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Falling Apart in One Piece: One Optimist's Journey Through the Hell of Divorce Hardcover – March 23, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“I loved the tone of this honest, thoughtful memoir: heartbreaking and real, without the slightest hint of self-pity.”


“Stacy Morrison’s memoir is as sweet as it is sad, both honest as an anvil and full of genuine hope. Morrison’s buoyant prose and hard-earned wisdom make the mess and roar of love, however difficult, all seem worthwhile.”

—Karen Karbo, author of The Stuff of Life: A Daughter’s Memoir

“I loved it. Raw, wonderful, honest, brash, truth-telling—Falling Apart in One Piece is a story about learning to let go and come to terms with the journey of life. It is a book for anyone whose life has just taken an unexpected turn and who needs to be reminded that not only can they be happy again, but that the human spirit is capable of great resilience.” —Lee Woodruff, author of Perfectly Imperfect: A Life in Progress

About the Author

Stacy Morrison is the editor in chief of Redbook magazine. Under her guidance, the magazine has found new vibrancy and relevance for today’s generations, winning a Folio award for General Excellence (2005), a Clarion award for General Excellence (2007), and a National Magazine Award nomination for Personal Service (2006). She has appeared as an expert on women, love, sex, money and more on the Today Show, CNN Headline News, CNN Moneyline, and The Early Show, among many other TV programs.


Before becoming editor in chief of Redbook magazine, she was Executive Editor at Marie Claire, working on the international advocacy projects, and had previously been the editor in chief of Modern Bride magazine and the venture-funded dot.com/magazine about design, One (which won three Ozzie awards in its short lifespan). She was also a part of the launches of Conde Nast Sports for Women, Time Out New York, and Mirabella magazine.

She lives in Brooklyn with her 4-year-old son, Zack, whose father is at the house many, many times a week.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (March 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416595562
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416595564
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,104,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Falling Apart in One Piece is one of the most beautifully written, immanently readable books I have come across in years. The fact that it's a memoir brought the story to life for me. As I read, I marveled that the author not only survived the divorce with aplomb, but also managed to put pen to paper to write such an elegant, articulate, thoughtful memoir.

The writing is crisp yet powerful. I felt like I was there, living her experiences, even though I know after reading what this family went through that there is no way for one to feel like they were there. But Morrison brings the experience to life in a way that lulled me into thinking I lived it.

Not only is the story moving, but her observations -- about marriage, divorce, our reactions to them -- are spot on. I'm fascinated that one person could process everything that happened, and, at the same time, make sound social observations. The fact that Morrison can do both -- relay her personal experience, and bubble them up to a broader social context -- sets the book apart.

I've read other reviews where people say they couldn't connect with such an accomplished, financially-independent narrator as a "single mother", but it didn't bother me. The author is telling her story, and it's obvious that she earned her career successes and the accompanying spoils. The fact that she could afford a nanny or had parents who were able to loan her money does not detract from her story or the pain of her divorce. If anything, hearing such stark admissions of where her marriage failed from someone so accomplished reminds the reader that the grass is not always greener, and everyone's pain is their pain.

I'm already looking forward to her next book.
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Format: Hardcover
When I first got this book and skimmed through it, I had some doubts about the positive reviews I had read about it. My first impression was there there would be long, wordy passages that seemed almost to be more like a journal where the author is working out her feelings for her own benefit rather than a memoir meant for other people's eyes.

I'm happy to say that I was completely wrong. I really enjoyed this read. Morrison takes us through the years surrounding her divorce - from the time her husband announces that he is leaving, through the months that they're still together, supposedly trying to work on their relationship, the date her husband moves out, and the difficulties in being the one left behind with a child to raise. Meanwhile, she is still recovering from being fired from one job and obtaining a new, high-pressure one, a house that is falling apart in some respects, injuries to her child, and a disaster during the beach vacation she tries to take.

What really struck me most about this memoir is how Morrison managed to be completely honest about her feelings and situation with consistently falling into a "poor me" role. I felt like I could really understand how she must feel to be suddenly single in a group of marrieds, to be so anxious about the house, and in other emotionally-charged situations, but since she always takes action to address those problems, I always felt like she was making a huge effort to move forward. I also appreciated seeing how her relationship with her husband evolved and how she was finally able to look past the pain and admit to certain unworkable aspects of the marriage. At the end of the story, I felt like she offered hope, but still didn't sugarcoat how the divorce would continue to affect her.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As someone currently going thru a divorce, I was curious to if this book would make me feel better or offer any advice. It did succeed and making me realize that there are common experiences and that I'm not the only one suffering over real or perceived injustices. The author is a good writer but to be honest, now that I've finished it, I can't really remember that much detail. It reminded me of reading a really long article in Cosmo or other magazine -- which might be appropriate since the author hails from the magazine publishing world.

Am I any better of for reading it? Meh. It was a quick easy read and it didn't suck but it's hard to recommend unless you're just really curious about the details of one person's perspective of going through their divorce.
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By TawnTawn on September 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I thought this might be an interesting book and contain some real insights from the author as she went through her unexpected break-up and divorce. I did manage to finish the book, so it was slightly interesting (the things her son says and does sound adorable), but I wouldn't say it contained any real insights that the rest of us could use. Each chapter is labeled with a title that we are led to believe the chapter pertains to, such as "When You Accept That You Can't Be Safe, You Can Be Safe." However, sometimes the chapters have nothing to do with their titles.

Morrison spends most of the book wondering why her husband is leaving/left her. He told her why: he didn't want to do "this" anymore (be a husband and have a family)...although he would still have his son (part-time), so he would still be a family with him, wouldn't he? So, he did not want to be with Morrison any more. And I can kind of tell why. She wasn't very nice to him sometimes, she was demanding, assertive, etc...he didn't like that she always made all the plans. She took him for granted. She assumed he'd always be there, putting up with her. When he tells her he wants to leave, nowhere did I ever read the word "love." She didn't ask if he didn't love her any more. She didn't tell him that she still loved him. Their husband/wife love didn't seem to be a factor in the marriage, at all. His leaving just appears to be a major inconvenience. Now she will have to handle everything on her own. Not until the end of the book does she remark that the first thing that upset her was the thought of the love that she was going to lose. She doesn't specifically say her husband's love...but he had not been acting any differently for years, I took it, so what "love" did she currently have that she was losing?
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