THE DAY THE LOVING STOPPED: A Daughter's View of Her Parents' Divorce by Julie Autumn List
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THE DAY THE LOVING STOPPED: A Daughter's View of Her Parents' Divorce

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Julie List was nine, her sister five, when her parents' raw hatred erupted in their 1966 divorce: even then, she was tough-minded enough to know that divorce was preferable to the daily tensions--though that made her beloved daddy's absence no less painful. Her account is effective, indeed, just because she refuses to stray into self-pity, and she was an incredibly resilient child. She came to accept her father's string of girlfriends, the every-other-weekend with them in New York (along with his two sons from a previous marriage); she successfully combated jealousy when her father eventually remarried, though he would now be raising his new wife's daughters in place of Julie; and she grew to love her mother's artist-lover, Michael. But the adults proved less flexible than Julie; one by one, they removed even these reconstituted props from under her. When her father's new marriage ended in divorce, ""loyalty"" forced her to abandon the stepfamily to which she'd grown accustomed. Her mother ended a five-year relationship with Michael, and her father took up with a bubble-headed blonde whom Julie couldn't respect. Meanwhile she was growing up, with no one to share her anxiety about belonging at school and about changes in her body, to understand her fights for independence from her mother. The family house in Westport, the one constant, finally had to be sold; but her parents also learned to talk together as friends--and through it all, Julie developed maturity and patience. This could have been a scream or a whine; instead it's a journal of growth--touched with pain and a keen sense of ""something precious"" lost, but buoying in the wonder of emotional survival.

Pub Date: March 21st, 1980
Publisher: Seaview--dist. by Harper & Row