BOOK REVIEW: Happily Ever After Divorce by Jessica Bram

Jessica Bram, award winning radio commentator and essayist, has been featured in the New York Times and other noteworthy publications. She has written a new book about divorce. It is not the typical preachy how to book about divorce. It is a sweet memoir that simply tells one story. When I recently received a complimentary copy of her book from her publicist, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I was in for quite a treat.

Brams is very honest and transparent as she chronicles her divorce and her life before and after she met and divorced her first husband. She is fresh  in her honesty and in the way she takes responsibility for her role in her failed marriage without pointing fingers, or resorting to “victim” mode; nor does she seem to hold any bitterness towards her ex husband. At the same time, she is not someone who is “defined by her marriage or divorce.” The title of the book Happily Ever After Divorce says it all. Life goes on. She is strong. She is independent. She does not need a marriage or a big showy house to live her best life and have joy in her life and it comes through in her prose.

Brams shares her post-divorce addiction with food, her doubts about her ability to be self-sustaining, her guilt over her three sons’ loss of life as they used to know it when mom and dad cohabited, lingering mistrust between the spouses, downsizing, and even the divorce of her parents years prior to her own marriage, that may have impacted the sort of relationship she had with her mismatched ex.

As a writer and blogger, I got many ideas for my blog from Ms. Bram including such issues as: 1) when a spouse leaves her career to be a full time mom then gets divorced (consequences of that); divorce as a full-time job for some spouses (especially wives); valuation of a business (co-owned by spouses during the marriage); how divorce can mess up the children’s routine; how coping with divorce can lead to addictions and abuse of food or alcohol, and much more.

The book weaves its way through many decades of the author’s life, revealing a tapestry of rich traditions, such as Shabbat dinners, baseball games, cooking and traveling. She shares her beautiful journey with the reader taking us to Rome, New York and suburbia as she struggles to find her new identity after her divorce. Eventually, all roads lead to new love, and a new life. Bravo!

Happily Ever After Divorce by Jessica Bram. ISBN 13: 978-0-7573-0758-4. Check out the author’s blog at www.happilyeverafterdivorce.com or www.jbram.com/blog. Pick up your copy at your local bookstore.

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