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Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  104 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Is there really such a thing as a “good divorce”? Determined to uncover the truth, Elizabeth Marquardt—herself a child of divorce—conducted, with Professor Norval Glenn, a pioneering national study of children of divorce, surveying 1,500 young adults from both divorced and intact families between 2001 and 2003. In Between Two Worlds, she weaves the findings of that study t ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Harmony (first published September 27th 2005)
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Apr 17, 2014 Paige added it
Any parent considering divorce should read this, but it's not easy to do. It does not offer solutions, but as a single parent understanding the challenges my child faces emotionally and developmentally, not glazed over and white washed, helped us immensely.

In cases of abuse or repeated infidelity it is better for parents to separate. That aside, I wince when someone considering a separation tells me that their child will be better off when mom and dad are happier in their two separate happy hom
Jun 09, 2013 Jeff rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've ever read on the effects of divorce on children and teens. The premise is that as the divorcing parents pursue their separate lives, the children increasingly find themselves caught in a no man;s land between the two worlds of their parents, where they are left to figure out their morals and values in a vacuum. The key element to this book is an extensive survey of children of divorce that was done to get their thoughts and feelings on the experience, coupled w ...more
The book claims to be a study about children of divorce who come from "good divorces," however, overwhelmingly it appears to be about this woman's life with a study she conducted to back up her own feelings of confusion, imbalance, etc.

I think it would be fair to say that the author already had the conclusion of her study written (and perhaps this whole book) before the study was even started. It doesn't mean that what she says is wrong, but it does make the stated intent of this book inaccurat
Blaze Pearson
Jul 10, 2012 Blaze Pearson rated it it was amazing
This is a great book!! My parents divorced when I was barely a year old and I felt like this book was telling my story and helping me to put my emotions into words. I also have two older siblings that went through the same family split but felt it from a different angle and I feel as though Elizabeth Marquardt nailed what they went through as well. Before I read this book I thought my problems were exclusive to me but as I read this book it was clear that I was not alone. As cheesy as that sound ...more
Douglas Lord
Sep 04, 2015 Douglas Lord rated it really liked it
Marquardt (herself a child of divorce) posed 125 questions to interviewees riffing on one question: "If your parents love you and get along reasonably well, why is their divorce still so wrenching?" Answers and the author's own reflections prove revealing.

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Oct 09, 2015 Julia added it
While this book has some good insights, I think better, less biased information is available from Judith Wallerstein (namely "Legacy of Divorce" and "What About the Kids"). This book felt a bit resentful, and the topic may be a bit too close to the authors heart to be objective.

It's not always as hopeless as this author made it seem. As a stepmom, I appreciated the different perspective but when I tossed around some of the ideas presented in this book to my stepdaughter, she scoffed at them. I
Feb 23, 2008 Kirsti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and sensitively written book that showcases the author's research on children of divorce. Marquardt points out that there has been almost no research on the spiritual development of children whose parents have split up. Based on her study, those children interpret religious imagery very differently than children from intact families do. The notion of God as a parent affects them in a different way--some say, "Great, a father who is with me everywhere I go and whom I can always talk t ...more
The American Conservative
'Based on a random survey of 1,500 women and men aged 18-35, as well as 70 in-depth interviews within that group, Marquardt and co-researcher Norval Glenn have delivered an empirical record that makes the appendices alone reason enough to study this book. In them one finds the fascinating differences of this random sample of young adults—half from divorced families and half from intact—manifest themselves repeatedly in the course of 125 probing survey questions.
Even so, the significance of this
Mary Anne
I applaud Elizabeth for speaking on behalf of children who have experienced or will experience the divorce of their parents - especially those who have somewhat regular contact with both parents. This book gave me insights into my own children, and was a solid reminder of the importance of home and family stability for a child. She attempts to remove the "sugar coating" from cultural ideas about "good divorces" and combines empirical data with personal stories (her own and those she interviewed) ...more
Jenni Frencham
Nov 19, 2012 Jenni Frencham rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, adult
I found this book by visiting the blog of Lauren Winner, an author I have recently discovered. She had chosen to read this book because she said she saw herself on every page. Although I generally avoid the victim mentality that often comes from reading books about how traumas in a person's life have warped that person so he or she cannot choose to behave differently, I was intrigued by this particular book.

This book is the culmination of a study of children who both came from divorced families
Oct 04, 2007 Farah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with divorced parents
This book sets out to challenge some of the myths surrounding a "good divorce." Even if the parents move on and create new lives for themselves that are happy and positive, the divorce still has an impact on the kids that most people don't want to admit. She talks about how children of divorce are forced to become "little adults" and how they don't have a unified sense of home. Because they travel between two homes, these kids have to keep their guard up and always watch to see what the rules ar ...more
May 01, 2008 Steve rated it it was amazing
This is one of the more eye-opening books I have ever read. It's a good read for anyone, not just those who have a broken home.

One of the more difficult challenges I face as a single parent is seeing and understanding the perspective my children have. They're not always going to be able to articulate what they're feeling. They're not mature enough to understand the affects that decisions that their mother and I make have on them. So, to have this book to show you many of the truths that are not
Haley Fuoco
May 30, 2012 Haley Fuoco rated it really liked it
I really did like this book. This book was written by my neighbor Elizabeth Marquart. I was staying at her house with her kids and one night she gave me a copy of her book. We began to talk about what it feels like to have your parents be divorced. It turns out like my parents, her parents are divorced. It was great to talk to her for a few minutes because I feel like I really got to get to know her. Her book is aslo very touching because you feel what it is like from the point of view of childr ...more
Jan 04, 2013 Rhonda rated it liked it
My son read this book and then passed it along to me. Although he said he didn't like it, he did comment that he felt he could relate some of it to his own experience as a child of divorced parents. He didn't remember specifics so I found myself wondering which experiences he related and were relevant to him in his own life.

As a divorced parent, this book helped me to recognize, more clearly, the devastation of divorce on children, particularly how, in my own personal case, it effected my two so
Nov 26, 2007 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This book should be read by everyone who has an opionion about divorce no matter what their marital status is! There do not seem to be many people who think that divorce even a "good divorce" is a positive event which this book is very clear about but there are still so many misconceptions about children from divorced families that this book helps to clear up. This book also brings up so many issues that are not currently being discused that should be.This is one of the best books I have read.
Oct 08, 2008 Kathryn rated it really liked it
An excellent, research driven book on the emotional, moral, and religious development and subsequent issues faced by the children of divorced parents. The appendices in the back give the stats on the questions asked in research, and within the book are excerpts from many different interviews, giving the book a fairly balanced feel. Easy to read and informative.
Nov 10, 2013 Lisa rated it it was ok
Very, very depressing book. There were no strategies on how to make things easier for kids to deal with divorce and no hope for parents who are worried about their children going through a divorce. As a (now) single mom who did not want a divorce and fought to keep my marriage together this book did nothing to help me help my daughter.
Jul 26, 2011 Ronald rated it it was ok
As a divorce lawyer, I highly recommend this book. It contains no happy talk, only the truth about the pain and problems that the children of divorce experience. Nuff said.
May 23, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it
I think I'm done with this topic for a bit, so I didn't actually finish this one. Maybe I will later. But still worth the time spent on it--very helpful.
Christina Grace
Apr 27, 2013 Christina Grace rated it really liked it
I read this book in order to better understand my students, over half of whose parents are divorced. It was honest, insightful, and heart-breaking.
If you are divorced or thinking about getting divorced-read this book. It might change your perspective on how it will impact your kids.
Nov 14, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a child of divorce, this was a tough read. The author provides an honest look at the lifelong impact of a broken home.
Julia Gandrud
Jan 13, 2013 Julia Gandrud rated it really liked it
Taught me a few things about myself, as a child of divorce. Too heavy on the pro-christian thing, but otherwise very helpful.
Kate Turner
Nov 18, 2013 Kate Turner rated it it was amazing
as an elementary school counselor - this book is an invaluable tool.
The author has incredible/personal insight.
Mar 25, 2010 Sallie rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-this
If you have friends, family, or kids going through a divorce. Great perspective, almost all of it dead-on.
Leslie Pauley
Jan 22, 2016 Leslie Pauley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keepers
I felt like I wasn't alone with my feelings anymore after reading this.
Sep 10, 2010 Brian rated it really liked it
This book won't change a single mind, but it makes the case well.
Johnny Hill
Jan 23, 2015 Johnny Hill rated it really liked it
meh. good stats in the back...
Oct 25, 2010 Lisa marked it as to-read
Mary Mannix Recommendation.
Thomas B Kruise
Thomas B Kruise rated it it was amazing
May 01, 2016
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What's best for them? what do you think? 3 5 Nov 26, 2007 12:38PM  
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