Spoiled Children of Divorce

“Important Things That Don’t Matter”
November 26, 2007, 6:35 am
Filed under: Books | Tags:

Important Things That Don’t Matter by David Amsden is a really great novel that follows a boy through his childhood as he deals with his divorced parents.  The Boy narrates the story from the point of view of a 20-year old college dropout and it’s written in the tone that 20 year olds speak so it is very light hearted.  Meanwhile it talks about his difficult relationships with his Father who is a ne’er do well and his Mother who is the strength in his life.  Just at the moments when things get really tense the story is told with so much humor at how ridiculous things are that you find yourself laughing.  What impresses me most is how the story is told.  The narration tells two completely different stories at the same time which is probably a big problem in retelling of Divorce stories.  The kids are living two completely different stories at the same time.  It holds together because the narrator’s personality is so well-drawn.

Some of the odd little observations about Divorce are pretty interesting.
“…me and Mom were eating dinner at Boston Market, that fast food place that I swear is designed for divorced people and their kids — you know, so they can order an eighth of a turkey and string beans and pretend they still have a huge family or something.  Me and Mom weren’t like this, though.  We just loved the butternut squash.”  p.117

“I think when you get a father like mine you’re especially interested in real adults, you sort of search them out.  It’s like a hobby.”

“I’ve noticed that divorced parents often have these types of acquaintances:  people who just seem to show up, but were really there the whole time.”

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