Lori's Reviews > Until the Twelfth of Never: The Deadly Divorce of Dan & Betty Broderick

Until the Twelfth of Never by Bella Stumbo
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Jun 18, 2009

really liked it

"Until the Twelfth of Never" is an excellent debut by writer Bella Stumbo, of an ugly and acrimonious divorce that turned deadly.
Stumbo goes deep into the backgrounds of both Dan and Betty Broderick and their eventually troubled marriage. She exposes the flaws from both of them. She does not portray Dan to be a saint, nor Betty to be a devil in sheep's clothing. Rather than feeling anger or outrage toward Dan or Betty, it's easy for the reader to feel a deep unsettling, knowing the outcome . . .and knowing that so many signs were there that this battle of wills would eventually erupt into a bloody mess.
Unlike other versions, which are quick to take Dan's side or Betty's side, Dan's second wife Linda is not portrayed as an innocent victim either. The tv miniseries was sufficiently "cleaned up" to make it appear as though Dan and Linda were nothing more than co-workers and good friends until after the Broderick divorce. As "Twelfth" reveals, nothing could have been further from the truth. Murder is never justified, but the cracks in Betty's emotional and mental state were in evidence long before she ever pulled the trigger.
As another reviewer stated the only victims truly apparent in this story are the Broderick children. They were used in a vicious tug of war between their parents and in the end, lost both their father and their mother.
"Twelfth" should be viewed as a cautionary tale - - of two people that were ill-suited for each other from the beginning, that suffered through an unhappy marriage for years, shared that suffering with their children and could not let it go until one, or the both of them, were dead.
Sad, depressing tale excellently written.
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Ebony Russ How can I read this book for free


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