Guest Author - Caroline Henrich
The Divorce Party
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The Divorce Party is the story of two women facing emotional issues. The first is Gwyn Huntington. She is trying to deal with an impending divorce. She has been married many years to a man she loves and has relied upon. On the surface, she appears to have everything including beauty, money, poise and a house on the beach in Montauk, New York. She has two children, Nate and Georgia. She is also planning a party. She is a socialite. The party however is not a birthday party - it is a divorce party. Many people including her children believe their father has asked for the divorce because he is pursuing a life being a Buddhist. Gwyn does not want the divorce and is torn between loving him and hating him. She also knows the divorce is not about the desire to practice religion.
The other woman in the story is Maggie who is engaged to Gwyn's son Nate. Maggie had a difficult childhood and it is very difficult for her to trust. She is also uncomfortable that the first time she is meeting Nate's family will be at his parents' divorce party. Maggie learns several "new" facts about Nate and this increases her skepticism about relationships.
Laura Dave has created two characters at different points in their lives who each face their own issues and personal challenges. Gwyn is certainly a sympathetic character as she faces the end of her marriage. Thomas, her husband is also conflicted. He still loves his wife and struggles with that fact. However, he seems resolved that he is not happy in the marriage. Gwyn faces her desire to keep her husband and finally her own fears. Ultimately the reader learns that she is a courageous woman who makes the correct choice for her. Laura Dave could have written a different ending that may have satisfied some readers, however I respect the fact that Gwyn showed tremendous poise and strength at the conclusion of this book.
Maggie also showed tremendous faith and courage at the end of the story. She was not bound to Nate, as they were not married and she could easily choose to leave the relationship. She certainly struggles with this possibility.
I certainly recommend The Divorce Party. The characters are interesting and their challenges are common to many women.