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
"Exhaustive and provocative." (Publishers Weekly on Shiksa)
"Compelling."(Booklist on Shiksa)
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.
take responsibility for herself.
fine, easy to listen to.
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.
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