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The Divorce Party: A Novel Paperback – April 28, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014311560X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143115601
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #993,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A revealing, honest portrait of how love binds us together-and drives us apart."
-Kate Jacobs, author of The Friday Night Knitting Club

" Events unfold over the course of a day, but the lessons learned have their roots in a lifetime."
-Elle

" Incredibly deft, utterly satisfying . . . I love every character. A triumph of a first novel!"
-Melissa Bank, author of The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing

"Elegant, accessible prose and compelling portraits of relationships."
- Cosmopolitan

About the Author

Laura Dave is the author of the acclaimed novel London is the Best City in America. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, Self, Redbook, ESPN the Magazine, and The New York Observer. Cosmopolitan magazine recently named her one of the “Fun and Fearless Phenoms” of the year. Dave currently lives in California, where she is at work on a new novel.


More About the Author

Laura Dave is the author of London is the Best City in America, The Divorce Party, and The First Husband. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, Self, NPR's All Things Considered, The Huffington Post, and Redbook. She lives in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

I loved the pace of the book and the character development.
A. Mall
Falling in and out of love, finding ways to make a marriage work...these are issues with which people from every walk of life must contend.
Francophile
This sounded like an intriguing story but I have to agree with the other critic below who liked it even less than I did.
aobeachgirl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Margaret on June 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Divorce Party is one of the most oddly moving books I've read in a long time. Since I finished reading it, I have been trying to sort out what, exactly, makes it work so well. Certainly, it captures the emotions of complex people in complex relationships in incredibly lovely prose. It is funny, and surprisingly heartwarming, and hard to put down. And yet it goes beyond that somehow, in a way that so few books do. There is some little bit of magic that it delivers. It leaves you hopeful for your own relationships, and for your ability to embrace your future, whatever it has in store.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Colleen10014 on May 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Set in Montauk, this novel tells the story of two women, Gwyn, who's getting ready to end her 35-year marriage, and her future daughter-in-law, Maggie, who's learning just how little she knows about her fiancé. Smart, insightful, and gorgeously written, The Divorce Party is a must-read for anyone who appreciates good fiction.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Howell on August 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
This story is told by the two main female characters: Gwyn and Maggie. Gwyn Huntington is planning a Divorce Party that falls on the day of her thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. Her husband says that he has found a new religion and that they are now too different from each other, but she knows better. Maggie is Gwyn's soon to be daughter-in-law. On the day that Maggie is to meet her in-laws for the first time, she finds out all about Nate's, her fiance, hidden past. The two women must overcome secrets in their relationships to move forward with their lives.

Ok, first let me ask--who thinks a Divorce Party is a good idea?? Maybe since I am so far removed from that situation that I just don't see how it could work. But what do I know?

I do know that I really felt for the female characters in this story. I really liked Gwyn. I felt so bad for her--her knowing that her husband is lying. And I must admit that I admired the way she brought it to his attention that she knew. And I felt bad for Maggie finding out about Nate the way she did. He should have been honest about his past with her from the start. I'm not so sure I would be as forgiving as she she should have been.

That being said, I also liked the male characters. There were times that Thomas seemed to still want to be with his wife. I just wanted to reach into the book and shake him! And Nate seemed so sweet--why was it necessary for him to lie about his past?

This was a serious and moving book. It was a quick read and I think that I liked it although it leaves me feeling unsettled.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Book Addict on May 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Laura Dave is an amazingly talented writer. Her first book, London is the Best City in America was incredible, and this one might even be better if that's possible. Once again, the insight into the many layers of each of the characters is impressive and makes you realize how so many things in life are simple and complex at the same time. Even though the book takes place over a single day, by the end it seems that you've known the characters for a long time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Summer's not done yet - here's another hot read for you!

Nate and Maggie are newly engaged. Nate's parents Gwyn and Thomas have been married for thirty five years. But their marriage has come to an end. Gwyn is throwing a divorce party with Thomas "to celebrate a peaceful end to a valued union." And this is the day when Maggie will meet her future in-laws for the first time....

This novel is told in alternating chapters from Maggie and Gwyn's viewpoint, all happening in one day. Both women have discovered things they didn't know about their significant other - albeit at a different stages of their relationships - the beginning and the end.

Dave has created charming, warm, wonderful characters that are believable. The female roles are the strongest. Gwyn is a self assured woman who is coming to grips with finding her own path after so many years as a couple. Maggie is an engaging young woman who is finding her footing as well. Supporting characters, notably Nate's sister Georgia, are also searching.

I had a hard time with Thomas. Although he is being true to what he believes to be the best path for himself, I disliked his dishonesty - I found it weak. Nate too has his secrets, but his reasons to be had less to do with selfishness, than his love for Maggie. I was more sympathetic to his cause, but still not thrilled with his duplicity.

When I picked up Laura Dave's second novel, I thought it would be a chick lit read based on the cover. I hesitate to label it as there was so much more to it. it was by turns funny, sad, poignant and hopeful. A fairy tale - no, but a definite page turner. You'll find yourself re reading some of the passages on relationships and thinking about your own.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer L. Vido VINE VOICE on May 19, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
In a breath-taking mansion beautifully nestled on the peaceful Long Island Sound, Gwyn Huntington is busy putting the final touches on what is sure to be the most talked about party ever to have been thrown in Montauk. Unlike previous celebrations that have filled the home she shares with Thomas, her husband of thirty-five years, this one marks a chapter of her life that she quite frankly fears to tread...the dissolution of her marriage.

At exactly what point and time her relationship began to unravel is still quite unclear to Gwyn. Together, Thomas and she were the pillars of their community. Even their two grown children, Nate and Georgia, are oblivious to the discord in their parents' union as is everyone else in their tiny town. The near-perfect relationship emulated by their closest friends is quickly falling apart. Brought together under such dire circumstances, they choose to reunite at the family compound one last time to celebrate what is soon to be a distant memory. This family quickly learns that as with any relationship, there is more than just one side to the story.

With the party nearing, secrets that perhaps would have been better left untold are suddenly revealed and the simple task of ending a relationship takes on a life of its own. What really happened between Gwyn and Thomas that made them throw away thirty-five years of marriage without giving one another a second chance? When is the right time to leave or is it better to stay and fight for what is truly yours?

The second novel by the talented and extremely gifted writer Laura Dave, THE DIVORCE PARTY incorporates the very essential elements of life into a beautifully written tale of love.
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