A wincingly funny account of Divorce, Dating and other Near-Death Experiences
Margaret Overton is an anaesthetist with an MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine and Creative Nonfiction. She lives in Chicago, and Good in a Crisis is her first book.
In this smart and clear-eyed narrative of one woman's midlife divorce, Chicago anesthesiologist Overton writes of how she and her surgeon husband of nearly 20 years drifted into mutual emotional apathy (he was having an affair, it turned out, and not for the first time) and decided to divorce in 2002, precipitating for her a long, unlovely withdrawal of trust in men. The divorce would turn rancorous and head to court-for reasons not fully explained-as their two daughters, at 16 and 19, were nearly grown and it seemed a "hyperbolic meanness" had gripped the couple. Overton writes frankly of the "collateral damage" the whole enterprise wrought on the people around her, from the hurtful way she treated others to the crazy purchases she made and the wrongheaded belief that she would replace her spouse and sex partner in the space of a few months. In the last endeavor, she tried mightily to find a new companion on the Internet, having been told this was the only way to meet a man in her mid-40s, and a good bit of her engaging narrative involves dates with unsavory specimens. Overton managed to overcome her many trials as she imparts with humor and some high-handed poise. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Hilarious ... This memoir of how grieving makes us behave like
lunatics is wonderful on friendship and motherhood and brutally
honest about the rest * Psychologies *
[A] smart and clear-eyed narrative of one woman's midlife divorce ... Overton managed to overcome her many trials as she imparts with humour and some high-handed poise * Publishers' Weekly *
An unexpectedly funny handbook for anyone faced with starting again in middle age **** * Mail on Sunday *
Returning to the single life after a 20-year marriage to a philandering surgeon, anesthesiologist Overton tries Internet dating only to encounter men ranging from weird to dangerous. Meanwhile, she manages to maintain a sense of humor as she struggles to cope with other problems including a life-threatening brain aneurism occurring during a sexual encounter, her daughter's serious accident, and the death of two close friends. Primarily chronicling Overton's postmarried years, this memoir avoids the usual divorce story pitfalls by being quirky, funny, and inspiring. The author narrates, and while not a polished reader, she sounds authentic. VERDICT This midlife coming-of-age story should appeal to memoir enthusiasts and those going through life-changing experiences. ["No one is immune to the fallout from a divorce, whether friends or family. This is a divorce book, but a good one," read the review of the Macmillan hc, "Memoir Short Takes," ow.ly/b9gbv.]-Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.