Spoiled Children of Divorce


Exemplary Children of Divorce: Sean Wilsey “O The Glory of It All”

While in the bookstore this morning I also picked up a remaindered copy of O The Glory of it All by Sean Wilsey.  I had already tried to listen to the audiobook version of this which wasn’t that great.  Don’t know if it was the narration or what but this book is better off as a “reader.”  (which means that I’ll probably never make it through the whole thing).  This is the Child of D’s version of Dave Eggars’ Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. It’s sort of a surreal, larger than life version of Divorce.  Closer to the one I and my friends grew up in than the ones described by the therapists, ah hem….  Wilsey’s parents divorced in 1980 when he was around 9 or 10 years old, but they continued to fight over money for many years after.

Here’s the blurb written on the back of the book:

Sean’s blond bombshell mother regularly entertains Black Panthers and movie stars in the family’s marble and glass penthouse.  His enigmatic father uses a jet helicopter to drop Sean off at the video arcade.  The three live happily together “eight-hundred feet in the air above San Francisco; in an apartment at the top of a building at the top of a hill:  full of light, full of voices, full of windows full of water and bridges and hills.”  But when his father divorces his mother and marries her best friend, Sean’s life blows apart.   His memoir shows us how he survived, spinning out a “deliriously searing and convincing” portrait of a wicked stepmother (The New York Times Book Review), a meeting with the pope, disastrous sexual awakenings, and a tour of “the planet’s most interesting reform schools.”

The Step-Mother Dede sounds a lot like my Step-Mother.  Part of Wilsey’s description:

This is what Dede did.  She got to know Mom, found her greatest weakness (pride and vanity), stole her greatest asset (family), mocked Mom’s presence in a world where she didn’t belong (society), lit Mom’s fuse, and watched her explode.

The book starts off like this:

In the beginning we were happy.  And we were always excessive.  So in the beginning we were happy to excess.


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