GENERATION EX: Tales from the Second Wives Club

Karen Karbo, Author GENERATION EX: Tales from the Second Wives Club

Providing solace, advice and commiseration for anyone trying to make sense of a family tree gone haywire with divorce and remarriage, this hilarious latest effort by novelist and journalist Karbo (Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me) is like a fresh breeze setting everything right. From the first page, she grabs her readers by the shoulders and gives them a good, hearty shake, advising them, for example, that when one has to coexist with one's own ex, spouses' exes and the children of the various unions, "failing to know when to shut up is a genuine liability." Most importantly, she advises, one should fall silent when compelled to speak uncharitably about one's ex to the child one had with that person. In fact, Karbo emphasizes, many exes stay locked in old patterns for the sake of their children, resulting in a limbo she terms "divarriage." Of course, children can also provide a handy excuse for maintaining contact with an ex. Her numerous evocations of scenes between ex-spouses achieve an unerring blend of screwball comedy, tragic drama, feel-good fantasy and stalker flicks. Engagingly relating such incidents as the time her partner's ex-wife methodically cut up several pairs of Karbo's underwear with cuticle scissors, along with excerpts from a book of poetry by her best friend's ex-husband called My Ex-Wife Looks Like Ginger Rogers, Karbo makes ample use of her narrative instinct and canny eye for human foibles. (Apr.)

Forecast:Dozens of self-help books on divorce have enlivened the market, but Karbo's contribution is a new breed. If she's half as engaging in person as she is on the page, her national author tour could help the book earn big sales.

Reviewed on: 03/05/2001
Release date: 04/01/2001
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-1-58234-194-1
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