Synopses & Reviews
Finally in paperback, the New York Times
bestseller that has fundamentally changed the way children of divorce see themselves as adults--updated with a new preface by the author.
Divorce is at once a widespread reality and a painful decision, so it is no surprise that this landmark study of its long-term effects should both spark debate and find a large audience.
In this compelling, thought-provoking book, Judith Wallerstein explains that, while children do learn to cope with divorce, it in fact takes its greatest toll in adulthood, when the sons and daughters of divorced parents embark on romantic relationships of their own. Wallerstein sensitively illustrates how children of divorce often feel that their relationships are doomed, seek to avoid conflict, and fear commitment. Failure in their loving relationships often seems to them preordained, even when things are going smoothly. As Wallerstein checks in on the adults she first encountered as youngsters more than twenty-five years ago, she finds that their experiences mesh with those of the millions of other children of divorce, who will find themselves on every page.
With more than 100,000 copies in print, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce spent three weeks on the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Denver Post bestseller lists. The book was also featured on two episodes of Oprah as well as on the front cover of Time and the New York Times Book Review.
Wallerstein's landmark 25-year study reveals, for the first time, the effects of divorce on children through adulthood, marriage, and their own parenthood. The experiences and anxieties of a generation come to light as adults, now in their late 20s to early 40s, struggle with the fear that their relationships will fail like those of their parents.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 327-337) and index.
About the Author
Judith S. Wallerstein is widely considered the world's foremost authority on the effects of divorce on children. The founder of the Judith Wallerstein Center for the Family in Transition, she is a senior lecturer emerita at the School of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author, with Sandra Blakeslee, of the national bestsellers The Good Marriage and Second Chances, and with Dr. Joan Berlin Kelly of Surviving the Breakup.
Julia M. Lewis is a professor of Psychology at San Francisco State University, where she is Director of the Psychology Clinic and Coordinator of the Clinical Pyschology graduate program. She is co-principal investigator of the 25-year Children of Divorce Project.
Sandra Blakeslee is an award-winning science correspondent for The New York Times.
Table of Contents
Parallel universes: Karen and Gary. When a child becomes the caregiver -- Sunlit memories -- Growing up is harder -- What if they'd stayed together - and what if they can't? -- When there's no one to set an example -- Setting an example -- The legacy of divorce: Larry and Carol. The wages of violence -- Our failure to intervene -- Order out of chaos -- Family ties -- Undoing the past -- The parentless child: Paula. Growing up lonely -- Court-ordered visiting, the child's view -- Sex and drugs -- Evolving relationships -- The custody saga continues -- The vulnerable child: Billy. The vulnerable child -- The stepfamily -- Picking up the pieces, one by one -- My best case: Lisa. Is not fighting enough? -- Children of divorce -- Conclusions.