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VINE VOICEon March 12, 2010
I bought this book with a lot of excitement - I am 40 and recently divorced and was excited to find a book geared towards me.

First, the good things - the book is thorough. It is well written and easy to read. The author is a good writer and the book is entertaining. It includes chapters on many different aspects of divorce that women need to consider. Over all, I think it is very good.

But, I did not find the book relevant to my own situation for several reasons.

1. This book is geared specifically towards women who have older or grown children. If you have young children, this book is not really as relevant to your situation. Since many women delay childbearing these days, there are many women in their 40s who still have young children [me included]. They won't find the help they need in this book. This book just really emphasized to me how very different the two situations are - a mother of older children who is abandoned vs a mother of very young children who is abandoned.

2. The author seemed to have had a TON of support from endless patient, loving, devoted friends. She lists a whole bunch of different kinds of "friends" that you are supposed to have to help you through all the different aspects of the divorce. If you are like me and found most of your friends jumping ship the moment your husband ran off, [not out of malice necessarily, but just because they were uncomfortable or did not feel a kinship with you any longer], then you may find this advice as depressing as I did. I think there are a lot of women out there like me who do not have much support at all in coping with their divorce. Those women aren't going to find the support they need in this book either.

3. The author went through a really bad divorce and she was still pretty angry at her Ex, or so it seems from what she wrote. It is completely understandable of course. On the one hand, it makes her someone you can definitely relate to. But on the other hand, I thought the book would have had more value and would have been more helpful if she had been a little farther along in her own recovery process and more beyond her own bitterness. I hope, personally, that one day I will be able to think of my Ex husband without extreme anger and that feeling of sickness at what he's done [I'm not there yet, at all]. I would have appreciated more mentoring on how to get there. The last chapter in the book is called "forgiving the bastard and moving on", but I did not find it helpful. The author admits in that chapter that she herself hasn't managed to forgive her Ex and the chapter falls flat - you can't get good advice on how to do something from someone who has never done it themselves, unfortunately.

4. There was also a subtle "class division" in this book, I felt. As a mother who is flat broke and truly struggling every day just to keep an actual roof over my children's heads, I did not get the sense that the author had really had to deal with any "real" financial hardship at this level - I think she was very well off and while the divorce certainly left her less well off [it always does, doesn't it?], I don't get the sense that she could really relate to what a lot of single mothers go through as far as real poverty and the fear that comes from not knowing how you will provide for your babies. Again, that is no flaw in the author [I'm glad she hasn't been there], but the book does not cover the sort of advice mothers in a less financially stable situation really need.

So, I think if you are an older woman with older children [or no children] and lots of support, this book will most likely be helpful to you. If you are a younger woman with young children, this is probably not the best book for you [check out "Raising Great Kids On Your Own" and "Moving Forward After Divorce" by Frisbie].

I think, honestly, that this book would have been more appropriately titled "Surviving Divorce After 50" because it really is geared over all more towards that age group and beyond.

And I do want to emphasize - this is NOT a bad book by any means. Over all it is a very good book. It is just more relevant to certain women and less relevant to others.
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on April 16, 2009
Erica Manfred wants her book to be a smart girlfriend for over-40 women going through a divorce, and she's succeeded with "He's History; You're Not." In eleven chapters, Manfred covers everything an older women needs to know about divorce. She talks movingly about that first awful year after a divorce and how to get through it. She also covers couple therapies that work, noting that many "marriage" counselors have no clue--which is what I've found, too. She talks about why older women, in particular, need good divorce lawyers and good financial advice. She delves into loneliness and how to cope with it. For older women who are afraid of winding up as bag ladies, she reassures and provides smart work strategies. She talks about the effect of divorce on children, both those still in the home and those who have their own lives. Tip-Don't expect your adult children to be your sounding boards. Though Manfred doesn't recommend brooding on your marriage, she explains why and how you need to analyze what went wrong. There's a chapter on re-inventing yourself, especially applicable for women who somehow never did what they really wanted when married. She talks about dating for over-40 women, with lots of tips on using the Net and a few Net-free ideas, too. The last two chapters talk about the after-effects of infidelity (his) and why you don't have to forgive your ex-husband if you don't want to. The book ends with a great resource section. If you're a woman over 40 facing divorce, and you've been married most of your adult life, this is definitely the book for you.

Bridget Mintz Testa
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on May 4, 2009
Thank God Erica Manfred wrote this book, echoing and validating what we're really thinking when going through a divorce, especially one prompted by infidelity.

This is the most complete picture I've gotten of what happens. Thank You for these chapters: Grieving is a full-time job; What the hell happened to your marriage; Reinventing yourself; Forgiving the bastard and moving on.

And it's an enjoyable read, even when you're coping with devastation.
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on May 3, 2009
I did my divorcing a long time ago, so I'm not the target audience for this book, but I wish I'd had it then, even though I was way under 40. Erica Manfred's description of "true intimacy" is worth the price of the book all by itself. (It would certainly have helped me see that I shouldn't have married that man. And it helps me see that I am actually managing to build a real intimate relationship with the man I'm with now.)

Manfred's writing combines down-to-earth readability and the ability to tell great stories with solid, specific, detailed information. The tale of her own marriage and recovery is so compelling in itself that you could read it as a novel (while using it to measure your own tendencies to make the same mistakes). She's also talked to plenty of other women, so she presents a wide range of different marriage experiences.

In short, nobody who buys this book will be disappointed.
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on September 20, 2011
This book is really geared for women 52 and up and/or baby boomers. As a forty one year old woman who was married for fifteen years, I couldn't relate to much of her experience. She is not really savvy about online dating either. She didn't seem to know that there are fake profiles on these sites and the fakers will even chat with you. I learned that the hard way.
That being said, this is a good book with some nice insights. I really appreciated that I was not alone on my feelings on divorce and the author has a warm humorous personality that comes across well. She has some good advice.
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on April 28, 2009
Erica Manfred's book is funny and chock full of good advice.
What I personally liked was how the reader got Erica's personal story within the larger context of the book. I also appreciated how she had specifics for various age groups- 40s, 50s, 60s. On the whole, this
is a fantastic addition to this field, and I have read a lot of books
in this area. He's History is very comprehensive with lots of good interviews and resources. Erica definitely nailed that chatty
girlfriend tone, so the book feels like a conversation. The main message: She's been there, done that, survived and thrived and
so can you!
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on June 4, 2009
The best thing about this book is that you can pick it up and get whatever information you need right away! Each chapter is relevant to a particular aspect of divorce so you can read as little -- or as much -- as you like (and you'll probably find yourself reading more than less). It's all there, at your fingertips.

Having been there Erica Manfred has great empathy for her readers and she also calls upon a wide range of experts, friends and peers to provide useful words of wisdom. Unlike other divorce books with their cutesy cartoons and chirpy prose, Erica tells it like it is -- although you may not always agree with her views on Internet dating or what exactly defines "old." Still this book is a must-read for anyone contemplating or going through a divorce after 45 -- it will definitely help you navigate through the toughest of times!
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on March 27, 2011
This book has DEFINITELY been a save all for my mother in law. She was married to her husband for 45 YEARS and out of the blue, he tells her that he is leaving her for another woman half his age! She was DEVASTATED as any one would be and I saw this book on the internet and ordered it for her. This was the best thing I could have done for her. It has been about 4 months since I bought the book and she still has it by her stand. It has been highlighted and marked with her favorite parts and I just wish I could find ANOTHER book like this because this has definitely helped and IS still helping get her through this difficult time. THANK YOU MRS MANFRED!!!! I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone that has been put in this awful situation of late life divorce. IT IS A MUST HAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on April 11, 2012
I was in shock. At the same time I was numb and on fire with agony. I was dizzy with fear, anxiety, heartbreak.

This book came to my rescue. Erica wrote a book easy to read, digest, understand and comprehend. It went down like a cold glass of iced tea on a hot, muggy day. It's full of compassion, good advice and support. She knows where you've been.

Mainly targeted to women nearing 50 or over who have had their husbands leave them for another woman, it still is incredibly useful for other circumstances. My husband didn't leave me for another woman, but he left. I needed a strong, smart girlfriend to pull me out of the muck. This book was that girlfriend.

Read it.
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on May 19, 2009
I loved this book. The prose is good and the information invaluable. Manfred manages to pack in a lot of excellent research with a light touch and humor. I found the information good for more than just recent divorcees, any woman would benefit from the information. I found the chapter on couples therapy and the therapies available especially insightful and helpful. The chapter on internet dating was hilarious and good information for anyone wanting to go that route - or hesitant about going that route. I liked her open mindedness about whether to divorce or not, and also like the warnings, about how to take care of oneself and not get shafted in the process. High marks for Ms. Manfred.
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