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Between Two Worlds

THE INNER LIVES of CHILDREN
OF DIVORCE

By ELIZABETH MARQUARDT

Reviews — Book Blurbs

“According to … [this new study of] 1,500 children of divorce aged 18 to 35, those whose parents divorced before the kids were 16 often had trouble reconciling their two worlds. Others feel compelled to carry or keep secrets. So if you must divorce, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s going to be a happy time, at least not for your kids.”
Dr. Joyce Brothers, column, March 10, 2006

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“While everyone knows divorce is tough on kids, researcher and writer Elizabeth Marquardt says even when the split is amicable, kids still suffer. For her controversial new book, Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce, Marquardt spent three years interviewing 1,500 young adults—half from divorced families—who described the painful emotional, moral and spiritual dilemmas they faced.”
Newsweek, October 24, 2005

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…makes a persuasive case against the culture of casual divorce.
Washington Post, October 30, 2005

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Even in a “good divorce,” in which parents amicably minimize their conflicts, children of divorce inhabit a more difficult emotional landscape than those in intact families, according to a new survey of 1,500 people ages 18 to 35. … [Marquardt] is, she says, the first child of divorce to publish a broad study on how divorce affects children. … Ms. Marquardt’s book paints a detailed picture of the kinds of tensions children live with, using examples both from her own life — her parents separated when she was 2 — and from interviews with 70 other young adults.
New York Times, November 5, 2005

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While good splits are better than bitter ones are, the best divorces still leave children with lasting inner conflict, says Marquardt… herself a child of a good divorce. Her study makes her case in the just published Between Two Worlds.
U.S. News and World Report, September 26, 2005

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Is “good divorce” an oxymoron? That debate is being rekindled by psychologists and relationship experts across the country, in part by Elizabeth Marquardt’s new book, Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce, in which she says there is no such thing as a good divorce.
Denver Post, February 9, 2006

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No one disputes that some marriages must be dissolved. What concerns Ms. Marquardt is that the “happy talk” about well-managed breakups lets adults dismiss and make light of children’s real experiences. While her book may help grown-up children make sense of those experiences, it also carries a strong message for parents who are deciding whether to end a marriage: There may be no such thing as a “good divorce.”
Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2005

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Cataloguing results from national survey research and vignettes from her own childhood, Elizabeth Marquardt attempts to contradict the current conventional wisdom that parents who don’t fight in front of their children, who share custody and communicate well can make divorce no big deal for the kids. … Marquardt says she’s focusing on that pain not to blame parents who divorce, but to call attention to the needs of the [children].
New York Post, October 30, 2005

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Marquardt says she and other young adults who grew up in the divorce explosion of the ‘70s and ‘80s are still dealing with wounds that they could never talk about with their parents. … The results of [her] study — and a poignant narrative of her own experience — are contained in her new book, Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce. … Marquardt said she hopes adult children of divorce come away from her book realizing, “It’s not just me. I’m not alone.”
Chicago Tribune, November 13, 2005

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For years, divorce has been a touchy subject, and not just for the couples involved…. [Marquardt] wants parents to think twice before these “low-conflict” break-ups, which she says accounts for about two-thirds of divorces.
Dallas Morning News, January 18, 2006

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The children in Marquardt’s book are forced to grow up fast and learn to bridge their parents’ different worlds. Surely we can find more creative ways to minimize this lifelong trauma.
Philadelphia Inquirer, October 27, 2005 (column by syndicated columnist Jane Eisner)

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…[Between Two Worlds] is not intended to make parents feel bad. But it’s a caution and a bit of a cultural wake-up call. …Sometimes, of course, divorce really has to happen. Sometimes the marriage is ended by one spouse, leaving the other to cope…And, in the end, as Marquardt notes, it’s the couple’s business. But divorce is not always the only option.
Sacramento Bee, October 28, 2005 (column by syndicated columnist Kathryn Jean Lopez)

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The point of Between Two Worlds is neither to heap guilt upon divorced people nor to insist that no one should ever get divorced….Rather, Marquardt says that we need to stop fooling ourselves about the toll divorce takes on kids. …If Marquardt’s book is unlikely to single-handedly stem the tide of divorce, it will at least force us to be honest about the effects of divorce on kids—and knowing more about what children are living through, perhaps we can do more to help.
The Christian Century, February 7, 2006 (review by Lauren Winner)

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Many researchers say that if children “don’t end up drug addicts in the street,” it means they are just fine and the divorce wasn’t a problem for them, says Mrs. Marquardt, who is one of roughly 15 million Generation Xers — or one in four persons ages 18 to 35 — whose parents divorced. “But just because you’ve managed to survive something and come through it OK doesn’t mean at all that the experience was no big deal. … As a society, we still have not grasped just how radical divorce really is,” [she] says…
Washington Times, September 27, 2005

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… Marquardt certainly achieves her first goal of contributing to the literature on the effects of divorce—particularly in children’s moral and spiritual development….
Library Journal, July 1, 2005

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Between Two Worlds is illuminating for what it conveys about divorce, but it is equally striking for what it says about marriage: that the couple’s essential task is to make one home from their two conflicting selves, creating an ideal context for a child’s spiritual and emotional growth. In intact families, this struggle goes largely unnoticed by the children. After divorce the conflict no longer rests on the parents’ shoulders but takes root in the heart of the child.
Books and Culture, September 12, 2005

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Marquardt, and those to whom she gives voice, offer our culture a hard gift, the gift of truth. She challenges the conventional and comfortable wisdom: that divorce doesn’t matter if the parents get along, if the kids don’t look like damaged goods, and as long as parents keep loving their children.
Seattle Post Intelligencer, February 10, 2006 (column by Anthony B Robinson)

Reviews

How the ‘Good Divorce’ Affects Children
by Wayne Holst | National Catholic Register | March 24, 2006

Author Seeks Truth about ‘Good Divorce’
by Anthony B. Robinson | Seattle Post-Intelligencer | February 10, 2006

“Good” Divorce a Myth?
by Carrie McClure | Denver Post | February 9, 2006

After Divorce
by Lauren Winner | The Christian Century | February 7, 2006

Even children of ‘good’ divorce can carry wounds into adulthood
By Nancy Churnin | The Dallas Morning News | January 18, 2006

Wounds of Divorce Linger Long Past Childhood
By Patrick Kampert | The Chicago Tribune | November 13, 2005

Poll Says Even Quiet Divorce Affects Children’s Paths
By Tamar Lewin | The New York Times | November 5, 2005

Broken Homes, Broken Children
By Mary Eberstadt | The American Conservative | November 7, 2005 issue

Fumbling Childhood
By Kristine Steakley | Breakpoint | November 3, 2005

Divorce Hurts
By Christine Whelan | The New York Post | October 30, 2005

No Good Divorce
By Mark Trainer | The Washington Post | October 30, 2005

Mind the Kids in a Divorce
By Kathryn Jean Lopez | Sacramento Bee | October 28, 2005

No “Good Divorce”
By Jane Eisner | The Philadelphia Inquirer | October 27, 2005

Straight Talk about ‘Happy Talk’ Is There Such a Thing as a “Good Divorce”?
Review & Outlook | Wall Street Journal | October 21, 2005

Fast Chat: The Secret Pain of Divorce
By Peg Tyre | Newsweek | October 24, 2005 issue

Between Two Worlds
By Michael J. McManus (Ethics & Religion syndicated columnist) | October 19, 2005

Divided They Fall
By Jennifer Roback Morse | townhall.com | October 17, 2005

Divorce Study Breaks New Ground
By Maggie Gallagher (syndicated columnist) | October 11, 2004

Divorce’s Lasting Effects
By Cheryl Wetzstein | The Washington Times | September 27, 2005

On the Bookshelf: For Kids, No ‘Good’ Divorces
By Katy Kelly | U.S. News & World Report | September 26, 2005

Dissecting Divorce
By Jenny Schroedel | Books & Culture | Week of September 12

Review by “Library Journal”
July 1, 2005

Review by “Publisher’s Weekly”
June 13, 2005