"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Falling Apart in One Piece: One Optimist's Journey Through the Hell of Divorce by Stacy Morrison

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Summary: A memoir of one woman's divorce.

It's my fault. I love memoirs, and a friend is going through an unpleasant divorce right now. So when I got an opportunity to read a memoir on divorce, I was excited. (IF one can be excited about divorce.)

But this is not an optimistic book, despite the fact that the author calls herself an optimist. Out of the blue, her husband leaves her. There's no affair or a huge blow-up fight; he "just can't do this anymore." I think Morrison was such an overachiever that it wasn't so much the loss of her husband she was mourning, but the failure of her marriage. It's still incredibly sad, but the author comes to realize how little she and her husband had in common, just assuming that he would adopt her dreams and her plans for their life. That also made Morrison's frequent break-downs surprising. She seemed so sad, but for the wrong reasons, I thought.

It's not a book about being optimistic in the face of a divorce, devastating or not. It's more a book on self-reliance, as the author keeps her pain in. Hidden from her coworkers at her new job, hidden from her young son, hidden from her family (mostly), she learns that she can get through anything through prayer, exercise and a project. She also has a lot of wonderful people pass through her life, who give her what she needs at the moment.
"I didn't find answers. Instead what I found was me." 
Or as Dory says in Finding Nemo, "Keep swimming. Just keep swimming." Good advice for all of us, actually.

Today Morrison and her husband have a cordial, friendly relationship and Morrison is still editor at Redbook magazine. But I'm not ready to read another book by her. I think I'm also done with reading books about kidnapping and divorce for a while. Whew!

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