Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Review: The Divorce Party by Laura Dave

And he laughs. She tries not to. She bites the inside of her lip and tries not to laugh too. This is the painful part. Love doesn't leave you. Not all at once. It creeps back in, making you think it can be another way, that it can still be another way, and you have to remind yourself of the reasons that it probably won't be.

Laura Dave's The First Husband was one of my favorite books last year and I knew immediately I'd want to read more of her stuff. But..I hesitated for whatever reason. (probably the stacks of books I have 95% of which I want to read right now) Anyway last week I randomly heard about divorce parties and the concept was familiar to me, like I thought I'd seen it on a TV show or something. But then I realized I had a book called THE DIVORCE PARTY in my TBR pile and I decided to read it on a whim.

And you know, I guess I had a little bit of that fear that The First Husband had been a one hit wonder for me and I wouldn't like her other books but I shouldn't have worried at all, because this book was so lovely and so good and hit on some of the same ideas that struck me with the The First Husband about love and commitment.

The Divorce Party is about two women, Gwyn and Maggie. Gwyn is Maggie's mother-in-law to be that Maggie has not yet met. She's going to meet her for the first time at Gwyn's divorce party, an event that's supposed to bring healing to the family and assure everything that things will be okay after the divorce. This would be an awkward circumstance for anyone, but it becomes a big deal for Maggie when her fiance, Nate, tells her the morning of the party a little secret he's been keeping...his family is wealthy. It's a bit of a jolt to Maggie since they have been scraping together enough money to open a restaurant together and this is a huge thing he didn't tell her. And when she gets to his parents home, she learns there are even more secrets he's kept from her.

Gwyn, on the other hand, knows a secret her husband doesn't think she knows. and she's going to use it to her advantage at the divorce party. She's struggling with the fact that she still loves her husband and would do anything to make their marriage work even though he's just no longer interested.

I loved this book so much. I loved both Maggie and Gwyn and I think that it's possible to identify with both of them. Maggie who is so used to running and not committing learns the one guy she does want to commit to has been keeping things from her. And Gwyn who faces the worst kind of rejection of all--loving someone and being willing to forgive them big things and having them reject your history and your love.

The story takes place in one day and follows both women as they deal with the shifting nature of their relationships. And it explores these ideas about information and what information you need to have in a relationship and what you do with it and what's forgiveable as an omission and what's not. And it's about love and how sometimes it ends and that's not always one person's fault that even if you love big and hard and well your relationship might not survive. And also about how our past is part of who we are and maybe there is no such thing as starting over. And there's some great symbolism with red velvet cakes and hurricanes and it's just fab.

It's a beautiful, deeply felt book and I loved it. Also the writing is gorgeous. It's one of those books that just feels so true.

Rating: 4.5/5
Things You Might want to Know: Some profanity and sex
Source of Book: bought it
Publisher: Viking


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