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Sex Changes: A Memoir of Marriage, Gender, and Moving On | [Christine Benvenuto]

Sex Changes: A Memoir of Marriage, Gender, and Moving On

Christine Benvenuto had been married for more than twenty years - with three young children - when her husband turned to her one night in bed and said, "I'm thinking constantly about my gender." Unhappy in his body, he wanted to become a woman. Part memoir, part voyeur's look into a marriage, Sex Changes is a journey through the end of a marriage and out the other side.
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Publisher's Summary

What do you do when the other woman is your husband?

Christine Benvenuto had been married for more than twenty years - with three young children - when her husband turned to her one night in bed and said, "I'm thinking constantly about my gender." Unhappy in his body, he wanted to become a woman.

Part memoir, part voyeur's look into a marriage, Sex Changes is a journey through the end of a marriage and out the other side. We see a mother, desperate to save her family and shelter her children, discover a well of strength and resilience she never knew she had. We learn what to tell the neighbors when your husband starts wearing heels with his shirts and ties. We see a woman open herself up to a group of friends who travel with her through her darkest times, offering light, levity, and the opportunity to learn how to give as well as receive the love and support of true friendship. As she loses her husband to skirts and hormones, life makes Chris a better woman.

Sex Changes is the story of what one woman discovered about herself in the midst of the conflagration of her family. Fiercely funny, self-lacerating, and not entirely politically correct, this book is a journey of love and anguish told with hilarity, heartbreak, and a lot of soul searching. It is about the mysteries in every marriage, the secrets we chose to keep, and the freedom that the truth can bring.

Christine Benvenuto is the author of Shiksa, as well as fiction, essays, and reviews that have appeared in many publications, including the Village Voice, the San Francisco Chronicle, Tikkun, and Moment. She lives in western Massachusetts with her children.

©2012 Christine Benvenuto (P)2012 Blackstone

What the Critics Say

"Exhaustive and provocative." (Publishers Weekly on Shiksa)

"Compelling."(Booklist on Shiksa)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

2.8 (16 )
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3.1 (14 )
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Performance
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  •  
    sharon weizenbaum Amherst, MA United States 01-31-13
    sharon weizenbaum Amherst, MA United States 01-31-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "All about her...."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book was such a huge disappointment. The author is chained to a victim status by her own mind. Her ex-husband's choices may have been difficult for her to accept and adjust to but she has no dignity in her unsuccessful efforts to move on. She blames him/her for her misery when it is so clear she is just a miserable and needy person, taking it out on him/her and their children in the cruelest ways. Her self involvement was so sickening and hurtful that I couldn't finish the book. I was looking forward to hearing this story from the ex-wife's point of view but this was just a sad woman with no clarity or heart.


    What could Christine Benvenuto have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    take responsibility for herself.


    What three words best describe Renée Raudman’s performance?

    fine, easy to listen to.


    What character would you cut from Sex Changes?

    the wife!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 11-17-12
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 11-17-12 Member Since 2014

    glam

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    "good story with flat un-relatable characters"

    I found this book to be a huge downslide. There is very little humor, very little insight, very little irony, no description, no backstories. Just the facts.

    Add to that the strange voice of Rene Raudman who sounds like she is wearing braces and you get a very flat, if not depressing, story.

    I couldn't read this without trying to get some distance from the shabby characters and their pathetic attempts at dealing with this crisis. Underscored by Raudman's monotonous delivery.

    This experience could have been saved by at least a more ironic reading. Raudman ruined a story that had great potential.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Calgary, AB, Canada 01-29-15
    Amy Calgary, AB, Canada 01-29-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Portrait of a woman with a profound lack of empath"
    Would you try another book from Christine Benvenuto and/or Renée Raudman?

    Never


    Have you listened to any of Renée Raudman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The performance was alright, certainly not the worst party of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    The author seeks to go out of her way to vilify Trans people, and it was quite hurtful to listen to. I tried hard to give her the benefit of the doubt and be understanding of her situation, but this book paints the portrait of a horrible self centered woman with a profound lack of empathy too caught up in her own suffering to consider what others around her are going through.

    She spends the entire book criticising Tracey for making what is in many cases a life or death choice without the smallest respect of even using her preferred pronouns, then ends the book talking about how much she likes sex with her new man. I'm sincerely glad the author feels like she grew through all this, but the the author's selfishness is just disgusting.

    Maybe I'll calm down after a few days, but this was the worst trite I've ever wasted my time listening to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Test Newark, NJ, United States 11-16-12
    Test Newark, NJ, United States 11-16-12
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    "not a great one"

    Not a great book to listen! It could have been narrated well! Audible can do better!

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
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