272 pages; Dutton
Everybody who gets divorced ought to write a memoir about it, as Suzanne Finnamore has done in Split (Dutton), as a service to the rest of us struggling to unravel the mysteries of marriage.
Finnamore's story opens with a bang: her husband downing two martinis and announcing that he's leaving her and their toddler and their stylish house in wealthy Marin County, California.
He swears there is no other woman, though, naturally, there is.
He's a liar and a smoothy—we all know the type—and he never deepens into a full-blown personality in Finnamore's story. Split is not a thoughtful autopsy of a marriage; it's impassioned and immediate, concerned only with its narrator's swinging moods as she moves through the stages of grief after being dumped. As such, it rises and falls on the sympathy the reader feels for the heroine tied to the railroad tracks. She's a little vain, a little superficial, a little too self-absorbed to really question how she wound up in such a pickle. Yet, for 250 pages, she is also very good company, thanks to a jaunty sense of humor and a lust for life that encompasses pork buns, histrionic gestures, and drunken sprees with her friends.
If I have to choose sides here, I'm buying the TEAM SUZANNE T-shirt. — Michele Owens