Photo by Augustine Burroughs from 2011

WHEN THE CHUTNEY’S GONE | NYTIMES                                           

   I gained my first husband with soup. Not charm, wit or lingerie, but soup. Not canned soup or deli, but real homemade soup, simmered for hours over a hot Jenn-Air. The kind of soup that makes your eyes roll back in your head and your body feel, for a brief time, safe.	I carried this soup to him at work in shopping bags with handles — fresh split pea with ham or black-eyed vegetarian delivered in Tupperware while his co-workers teased and he strutted.
    I believe my deceptively simple cabbage and rice soup, finished off with handfuls of Gruyère cheese and oversize garlic croutons, is the one that sent him over the edge. He admitted as much. That cabbage soup stands as the last crumbling brick in the wall of his bachelorhood. (read more) shapeimage_1_link_0
TANTALIZING BEACH READS | OPRAH.COM                                           

Everybody who gets divorced ought to write a memoir about it, as Suzanne Finnamore has done in Split (Dutton), as a service to the rest of us struggling to unravel the mysteries of marriage. 
    Finnamore's story opens with a bang: her husband downing two martinis and announcing that he's leaving her and their toddler and their stylish house in wealthy Marin County, California. He swears there is no other woman, though, naturally, there is. He's a liar and a smoothy—we all know the type—and he never deepens into a full-blown personality in Finnamore's story. Split is not a thoughtful autopsy of a marriage; it's impassioned and immediate, concerned only with its narrator's swinging moods as she moves through the stages of grief   (read more) shapeimage_3_link_0shapeimage_3_link_1
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    Split is painful and enlightening to read as Finnamore recounts her despair and eventual recovery. (She assures us in the preface that both she and her son are well and happy, so I'm not giving anything away.) What is delightful and riveting about the book is that Finnamore is a fine writer with a quick and insightful sense of humor. What could be bleak and discouraging turns out to be quite the opposite. 
    The heroine (and she is one) may lose N, as she designates him, but she gains insight from her more-than-delightful mother, Bunny. The morning after the leave-taking, Bunny shows up with a fifth of Jack Daniels and a half-gallon of butter pecan ice cream. Now there's a mom! Bunny isn't the only one to stick by Finnamore. Her friend Lisa is always there for her and never, ever, there for N. Lisa is wise. She knows just when to reveal some difficult truths and when to offer moral support. Read more of this review on shapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1

Finding Happiness Online After Divorce  by Theo Pauline Nestor 
    Suzanne Finnamore, the best-selling author of Otherwise Engaged and Split has found love again — online! Here, we speak with her about the search for love, writing and life with a new fiancé.
    “Charming, brilliant and highly attractive men without a scrap of integrity need not apply; I am looking for a sincere and genuinely available man...a grown man. I am a grown woman. Think how well these two things go together. This, after all, is why cats don’t date dogs. They don’t match, they never will. It’s the way nature intended; I am just following the higher order of things.”- from best-selling author Suzanne Finnamore’s (now-xtinct) online dating profile. (read the article) shapeimage_7_link_0

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LAME | BY SUZANNE FINNAMORE                                          SUNDAY JULY 17 2011

   By the time you realize you are for all practical purposes lame, a year has gone by, a year marked by all the stages of loss. It begins with daily discomfort (denial) moving on to daily but manageable pain (bargaining) proceeding to near total immobility (depression, rage). When you eventually consult the experts and are shown the X-ray that proves that your hip has no cartilage left to cushion the constant friction of bone against bone, you would think that would be the turning point. It is not. While the orthopedic surgeon describes total hip replacement surgery, you look at him as though he is a bad psychic, and you feel the beginnings of hatred for him and his implacable kind. Shock has nullified the diagnosis; (read more) shapeimage_11_link_0