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Aftermath: on marriage and separation (2012)
by Rachel Cusk
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In the winter of 2009, Rachel Cusk's marriage of ten years came to an end. In the months that followed, life as she had known it fell apart. Suddenly, she was alone with two daughters, facing an uncertain future. Aftermath chronicles this journey from the end of happy family life as we know it to the beginning of a new phase. Along the way, the author has to redefine herself as a single woman; create a new version of motherhood. She discovers previously unknown strengths and freedoms but also finds herself suddenly vulnerable to outsiders, unwelcome advice, social displacement and the absence of a clear authority. There is the pressure to endlessly create a 'normal' life for her daughters while nothing that happens feels normal at all. She encounters the perils of lodgers, holiday rentals, family gatherings and new best friends.
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