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Editorial Reviews

The most astonishing aspect of Stacy Morrison’s account of the end of her marriage in Falling Apart in One Piece is her willingness to unflinchingly examine her own complicity in its demise — and to do so in front of a vast audience of potentially hostile strangers. Ultimately that brave and public self-examination is also the book’s greatest gift.

Listening to a book amplifies the already intimate experience of reading and here author also serves as narrator. There is an unrehearsed pain in Stacy’s voice as she recounts the night her husband Chris declared their 13-year-long marriage over with the simple but chilling phrase “I’m done”. There is no hiding from her authentic sorrow, the naked grief in her voice when she says: “I slid slowly down the cabinets until I was sitting on the kitchen floor and I cried for all the ways I had failed, and all the ways I did not know how to fix my life.” So, prepare yourself.

Stacy’s life is stamped with ambition. Her passion for her career in publishing is an indelible part of her personality and this narrative. You may recognize her as the most recent Editor in Chief of Redbook, the venerable 107-year-old women’s magazine. Or you might know of her first incarnation in that role at Modern Bride, a position she held at the very tender age of 29.

But those remarkable achievements can’t save her marriage, and nothing can change the fact that she now faces life as a single parent to their five-month-old son Zach. Stacy wonders out loud if her drive for success is the final wedge between her and Chris, “Reason #159”. Or is it her optimism and her generous love of people, a nature that sits in sharp contrast to his introverted and worrying one, that ultimately breaks them apart. She also asks, but never gets to know why, their recently purchased Brooklyn house begins to flood and then leak, along with her emotional life. Both marriage and house were seemingly intact when she had started on this particular leg of her journey.

We read memoirs for any number of reasons, including the hope that we’ll find insight into our own problems and possibly, solutions. Stacy reminds us that, “Divorce is such a personal experience,” even as she welcomes us into her bedroom and onto her kitchen floor. In this book I did not find a previously whole woman putting together the broken pieces, but instead a woman made whole for the first time: through the willingness to ask the hardest questions of, and ultimately grant forgiveness to, the most important person in her life — herself. —Lisa Duggan

Publisher's Summary

Just when Stacy Morrison thought she had it all, her husband of 10 years announced that he wanted a divorce. She was left alone with a new house that needed lots of work, a new baby who needed lots of attention, and a new job in the high-pressure world of New York publishing. Morrison had never been one to believe in fairy tales. As far as she was concerned, happy endings were the product of the kind of ambition and hard work that had propelled her to the top of her profession. But she had always considered her relationship with her husband a safe place in her often stressful life.

All of her assumptions about how life works crumbled, though, when she discovered that no amount of will and determination was going to save her marriage. For Stacy, the only solution was to keep on living, and to listen - as deeply and openly as possible - to what this experience was teaching her.

Told with humor and heart, her honest and intimate account of the stress of being a working mother while trying to make sense of her unraveling marriage offers unexpected lessons of love, forgiveness, and dignity that will resonate with women everywhere.

©2010 Stacy Morrison (P)2010 Tantor

Critic Reviews

“[Morrison] presents her triumphant redefinition in fine form for editorial fodder.” ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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A beautifully tragic trip through divorce

A brutal look at the unraveling of a marriage and the struggle to maintain sanity through the journey and keeping the child front and center.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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so helpful

it is well written and honest. this whole book touched me to the core of my soul

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Myriam
  • Valencia, CA, United States
  • 11-21-10

Worth every minute

Although my divorce was 4 years ago, i wished I had heard this audio book then. She was able to verbalize things I experienced and thoughts so well. She would of eliminated a lot of undue analyzing because she put words to my pain. The healing is in addressing the pain and she does a great job making you face the different stages of a divorce. Although I related to her especially as a working woman and mother. I think this would be helpful for both men and women experiencing divorce for a variety of reasons. Happy Healing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • S
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 08-22-10

of love, of loss and leaky basements...

I loved this book. Anyone who has ever been through a divorce or has been close enough to witness a marriage mid-wreck knows that getting to the other side with any measure of grace remaining is damn near impossible. I approached this book with caution... but at no point did this book turn whiny, self-indulgent or pitiful. If you're looking for a train wreck, move on. There is no preaching or look-at-me here, just a story of love and loss and leaky basements. I love Stacy Morrison, I would like to tell her she did good. She came through with extraordinary grace, strength and self-awareness. I set down my earbuds knowing that there was some healing in telling her story, and who doesn't need more of that?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Insightful

Unlike many break up books, this one provides great insight & doesn't victimize or blame but offers hope for the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The author should have had a professional narrator

Would you try another book from Stacy Morrison and/or Stacy Morrison?

Not if it's read by the author.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Ms. Morrison had a huge support system, promising career, and was not financially devastated.... it was hard to listen to. "I had to fire my nanny, handed her an envelope stuffed with cash "... Are you kidding me? That said, I'd bet my experience would have been different with a proper narrater. The bland mono tone style of reading unfortunately kills the story.

How could the performance have been better?

It was like listening to a bored middle school student read aloud in class.

Could you see Falling Apart in One Piece being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I've listened THREE times

This book is so raw and relatable. I love the candor and natural reaction the author has in her writing and definitely love that she reads her own story. I appreciate the bravery it took to tell such a story, as we know a story is not only ours to tell. Stacy really goes to her deepest, darkest thoughts in what I can imagine was her own self realization while giving the reader her vulnerability. I have written down SO many quotes from this book to anchor my own story and self talk. You will not regret this download.

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Great book

A great reflection of the different stages of a divorce and the crazy storied we tell ourselves.

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beautifully written, balanced and insightful

a very candid personal account of writer's struggle through her personal valley of a broken marriage. wonderfully and insightfully written. even handed and fair. very touching and also uplifting. even though i do not share this personal experience, it helped me to understand better others who have traveled the road of divorce

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  • Amy
  • LITTLETON, CO, United States
  • 04-09-12

Great to listen to while going through a divorce.

What made the experience of listening to Falling Apart in One Piece the most enjoyable?

I was really able to relate to this and it helped me to understand how I'm feeling in ways I hadn't realized before.

What did you like best about this story?

The honesty of it. And the fact Stacy didn't place blame.

Which character – as performed by Stacy Morrison – was your favorite?

Stacy

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. I wanted it to last.