NEW LIVES FOR FORMER WIVES: Displaced Homemakers by Nancy C. Baker

NEW LIVES FOR FORMER WIVES: Displaced Homemakers

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A highly anecdotal approach to the problems of the newly divorced or widowed homemaker, with many an example of the man as ar, absolute beast (""The final indignity was when Rachel's husband forcibly raped her""). Like so many other interviewers, Baker has great sympathy for her subjects; and she undoubtedly feels that their triumphs over lack of self-esteem, unfair financial settlements, etc., will buoy the reader's spirits. But there is little in the way of insightful interpretation or summing up here: friends may come and go (particularly go) after the divorce or death, the newly-alone may gradually get back to making doctors' and dentists' appointments (instead of languishing in self-hate and self-pity); but what specific courses of action can the reader pick up from all this? Make new friends, we are told; seek professional help for prolonged or excessive depression. And there is far, far more overall on altered relationships--with kids, parents, men--than on the practice needs of the marketplace, such is money or jobs. Except for the individuals stories, slight indeed--especially by comparison with either Greta Walker's On My Own (p. 431) or, for concrete guidance, Alone, by Helen Antoniak and others (1979).

Pub Date: Oct. 3rd, 1980
Publisher: Anchor/Doubleday