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More but different
on 25 February 2012
Rachel Cusk is a good writer. However, I am afraid I was disappointed by this book which I finished today. As someone divorced with children I had hoped to read the insights one finds in her meatier earlier Life's Work - on Becoming a Mother. I was disappointed.
First it is far too short. It did not feel like value for money.
Secondly it felt rushed as if she needed the money (due to the divorce), did not have much time as she was wasting money and time she did not have on pointless therapy and so had thrown together some random musings interspersed with a lot of Greek myth tales which did not then hang well together. None of the details one might really want about the whys and wherefores of her divorce were there presumably on grounds of privacy.
All those who want fairness for men and women would be deeply unhappy with a woman who has had a relationship where a father is fully engaged as a carer of the children and is them somehow to be supplanted, simply because there is a divorce or even if not supplanted that a fair division is resented. We need to think about how we can give, not what we can take in life and that giving might involve letting our children have less of us. We all accept when we earn more than our men that that means we pay out to them on divorce (many many of us have done it) and that a maintenance of the status quo as regards relationships with the children follows in consequence and we celebrate that (although Ms Cusk appears not to do so).
One also is depressingly reminded that the career of a writer in effect means not much money and the consequences of that.
if the length had been about 5 times as long, the book had dared to move more into the realm of what had happened and dropped the Greek myth parts it could have worked.
May be there could be another book (of 5 times the length of this) about the subsequent dating phase. Let no one suggest Ms Cusk does not write well. She certainly does.