Friday, August 22, 2008


SPLIT

Not enough can possibly be made of how much I love this book. First of all, LOVE Suzanne Finnamore. Love her other two books, Otherwise Engaged and The Zygote Chronicles. LOVE that she is BFFs with two of my fantasy BFFs, Augusten Burroughs and Haven Kimmel. LOVE that she asked finding a mate advice from Augusten Burroughs and this is his response. LOVE that she posted his response, because I'll be damned, it's about the truest and funniest advice I've ever seen or heard.

This is her first "memoir," although her first two "novels" parallel her life. She brilliantly organized the book according to the 5 Stages of Grief, which is so fitting, and which she makes so funny, while remaining so candid and heart wrenching, all at the same time.

In her Anger section (Stage II) she says, "The snag about marriage is, it isn't worth the divorce. My new doctrine is, never marry. I won't ever again. It is absolute swill. It's not just my marriage. It's all marriages except a handful. Marriage is a conspiracy from Tiffany's, florists, the diamond industry, and Christian fundamentalists. The only thing good about it is the diamond ring, the wedding gifts, and the honeymoon. A, (the name she gives her son in the book) I could have gotten anywhere. I could have gotten A from a turkey baster and a lovely gay man with a college education and a pleasant disposition. IF ONLY I'D HAD THAT MUCH SENSE AT THE TIME. I'm sending turkey basters to all my single girlfriends, with holly tassels, for Christmas."

In Bargaining (Stage III) she says, "Sorry is the two-dollar bill of words. It's worth something, but in the end it's ridiculous, a souvenir at best."

Section IV: Grief, she says, "Grief, I understand with icy clarity, is simply information I allow myself to know."

And she says this, when wondering what she might say to her son one day when he asks about divorce: "I will say: 'You enter into - well. You enter into a kind of madness. You will make discoveries, not all of them happy. And the surprises are not staggered or regularly spaced, they are coming at you at light-speed, all at once, and you have to continue. You don't get to stop and say, I'll pick this all up in a year or so, when it isn't so difficult or painful or scary. When I'm ready. No no no. You have to go back in daily, until. Until it passes, or something happens to lessen its dark brilliance. you never know when this will be. You just have to keep meeting it. And gradually it disperses, leaving a small tear in your heart. A little hole, an aperture in you, as in a camera lens which, in the right light, can be perceived and accepted as a perspective-enhancing hole.'"

You don't have to be divorced, almost divorced, thinking about divorce, or even know someone getting divorced, to appreciate this book - it's about grief. And aren't we all grieving something, or someone? Or both?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is one of the most empassioned post you've written in a long time. Seriously thinking of getting this book today. Your post should be on the book's jacket as I think it is a promotional piece in the best sense.

Maddy said...

Tempting, I'll give you that, but the nightstand is already groaning. there again, 'reading time' for me, may be resuming shortly, closely aligned to the commencement of the new school term.
Best wishes
[damned fine review though]

Jenny said...

Carrie, you and I have the most similar taste in books. I read this about a month ago and loved her writing style. Can't wait to order her other two books to catch up on what I've missed.

Kathryn said...

Thanks for the tip, hope to be reading more, too, Maddy!

She said...

Here you go again, tempting me to break my 30 day, no contact with Amazon policy!!!

I've almost made it!!!

But I WILL ABSOLUTELY READ THIS. Does heading over to Vroman's break my policy? I mean, can I buy a book somewhere else?

You are the one who's cheating with him. What do you think?

Eileen said...

I just ordered it. How fitting on the night of my anniversary. I'm going for the grief part of it and I always LOVE a great story. I do love her writing too.

riversgrace said...

Amen! Can I borrow it NOW? I should start taking notes from the front, too. Sure comedy.Dark, dark comedy.

kario said...

I'm on it. As soon as I catch up with your other posts, I'm heading straight for Amazon....

Jess said...

Sounds great. I love the part about turkey basters and gay men, of course. I think fathers (SOME fathers) are overrated anyway.

WENDEE HOLTCAMP said...

sounds good - i'll have to read this book!