A couple weeks ago, I made another solo trip to Cape Cod (more on that later). While driving, I listened to And One Last Thing… by Molly Harper to keep me awake. I love a good divorce story, and this one contained just the right amount of tragedy, comedy and hope.
The book tells the story of Lacey Terwilliger, a southern housewife who is shocked to discover that her husband has been sleeping with his secretary. When the tears subside and the anger sets in, Lacey deals with the situation by making a very public (and hilarious!) announcement to her husband, as well as his friends, family and clients via his company newsletter. On the advice of her testicle-taking attorney, Lacey retreats to a cabin deep in the woods to wait out the ensuing media circus and attempt to rebuild her life.
I chose this book because I thought it would be an entertaining story, and it was. I gasped! I laughed 🙂 And I cheered for Lacey as she sifted through the wreckage of her life to reclaim her personal power. I expected as much. What I didn’t expect were the serious questions raised about the choices women and men make in their lives and relationships. For instance:
- Keeping Up Appearances: How important is it to be and do what’s expected?
- Catharsis: It feels good to lash out, but who are we really hurting?
- Is it OK to stay with a cheating husband as long as he feels guilty enough to make up for it with expensive gifts?
- Should a woman be sure to tag along on all of her husband’s casual outings, so as to ensure another woman doesn’t snag him while he’s unattended?
- Do men need a down-and-dirty partner in addition to their take-home-to-mom kind of girl?
- Airing The Dirty Laundry: How much should we worry about what the neighbors/clients/family will think?
- Relationship Contracts: what kind of “unspoken agreements” are we operating under?
- Personal Standards: Is it fair to suggest (or insist) others walk the same path we chose for ourselves?
And One Last Thing… is, like all divorce stories, much more complicated than any book jacket could convey. Read it for entertainment as you’re going through a divorce. Or read it for some thought-provocation before beginning a new relationship.