Coming Home To the Homewrecker

Los Angeles Broke My Family Apart-Then Helped Me Put the Memory to Rest

The day we signed our lease, the jacarandas were in bloom. All up and down Martel Avenue, lavender clouds rose against a perfect L.A. sky, and blossoms drifted onto the sidewalk. When we left the leasing office and walked back to our car, I felt glad we’d done it. It was L.A. after all, haloed with mystique and myth and gorgeous weather, the kind you could walk in without a jacket. I’d come to believe we might make this a grand adventure.

At first, I hadn’t been so sure. When my …