Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Weekend Reading pt. Deux

The weather here was gorgeous this past weekend and with a clean house and with my (entire!) family out of town, I got to concentrate on just reading!

I ended up finishing two books this weekend ( both from my never ending  GR TBR list = double score).

Second up is my non-fiction section:  

In Spite of Everything: A Memoir
Susan Thomas Gregory

Not even sure what made be add this book to my Goodreads TBR list. However during the great TBR purge of 2012, I ended up keeping it on the list and finding it in a local library. I can’t remember what drew me to add this book to the list in way back on July 31, 2011 as I am neither a Gen X’er nor a child for divorce, but I gave it go anyway.

Susan Thomas Gregory rights  a memoir about the scars that divorce has left on the children of Generation X and how she fought hard not to repeat the same sins of her parents. We learn about her childhood growing up with an alcoholic father and a sometimes absent mother; their cross country move and her subsequent struggle when her dad moved out on the family. Later we see her troubled adolescent and college years until she settles into a horrible job after graduating college. The book continues on and focuses on her meeting and eventually marrying her husband and snippets of their life together as it falls apart. Throughout each chapter there are lots of references to Greek Mythology and Eminem ( the rapper) as well as  social commentary and research about a variety of things including starter marriages, children’s’ response to divorce, helicopter parents and the housing market. Mortgage crisis as it relates to generation X. The most interesting part is her commentary and “research” on how sons raised by single mothers are often times victims of emotional incest, from having to be the man of the house. This part was mostly completed by her own personal stories of 2-3 men who fall into this category, but I still found the analogy interesting nonetheless.

When I finished the book, my first thought was that I really wanted to read/know her husband’s version of the story because hers literally left me so lost. In the beginning, it sounded like a mutual decision, but as she gave more detailed toward the end of the book, it seemed to be all on her husband.  HE came off looking like an ass, but with a much more detailed story  behind it. I guess that’s what ends up happening in a divorce memoir.

Part divorce memoir, part Generation X study I felt this book didn’t really have a firm idea of what it was and because I belonged to neither of those groups ( knock on wood), I struggled to  find how she, according to the description,  was stunned to find her marriage coming to an end or how she vowed to never let her kids know divorce.  I’m sure hindsight is 20/20 but she never really focused on how she did those too aside from making a promise to herself and trying to go for some marriage counseling.  I did enjoy her social commentary, but I just wasn’t able to relate to her childhood or her subsequent divorce. 

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