The Courage to Be a Single Mother: Becoming Whole Again after Divorce; Sheila Ellison

By Robins, Sue | Herizons, Winter 2001 | Go to article overview

The Courage to Be a Single Mother: Becoming Whole Again after Divorce; Sheila Ellison


Robins, Sue, Herizons


THE COURAGE TO BE A SINGLE MOTHER: BECOMING WHOLE AGAIN AFTER DIVORCE; SHEILA ELLISON

HARPERCOLLINS 2000 253 PP

Buried deep in the divorce section in the bookstore I found The Courage to Be a Single Mother: Becoming Whole Again After Divorce. It could have been subtitled, `The Divorced Women's Comfort Book', however, as it is an affirming book that focuses on both the social and emotional aspects of ending a marriage.

Sheila Ellison is the mother of four who shares the story of her divorce from a professional athlete and her subsequent loss of social and economic status. She writes in her journal, `God help me now. Can I let myself feel the tragedy of this life I've painted, of the years that I allowed myself to be lost?'

While the guilt, desperation, rage and loneliness often accompany the end of intimate relationships, this book is written for middle class, legally married mothers.

Ellison interviewed other women, and intersperses their stories and quotes in her narrative. Although her interview process does not appear scientific (we never know how many other women she talked to, or what their backgrounds are - they may well have been her friends), the overall formula works. I found this book to be a comfort after my own recent separation. Ellison writes on the inside cover, "I was still a mother, but not under any circumstances I recognized. …

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