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Happily Ever After Divorce: Notes of a Joyful Journey Paperback – March 2, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
In her first book, essayist Bram convincingly disputes the common belief that there's no life after divorce. At age 41, the mother of three young children, Bram was in a loveless marriage. But she was surrounded by people who insisted it would be hell on her and her children; even the marriage counselor she and her husband saw presented her with studies about the irrevocable trauma divorce inflicts on children. But Bram was out to prove them wrong, and in her memoir, she recounts the steps she built to create a new life and take joy in finding her own true self. Whether slogging through legal paperwork, arranging custodial visits or re-entering the world of romance, Bram put her sons first, and they all came through intact. For anyone facing divorce, Bram's frank and optimistic tale shows that one can not only survive divorce but thrive in the new possibilities life will offer. (Apr.)
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About the Author
Jessica Bram is an award-winning commentator and essayist. Her radio commentaries which are heard on the Fairfield, Connecticut, NPR station, twice (in 2006 and 2008) earned her first prize in the radio commentary category of the Society of Professional Journalists, Connecticut Chapter's 'Excellence in Journalism' contest. Her work, which includes the widely syndicated essay 'Beauty Calls,' published in the New York Times Magazine's HERS column, has appeared in many national and regional magazines and newspapers.
Top customer reviews
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That is, Bram’s telling of the story contains none of the hostile verbiage, some of the legal jousting, but none of the sometime explosive combat associated with the causes, reasons, arguments, and mediation involved in an often-unsatisfactory settlement. In the end the parties appear pleased with the outcomes. She gets the children; he gets to be father to his children all the time they grow up, and she gets to exercise the prerogative to date [funny] and to remarry [the ever after part].
I have never in my 39 years of life read such realistic literary literature, ever!
This book, "Happily Ever After Divorce" is an exact replica of my life right now!
The only difference between this author's married life/divorce and mine is I'm African American, LOL!
After reading the book, I hated coming to the last page, it was that good!
I feel much better about my circumstances now after reading it and I'm encouraged to go to the end.
I do see the light at the end of the tunnel and it looks bright!!
Anyway, the climax (the reason I stayed in my 12 year marriage for so long) in this book is on pg.128 it reads," So despite my otherwise normally independent nature, I tended to be uncharacteristically complacent about allowing myself to be led around.......The relaxation afforded by not having to find my way around seemed well worth the surrender of autonomy"....... Absolutely Pulitzer!
Thanks to the stories shared by Ms. Gram, I too remembered feeling overwhelmed when a light bulb burned out and I cried over another "broken" thing. I grieved for the loss of my mother-in-law, my friend and surrogate grandmother, who I never saw again. I wish my ex and I knew the advantages of keeping lawyers and court staff away from our parenting plan. Dating in my 40s was certainly a trip - and Jessica tells of her experiences with such humor. And most profound is her explanation for the genuine admiration she now feels for the father of her children.
Ms. Bram tells a tale of hope, adventure & happiness. Those words aren't often used in books about divorce. She doesn't gloss over the painful components of divorce - and there are many. But she says that for every bit of sadness there are also moments of relief and perhaps even joy for being able to breathe again.
I'm glad that this book didn't downplay the costs of ending a marriage, and that it wasn't an endorsement of divorce. Really, I saw it as the story of a woman who discovers that she can survive and thrive without being dependent on a man. Only after she learns to stand on her own two feet is she ready to be in a healthy and happy relationship.