cover image X that Ex: Making a Clean Break When the Relationship Is Over

X that Ex: Making a Clean Break When the Relationship Is Over

Kristin E. Carmichael. Hunter House (PGW, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (168p) ISBN 978-0-89793-640-8

Carmichael's aim is to help mainly single women "make good decisions during the crucial period right after" leaving a partner. Carmichael, a licensed social worker and domestic violence specialist, arms readers with plenty of ammunition and warns readers away from exes who try to make them feel guilty and previewing the statements an ex will use as emotional blackmail ("I know all your secrets"). Carmichael's many "self-discovery exercises," combined with her answers to many of a woman's excuses ("But he's such a good man") will keep readers headed in the right direction. So will her suggestions for alternatives to sulking. Carmichael is upbeat and insistent that women keep their eye on the prize; she's the good friend who takes your phone away when you want to drunk dial and she blocks your every excuse to make up with your ex. If everyone had a friend like Carmichael, nobody would need this book. But after reading her helpful guide, it's clear that keeping her advice close at hand is a healthy strategy for us all. (Dec.)