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Falling Apart in One Piece: One Optimist's Journey Through the Hell of Divorce    by Stacy Morrison order for
Falling Apart in One Piece
by Stacy Morrison
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2011 (2010)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle

Stacy Morrison has given her memoir about her divorce an interesting title, Falling Apart in one Piece, which might be just a little too poetic for this down-to-earth account of what happened to her after her husband announced that he didn't want to be married to her any more. They had been married for ten years, starting out deeply in love, as most people do. They had just had a baby and bought a house, and she had recently lost her job.

Each of those events is considered to be a major life adjustment, and as Stacy goes deeper into what had been going on in her marriage, it isn't difficult to understand why her husband might have reacted the way he did when he did. In fact, the reader wonders why, considering how Stacy and her husband had been getting along for several years before he announced his desire for a divorce, they had that baby or bought that house. One can only assume that Stacy forged ahead with her life plan, the way she had been doing for ten years, and her husband Chris never mentioned that he wasn't keen on doing what she wanted. Once they were in the house though, and he came to understand how life-changing a baby was, he realized that he needed to call a halt.

There's a lot of water in this book: rain, a flooding basement, leaking roofs, overflowing plumbing, and tears - so many tears that it seems as though Stacy spends half her life weeping. The crying gets sort of old, but the rest of the watery tale is extremely interesting. After Chris says he wants out, he sticks around, trying to help Stacy get used to the idea, while Stacy is certain that the fact that he is still around must mean that there's hope for their marriage, and we can see the lack of communication between them.

Chris clearly says he wants out, yet Stacy refuses to believe him. They continue sleeping in the same bed in that house, and Chris continues to help with the baby. Soon, the first torrential rainstorm sends them both into the basement to bail water. They fight valiantly, even buying a shop vac with which they vacuum up and restore to the outdoors gallons of wet stuff. After the storm a neighbor casually mentions that the previous owners had borrowed her shop vac. The neighbor wonders whether the basement is still flooding, and Stacy realizes that they were lied to when they bought the house.

The horrible house provides an interesting background for the problems in the marriage. It does seem as though Stacy is confronted with an incredible array of difficulties to overcome, and the frequent tears can be understood. One begins to wonder what else could possibly go wrong for this poor girl, but she doesn't ask for our sympathy. She finds support from friends and finally finds a strength within herself that provides a satisfying ending for her story, and all her tears probably helped her get to that point. By telling us all the intimate details of her marriage breaking apart, Stacy Morrison has written an absorbing, in-depth account of how a marriage can get off track and come to an end.

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