a book like this.


"In The Aftermath of Forever Natalye Childress explores romantic experiences through a memoir that is intimate and spare, unique yet relatable, and definitely beautiful. Aftermath is a bildungsroman that traces the trials and growth of a woman exploring herself through various kinds of love. Childress proves that music is the medium that the heart understands, and punctuates her own romantic encounters with an incredible soundtrack."


"With unflinching honesty and exquisite spareness, Natalye Childress explores the spectrum of romantic love, in its tender, wild, painful, and redeeming dimensions. Though each of these finely tuned pieces can stand alone, when they are read together and in sequence the collection achieves a striking intensity of narrative momentum and richness of emotional resonance."