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Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation [Hardcover]

Rachel Cusk

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux; First Edition edition (7 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780374102135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374102135
  • ASIN: 0374102139
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.7 x 1.7 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,686,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

[ [ Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation [ AFTERMATH: ON MARRIAGE AND SEPARATION BY Cusk, Rachel ( Author ) Aug-07-2012[ AFTERMATH: ON MARRIAGE AND SEPARATION [ AFTERMATH: ON MARRIAGE AND SEPARATION BY CUSK, RACHEL ( AUTHOR ) AUG-07-2012 ] By Cusk, Rachel ( Author )Aug-07-2012 Hardcover ] ] By Cusk, Rachel ( Author ) Aug - 2012 [ Hardcover ]

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some good lines but overall terribly bland 25 Nov 2012
By D. R. Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this title as I had read and enjoyed this author's previous book "A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother" which dove darkly into the never-discussed emotional displacement that often follows when a fiercely independent woman becomes a new mother. I was expecting similar reading on divorce experience from the same voice.

"AfterMath: On Marriage and Separation" seemed to be written prematurely within the arc of this particular life experience of the memoir writer. Rachel Cusk does not dig deeply at all into the demise of her marriage nor her own causal pathologies which become painfully obvious to the reader but apparently not yet the writer as pages full of pseudo-intellectual text drone on with barely any emotional depth to be found.

I hoped to love this book but I cannot recommend it.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars... A Life's Work Undone 25 Aug 2012
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
It was about 10 years ago when Rachel Cusk came seemingly out of nowhere with a book called "A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother", a tender and touching look at not just becoming a mother, but also being a wife. The book became an unexpected bestseller, and for good reason, and it made for terrific reading. Now comes this sequel-of-sorts.

In "Aftermatch: On Marriage and Separation" (155 pages), we now learn that the author's marriage has fallen apart, and how she is coping with that, and dealing with her 2 young daughters. Reports Cusk: "My husband said he wanted half of everything, including the children. No, I said. What do you mean, he said. You can't divide people in half, I said." (This reminded me immediately of Radiohead's "Morning Bell", with the now infamous line "Cut the kids in half".) Right after those lines, though, Cusk dives into Greek mythology, and this becomes a recurring theme in the book. Pages and pages about Oedipus, Agamemnon, etc. and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why, or how this relates to the "Marriage and Separation" title of the book. Indeed, I wish the book would focus more on the reasons for the marriage falling apart, which are never fully explored or explained.

Yet there remain enough piercing comments that make this book worthwhile. "Sometimes, in the bath, the children cry. Their nakedness, or the warm water, or the comfort of the old routine--something, anyway, dislodges their sticking-plaster emotions and shows the wound beneath. It is my belief that I gave them that wound, so now I must take all the blame." Or this: "The first time I saw my husband after our separation, I realized, to my surprise, that he hated me. I have never seen him hate anyone: it was as though he was filled up with something that was not of himself, contaminated by it, like a coastline painted black by an oil spill." Those observations are what make this book worth reading. At a mere 150 pages (including those many Greek mythology-related pages, as well as the last 20 page chapter that brings an unrelated fictional story), this makes for a very quick read, and I simply wish there was more of it.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps I am just not sophisticated? 27 Aug 2013
By Working Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found this memoir super difficult to follow, abstract and confusing. At times I did not even know who the author was referring to. Some of it is written in the first person, other chapters are about someone named Sonia. The male characters like her ex-husband, her therapist and someone else are named X, Y and Z... and I could not keep them straight. The narrative was not written in a personal way or a way I could relate to. It was like reading a formal essay, without any humor or even much honesty. I felt like she was afraid to divulge too much information and was writing in a cryptic, emotionally distant fashion. I could not get into it and did not care enough to really try to understand. What a waste of money!
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evocative and enthralling. 26 Jun 2013
By Garret Freymann-Weyr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a painful analysis of the a fairly painful process. It is a relief to step inside Cusk's brain and spend time with her intelligence.
1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Aftermath" .... Exactly That 7 Sep 2012
By Askeptik - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Aftermath" is the searing account of one woman's reaction to the
failure of what was to have been her long-lasing relationship. Having been figuratively flayed psychologically and physically by the demise of her marriage,
Rachel Cusk is a "displaced person" displaced within herself, her city and her
country. Yes, she consults the Ancient Greeks, but who better than the great interpretors of psychyoanaltical theater. And then a psychiatrist himself.
One knows that she will find her innerself again just as the eastern European
woman in the short story at the end rights herself after wandering displaced
within British society.
It is a beautifully written memento to what was, what is and what can be.
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