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One Optimist’s Journey Through the Hell of Divorce

by Stacy Morrison

Pub Date: March 23rd, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4165-9556-4
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Redbook editor-in-chief Morrison finds a bigger, more honest and balanced self amid the ruins of her marriage.

The author had recently been fired from her magazine job, had an infant son and a house in Brooklyn when her husband sighed and pronounced, “I’m done with this.” To his credit, he didn’t bolt or have an affair, but stayed put until they ironed out the divorce process—though it would take a toll. In a firm, bell-clear voice, Morrison charts her passage from misery to redemption. It wasn’t easy, and the story plays well on her confusion—circling, revisiting, contradicting—reading like a tumult of self-recrimination. Hardly a shrinking violet, she lived at a somewhat cool remove, not trusting happiness. She worked too much; nothing was ever enough; she was volatile and dramatic: “The distance between my brain and my mouth is very, very short.” Yet that brain is capacious and active, and Morrison emerges as a sympathetic character, overthinking, overwhelmed and not blind to the irony of “running a magazine all about women and love and marriage and stuff…Isn’t it rich?” There is plenty of unhappiness in these pages—not self-indulgent, but revelatory—and it all leads to genuinely hard-won epiphanies that are gratifyingly modest and useful for readers in similar situations—don’t marinate in anger; beneath fear is solid ground; fix the immediate problems, often things happen “just because”; optimism and forgiveness work wonders. If her comparisons are sometimes unsettling—“divorce is no virus; it’s lung cancer”—readers will get the drift.

Candid and inspiring.