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on March 25, 2010
This compelling book reads much more like a classic novel than most of today's quickly forgotten "memoirs." There were many times that the pain was so palpable that that I literally had to look away from the page for a while before continuing. But there was also joy in many parts--especially the joy that Morrison obviously feels in finally realizing that she is her own person--for better and for worse, but really so much more for the better--an awesome and talented person who has now added "great mom" and "great writer" to the top of her resume!
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on November 19, 2014
Wish I would have written this book myself. I think that she worded this perfectly with all the doubts, all the sadness and the pain. I know she has a different lifestyle than most but her pain was still real and her divorce was still full of that real pain. Nothing she mentioned took away from feeling freed to know that others suffer, cry and give up through this painful process. I'm so grateful, for this book, for the way she shared and for the time and energy she dedicated to creating this. Without it, I would still feel like a failure, still feel alone and lost in this sad sea of self misery. Thank you Stacy, from the bottom of my heart.
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on April 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is simply this author's story about the tough times she faced and about the lessons she learned while going through her own divorce. She openly reveals the hell she went through during that time in her life, made worse by numerous obstacles she faced outside of her divorce...probably not dissimilar to what many women are confronted with today. The problems are more likely different (after all this author runs Redbook magazine and is financially independent) but the thought processes a woman goes through during these times are very similar. Going thru this myself I had real appreciation of so many of the things she says, e.g. the end of a marriage is more like a funeral and the death of one's dreams from taking the big leap of faith that is marriage. I found myself crying several times in moments of understanding, and I had moments of gratitude for realizing there are others going thru the exact same thing with the exact emotions...others who may appear they are successful and have it all together but who bleed just as badly in times of turmoil. This author calls herself an optimist in the subtitle. I think I would call her more of a survivalist.

There are times in the book when I feel like this author is writing for those she knows will read the story instead of complete introspection and revelation. But that is probably part of her journey. Nevertheless, much of the book is very unguarded. Those are the parts that make this a recommended and very worthwhile read. The book improves as it progresses. In the beginning, there are instances when I wanted her to get on with it and others when I wasn't quite sure where she was in her timeline. I also wish she had revealed a little more about any dating or relationships during these years. I wasn't sure whether this was left out or whether there was just nothing to say. But being a beautiful and successful woman, I have to believe there was some dating other than a texting boyfriend during these years. Overall, these do not take away much however.

I would recommend this book for any woman going thru a divorce. It is in no way a self help guide but more of a shared story that leads to an understanding that can be very cathartic. I'm not sure that someone not going thru this or not having gone thru this would be able to have an appreciation for this work, but for those who have and are, it is highly recommended. 4.5 Stars!
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on September 7, 2010
If you want to read about Stacy having to come down from her ivory tower to deal with real life for a few minutes, than buy this book. Optimistic--- No--- just a lot of whining about "poor me"...."it's raining, I can't find a parking space...boo hoo. Get a real life Stacy. Many of us have gone through divorce and have 3-4 children or more we must deal with, financial strains, cheating husbands etc. I was hopeful that this book would present something positive about divorce, however it was just filled with 200+ pages of Stacy whining about "poor me" and dumping on her friends and expecting EVERYONE to rescue her and her being a total b---h to her husband.!!! Frankly I don't know how he lasted 10 years with her!Don't waste your time or money on this book!!
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on March 21, 2010
I am over halfway through this book, I've had a hard time putting it down. It's a window into a self-struggle, a composite of thresholds, revealed with stark honesty. It dares anyone likewise treading rocky ground in a life-changing relationship, to walk through this story with her and observe what she learned. And maybe is even still learning -- about embracing situations that are inherently unembraceable yet hold surprising truths behind, as she puts it, "shoji screens" of convenience.

I find it intriguing how, like the marital partnership of two minds, familiar emotions we like to think we can control instead fought for shared space in the author's quest for clarity: peacemaker vs. aggressor; or denial combating wish-fulfillment instead of enabling it. Not the usual depiction I come across in personal memoirs and for me this added depth. So often accounts of broken relationships are put in clichéd terms with no nuance and and I typically am left wondering if there isn't more complexity beneath the surface.

There are no cliches of language here either, just prose that pulls you forward and leavens the reality-check of suddenly-to-be-single motherhood with unique turns of phrase. Even the references to her growing list of numbered speculations on the Why's of their ending marriage (reaching into the hundreds), it reminded me of another reflective favorite about relationships (Nick Hornby's compulsive list-making in "High Infidelity"); but Morrison's are strewn like asides throughout "Falling Apart" and less a device than perhaps a nod to her line of work in the world of women's magazines, where "# Reasons..." items are frequently on display.

Even though I haven't experienced marriage or divorce directly, there is a lot to recognize here about the kind of tailspin resulting from an abrupt detour concerning a companion you'd always figured on making (pleasant) memories with while outpacing the unpleasant ones. I look forward to finishing Morrison's story because I'm already realizing ways I'd reapproach any friend or acquaintance experiencing separation, failed reconciliation, or abandonment. Really anyone who's been hit with a disastrous turn in a relationship or is coming to terms with parenting on one's own should find some kernels of wisdom resonating in these pages.
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VINE VOICEon April 28, 2010
This is a very readable and honest book about one woman's marriage and divorce. While the author tried to be an optimist (as noted in the subtitle), she does not shy away from from portraying the difficulties of being in a relationship and ending a relationship. While the author's circumstances may not initially make her seem relatable to most women, her story and insights can help anyone in a similar situation- and even those that are not. It is a testament to this book that someone who has no personal interest in marriage or divorce still picked up this book and found it interesting and illuminating. As well as being honest, this is a well-written book with a clear style and graceful handling of metaphor ( crumbling house = crumbling marriage).
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What I Can Tell You:

I read this book last night in just a few hours. Stacy has lived through one of my biggest fears. Being married is hard work. There are plenty of ups and downs in all relationships but when Stacy's husband tells her he's done you immediately want to hate him. How could anyone just decide one day they are "done"? All parties of a relationship have their own reality and it may not be the mirror image of yours. What Stacy does with dignity, humor and wisdom is see her role as her marriage dissolves around her and comes out better on the other side.

Stacy, isn't most of us. She has a nanny for her child, a good paying job, an ex-husband who wants to see his son and shares parenting responsibilities with her. While I believe most woman in the same situation will not be able to relate to Stacy because of those things, what we do get out of this story is that, regardless of lifestyle, divorce is hard. It is devastating to all parties involved and the raw emotion of the journey from marriage to single again, can and will knock you on your ass!
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Everyone's divorce story is different yet so similar. I myself divorced my high school sweetheart after discovering he had been sleeping with an acquaintance of ours. If I had had Ms. Morrison's book to read at the time, it would have had a better time during my transition. I was touched by the author's strength and her willingness to make the most of her situation. I didn't have a child with the man I divorced from so I couldn't not imagine going through what Stacy went through: blindsided by a divorce, taking care of a young child, and trying to maintain the strength to get up to go to work every day. She tells her story with honesty and clarity. Even though parts are slightly repetitive, I believe this is just Stacy expressing and working through her feelings. A lot of the book resonated with me and I think this would be a huge help for anyone - man or woman! - going through a divorce or still trying to deal with the hurt of divorce.
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on April 8, 2010
Although the book's tagline ("One Optimist's Journey through the Hell of Divorce") might lead you to think this is a book about divorce, don't let it fool you. This is a story about relationship -- to oneself and to others. It's a story about authentic intimacy and deep compassion. It's a story about allowing. About courageously stepping into and through fear. About finding a place of "no blame" -- a place of expansiveness and peace.

No, this book is not about divorce. It is really a love story. It's about the love shared between a woman and a man, a woman and her child, a woman and her friends, a woman and herself ... a woman and her life. (At least that's my take on it!)

In "Falling Apart in One Piece," Stacy helps us navigate the dangerous world of anger, the paralyzing world of fear, and the mysterious, gorgeous world of love -- and everything in between. Although I don't ever recall her using the word "enlightenment," I see this story as a model for my own belief about what enlightenment means: opting for connection over separation, moving from darkness into light, choosing love over fear. Every time Stacy lets herself feel her anger and then makes a decision to act out of love, I am bolstered by her courage and able to see my own ability to make those life-affirming choices.

I'm not someone who dog-ears pages in books. But if you could see my copy of "Falling Apart in One Piece," you'd notice a whole slew of dog-eared pages! I couldn't help myself. This book is beautifully written -- an awesome combination of raw emotion, humor, insight, and story. All my dog-ears are places of insight that I want to return to, over and over again. (One of my favorites is: Life "isn't black or white, right or wrong, good or bad. It's everything all at once, many shades of gray, a beautiful, poetic mess.")

In between all that insight and introspection is a whole heck of a lot of just-plain-good story. You know, like the kind of story where you truly want to know how the protagonist is gonna get herself out of this one. And you just know she will.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in opening themselves up to what is possible in life. Stacy's story is written in such a way that I couldn't help but read it as an invitation. Want to come to peace (and joy!) with the inexplicable, imperfect, amazing life you're living? C'mon, I'll show you the way.
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on June 29, 2010
When single mothering is discussed in magazines and books, there is a tendency to lump all single mothers together,the widowed,divorced,choice mothers and never marrieds. While they all share the same daily challenges of balancing work and child care,plus much more,the circumstances that brought these women to single parent status are vastly different and profoundly impact the entire single mother experience. For the newly divorced single mother struggling with the altered responsibilities of caring for children alone,she is also struggling with the grief that is part of the divorce experience. It is not the respectful grief shared with widows,left alone by death but the curious and judgmental grief that often accompanies a divorce and shatters the self esteem of women trying to move forward.
FALLING APART IN ONE PIECE captures the complex feelings and realities of divorce better than any book that I have ever read. The author is not only a gifted writer and magazine editor but a woman willing to share the most personal details of her own divorce journey providing the reader with invaluable insights and the certainty that she is not alone. The authors message is hopeful on many levels but she carefully documents the painful stages of grief involved in letting go of a long and cherished marriage.
There were times while reading this book that I was taken back in time to my own divorce and I had to take a deep breath and put the book down for a few minutes as those old feeling came back to life. If your divorce is new this book will help you get through the hard parts and see the authors belief in a bright future. If,as in my case, your divorce is long behind you,you can smile knowing that the hope for a happy future for you and your children can come true.
Jeanne L. Ward Author of YOU'RE IT! SUCCESSFUL SINGLE MOTHERING AFTER DIVORCE
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