Aftermath by Rachel Cusk
On Marriage and Separation

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There's also a rather odd last chapter, seen through the eyes of a hapless eastern European au pair living with a disintegrating family, which had me somewhat confused.
-Guardian

Synopsis

In the winter of 2009, Rachel Cusk's marriage of ten years came to an end. In the months that followed, life as she had known it came apart, "like a jigsaw dismantled into a heap of broken-edged pieces". Aftermath chronicles this perilous journey as the author redefines herself as a single woman and creates a new version of family life for her daughters. She discovers previously unknown strengths and freedoms but also finds herself suddenly vulnerable to outsiders, unwelcome advice, social displacement and the absence of a clear authority. "I can't remember what it feels like to be at ease. This ceaseless effort to manufacture normality is a kind of forger's art, so laborious compared with the facility that created the original." The pressure to reconstruct a 'normal' life for her daughters competes with the sense that nothing feels normal at all. Aftermathis a masterly work in which the author, at her most candid and rigorous, charts the largely unwritten journey back to order from the chaos that is left when a family breaks apart.
 

About Rachel Cusk

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Rachel Cusk was born in 1967 and is the author of: Saving Agnes, which won the Whitbread First Novel Award, The Temporary, The Country Life - won a Somerset Maugham Award, The Lucky Ones - shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award, In the Fold and Arlington Park - was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and The Bradshaw Variations. Her non-fiction books are A Life's Work and The Last Supper. In 2003 she was chosen as one of Granta's Best of Young Novelists.
 
Published March 1, 2012 by Faber & Faber. 160 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Aftermath
All: 2 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 2

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Frances Stonor Saunders on Mar 02 2012

It's not a congenial place, this Cuskland, with its low mephitic cloud of complex melancholia.

Read Full Review of Aftermath: On Marriage and Se... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Julie Burchill on Feb 25 2012

There's also a rather odd last chapter, seen through the eyes of a hapless eastern European au pair living with a disintegrating family, which had me somewhat confused.

Read Full Review of Aftermath: On Marriage and Se... | See more reviews from Guardian

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