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Split: A Memoir of Divorce

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  528 ratings  ·  138 reviews
Bestselling and award-winning author Suzanne Finnamore writes a story of divorce that is �brilliant� (Augusten Burroughs) and sure to become a classic.

There are certain books that come to epitomize their painful subject matter, offering solace to those who share the same fate and pleasure to those who merely appreciate fine writing. What The Year of Magical Thinking did
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 17th 2008 by Dutton Adult (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,223)
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Holly Burns
I was really over this woman by the end of this book. Actually, I was pretty much over her a few pages in. Which is a shame, really, because I very much enjoyed her other two books: The Zygote Chronicles and Otherwise Engaged. But this one? It just seemed so disjointed and piecemeal and (yes, I'll say it) just a little bit self-serving and whiny. Also, the changing of tenses within a single paragraph (and sometimes even a single sentence) DROVE ME CRAZY. If you're writing about a single event, C ...more
Annie
I have a Psychology of Love class this semester and I thought this book would be an interesting perspective to get while taking this course. The book is about a woman’s journey of divorce (my worst nightmare). I realized that while divorce is a relatively frequency occurrence in our country, it seems little is known about what a person may be going through. This book did a good job of conveying the process and difficulty inherent in a divorce. The author’s husband, who was the one who left/did t ...more
Kricket
i like to read about marriage and marriages, even bad ones. but it took me a few years to pick this one up because i loved suzanne finnamore's novels, which seemed to be based on her life, and it made me upset that her husband wound up being a doofus. still. what better day to begin a book about a divorce than my 6 year wedding anniversary? (my husband is used to me; didn't even bat an eye.)

ANYWAY. finnamore throws us right in the water by beginning mere seconds before her husband tells her he's
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Julie Ehlers
Several years ago, I read Suzanne Finnamore's novel about getting married, Otherwise Engaged, and kind of assumed it was autobiographical. We got the beginning of the story with that book, and now, with this memoir, we get the end of the story.

To be honest, in this book Finnamore seems rather pathetic and certainly petty, but I suppose we all would if placed in a similar situation. She somehow does manage to describe and give voice to a lot of emotions that seem as if they'd be hard to put into
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Melissa
May 12, 2008 Melissa added it
Shelves: can-t-finish
Ugh, this was horrible. I couldn't even make it halfway through. I'm all for reading about depressing topics, so that's not what turned me off. There was just nothing redeeming about it - it wasn't funny, I didn't learn anything, none of the characters were likable, sympathetic or real (even though they're real people!). Maybe it's just me, but I did not get this book.
Kim Bui
Split: A Memoir of Divorce tells the story of Suzanne Finnamore, a woman who gets divorced ought to write a memoir about it. At first, the book is set at the age of 40 years old woman, who live in California, where everything happening so fast that she didn't know what to do. Wanting nothing but a happy family, N (her husband) came home with a divorce application that is already signed with his signature, handed it to Finnamore without holding back anything. The book examines on how she may have ...more
Jonna Rubin
I've been a fan of Finnamore since -- well, it feels like it's been since the day I started reading books, but we all know that makes no sense, as I'm not an infant. She is by far one of the most underrated writers of our time, and her background as an advertising copywriter is reflected in every page, every pithy sentence that is perfectly constructed to capture as much meaning as possible. Split is no exception, and brings the same concise brilliance that Otherwise Engaged and The Zygote Chron ...more
Cynthia
This is the story of one woman's divorce. It has been very beneficial to me. She works her way through the stages of grief and finally comes to acceptance. This book is certainly not for everyone but since the author also has a child with her former husband, her stories rang so true to me. She has learned how to deal and accept the former and still allow her son to love his father. Some really good advice.
But yet my friend who has been divorced for over three years said since she has already gon
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Sofia Kirschn
I totally understand why so many people didn't like this book. I did. Suzanne explores the range of thoughts and emotions that go along with having your partner one day declare they're leaving because they're suddenly "no longer happy". It's a very accurate account of the observer's side of a stereotypical mid-life crisis. If you haven't been through it, you'll blissfully think it could never happen to me and likely be repulsed by the story. If you have been through it, you'll totally recognize ...more
Tiffany
Jun 18, 2008 Tiffany rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: not sure - unhappy women?
Recommended to Tiffany by: Entertainment Weekly
Shelves: ew-picks, memoirs
Kind of depressing so far, but that's expected since the book is about divorce..
Just finished this one and I liked, definitely not loved it. Aside from the fact that I'm happily married, I couldn't relate to the author; she is well off, lives in a house she owns, is able to work from home as a writer, and able to jaunt off to Paris at a moment's notice.
I probably wouldn't recommend this to anyone going through a divorce, as it can obviously get a little ugly and probably wouldn't be very helpfu
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David
Very disappointing book. Divorce is an interesting topic, and a firsthand account of going through it could be fascinating. My American U. colleague Wendy Swallow wrote an excellent book on this very subject a few years back. Split was hard to finish, however. The author has funny moments, and I can see why she's a popular magazine contributor, but her perspective was too narrow to carry a book.

The other "characters" [her son "A" and her ex "N" -- why not just make up full-word names? -- and her
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Marissa
Although the writing here is not astounding in a literary sense (not like Lorrie Moore's Birds in America), she does have a quick wit, some dark humor, and a good story line.

The book, to put it simply, is about a woman who is going through a divorce. It begins simply, does not do much woe is me stuff, and gets right into the meat of things. The characters are good, some surprising which is nice, and she is honest.

I gave it a 4 because I'm thinking that perhaps I am jaded right now. This book was
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Tina
I keep reading these divorce memoirs thinking something is going to click and make me feel better about my life. So far not so much. Where are the memoirs about the poor women? I could relate to the raw emotions this author shared. I think those feelings of being betrayed and replaced are universal. I also really liked her mom. She was a wise and cool lady.
Jodi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Boyter
I read this for obvious reasons! I had already read her first two books: Otherwise Engaged (about getting married) and the Zygote Chronicles (about having a baby). Split is a memoir of her sudden divorce. She is a fabulous writer.
Jennifer
Raw, jarring, and full of the dark sarcastic humor and wit that Finnamore brings to each of her books. Its succint, but very powerful, and definitely will strike a chord with anoyone who knows someone who went through divorce.
(Lonestarlibrarian) Keddy Ann Outlaw
A soul-spilling, gut-wrenching memoir of divorce, telling like it is before, during and after Suzanne's husband walked out the door. And I think there are legions of women who have been through divorce dramas who would appreciate this book, no matter when their marriage broke. Laugh, suffer, binge drink and cry with Suzanne. I could totally identify with her push-pull attraction to her soon-to-be ex, the father of her young son, soon to be the father of his new paramour's child. Aaaarrrggghhhhh! ...more
Evanston Public  Library
I think I may have a new favorite author. If there can be a funny memoir about an unwanted divorce, thenSplit is it. Author Suzanne Finnamore, dressed in black cigarette pants and her lips painted a perfect shade of red (Putting On Your Face is what her mother calls it, War Paint is how Finnamore sees it) waits eagerly in her kitchen for her husband N. to arrive home from work. After handing him a martini with two garlic stuffed olives, he tells her simply “I DESERVE HAPPINESS.”

With the help of
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Jaclyn Day
It takes a little while to get used to Finnamore’s unique writing style, but it’s clear that she has a compelling way of bringing the story of her divorce and its aftermath to readers. I won’t deny that I found this book a “page-turner” because my parents are going through a similar situation, and I also can’t pretend that I didn’t see them on every page of Finnamore’s story. Divorce or separation is kind of like giving birth in that way: you see similarities where there may not even be any simp ...more
Nicole
Terrible. She was so unsympathetic that there were many times that I wanted to just put this book down, and walk away. Why didn't I? Because three years ago I checked it out from the library, spilled coffee on it, and I was the owner of a new book about someone's divorce. Yippee! Why couldn't it have been Gone With the Wind? Sheesh. So since I bought it, I felt obligated to read it. Terrible. Learned my lesson the hard way. The library will be thrilled with my donation today.

Anyway - I digress.
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Lulu
Others have been critical of her tense-changes and writing style, but I rather liked the latter. Except for the inexplicable lexicon of calling her husband, "N" and son, "A" throughout the book, her style was refreshingly different. Suzanne is obviously highly intelligent, quite funny with some wonderful glimpses into dark sarcasm, and is understandably self-indulgent (I mean, why would a reader expect anything different as this is, after all, the memoir of her divorce?!) but it just seemed to m ...more
Jessica
There is no denying that getting divorced is no fun, and in her recent novel, Split, Suzanne Finnamore reminds us just how not fun it is.

In an entirely candid portrayal of her struggle with divorce, Finnamore reveals a journey wholly undesirable. Relying on the support from relationships with her mother and close friends, Finnamore depicts a journey through the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, grief and acceptance. We follow her path in coping with the various setbacks with her ex, includin
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Laura
I had to get used to her style, but I enjoyed it once I did. I just kept thinking while reading, "I'm never getting married."

One thing that bugged me: she replaces the names of her ex-husband and her son with the initials N and A, respectively, which is a bit annoying in and of itself, but I could get over it. The A kept tripping me up, though - so many times I started reading a sentence that started with A and got half-way through before I realized that she was referring to her son. A bit confu
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Sara
After reading Happens Every Day, I was recommended this book on Amazon from another reviewer and decided to check our library website. Sure enough, they had it and it was in my hands days later. I've enjoyed reading this book, thus far, but it will not leave a mark as other books have so easily done. While the author is honest, is obviously intelligent and has a good sense of humor, the book is just sort of ... lacking.

This is petty, but one of the things that put me off immediately is the fact
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Lisa Kotin
SPLIT is a stunning work. The writing is spare and cuts to the core. It is a quietly funny, devastating story of a wife and mother dealing with divorce when it hits from left field. At first I was a little put off by the very short chapters (often 1-2 pages) with chapter titles that appear in the chapter itself, but the writing is so strong and so clear, I quickly fell into the rhythm of the work and was taken on a memorable ride by this bold and confident writer. Bravo.
Santica
Jan 26, 2010 Santica rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Santica by: Entertainment Weekly
I added this book to my queue after reading a glowing review in EW earlier in the year. However, I'm finding it hard to slog through the final pages. Suzanne Finnamore uses an interesting format to detail the demise of her marriage - short, random chapters detailing her mental state in the months after her husband walked out on her for another woman. Unfortunately she does not draw enough of an emotional connection to herself or any of the other main characters, and everyone comes across as rath ...more
Brooke
So, I was excited to read this book based on the reviews and that fact that, hey, can a story about divorce really be boring? This book wasn't boring, but overwritten. The author self-indulges in language and instead of being impressive it's plain distracting. This story about a woman's psychological struggle through a divorce is downright tiresome and self-eradicating. I do not want to think that if I should ever have to go through a divorce that I would still be focused on getting my ex back o ...more
Lauren
Marking this as "read" is a bit of cheating, since I put it down on a plane ride and never picked it back up (sorry, the Daily Show rerun on the in-flight TV was more interesting). But I know it's going back to the library for good. As many other people have said about this book: yes, divorce is a terrible experience. Yes, we're sorry she went through this. Yes, we understand you are trying to make every single word convey your tortured anguish. But it just doesn't work. The writing style was no ...more
Erika
I liked this book. Some people in previous reviews have said they disliked the author's personality and style of writing. The book is about the stages of grieving after the writer's husband left her for "Thing Woman" I have yet to find someone whose grief and loss has made them pleasant and fun to be around. I think it's normal to become self-absorbed when dealing with loss, and I certainly won't fault the author for that. I agree that her writing style was quirky, and at times seemed somewhat d ...more
Meghan
A well-off, attractive writer in an affluent California suburb gets divorced from her older husband, who has been cheating on her with another woman. Nicely written but I never felt that I connected to the author's experiences - or, maybe, it felt like she didn't have all that much insight into what she went through while getting divorced, or lacked enough distance to describe it in a way that had an overall structure or narrative that was going somewhere (despite the use of the stages of grief ...more
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“Such silence has an actual sound, the sound of disappearance.” 248 likes
“I was steeped in denial, but my body knew.” 117 likes
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