On the positive side, this book is a tremendously detailed and honest view of the author’s harrowing marriage to a man who could most succinctly be described as a narcissistic buffoon. The author holds back nothing and at times even transcribes episodes verbatim that put both parties in a pretty poor light. Our heroine is not only a sad victim but also deeply flawed and this sort of honesty is unique and admirable in a memoir.
Sadly, the negative aspects of the novel cleave closely to the positive ones. Yes, the narrative is detailed but much of the time it’s too detailed. Entire email threads, conversations and court filings are reprinted word for word and while these do back up the story they are ill-fitting additions to the text. Further, at too many points to make specific note of, the author descends into rants of profanity and name-calling against her child’s father. While I’m in no way denying that he deserved it, I’m not sure that as a parent I would want to put down in text my own worst moments for my child to read when they grow up. At times the tide of sympathy does at least contemplate turning more towards the neutral after a particularly protracted bout of verbal assassination.
Lastly, I’m really not entirely sure what this book is trying to be. From a content perspective it has the makings of a great novel but the writing style is more like something you would read in the police blotter. As readers do we need a day-by-day log of what happened? Under all the documentation and transcribed conversations there’s a really good book but as-is it’s rather a muddle.
In summary, a great and sincere story but it could use considerable cleaning up to make it a sharp and readable offering.