Breaking Apart: A Memoir of Divorce Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Breaking Apart: A Memoir of Divorce

Swallow was a writer for the Washington Post, then a professor of journalism at American University, and married to a man 10 years older who was prey to depressions, with two young sons, when she decided to separate from her husband. Her memoir of that period -- thoughtful, honest, unhysterical -- is about as fair as it could possibly be to all parties, and discusses the larger picture of divorce in the United States as well as her own experience. The account is not particularly bloody; so far, her sons seem to have come through okay, and she and her ex have managed an equitable arrangement of joint custody. But the pain, confusion, ambivalence, and vengefulness are all there, and beautifully described. I've never been divorced, and expect never to be, but I understood and liked this book very much for its delicacy and great humanity.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Breaking Apart: A Memoir of Divorce

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Plot & Themes

Romance    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   searching for lover    -   marriage coming apart Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Kids:    -   general coming of age story job/profession:    -   writer Gender/Class story?    -   woman's story Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Family, hate    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Son    -   Husband The difficult family member    -   disapproves of life choices    -   is mentally ill    -   blames for things that go wrong Ethnic/regional/gender    -   Yes

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   Washington D.C. Century:    -   1980's-Present

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   thoughtful    -   like laughing Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog

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Wendy Swallow Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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