Lynn Cassella’s profound experience as a child of divorce shines through in this small and practical guide for all those whose lives have been touched by divorce.
Cassella speaks of her own journey as a child of divorce and uses her experience and the experience of others as guides throughout chapters that focus on a specific hurt that the child of divorce may be feeling.
For Lynn Cassella, the pain of her parents’ divorce didn’t strike her on impact. It wasn’t until she was in college that she began to feel emotions like shame and guilt. Her relationship with her father became strained, and she began to hold unhealthy resentments toward him.
Cassella reveals so much of herself that she gains the reader’s trust, attention, and respect with a story that takes the reader through suffering to healing.
Counselor from many angles
But Cassella isn’t just a good story teller. She’s also a wise counselor. She provides thoughtful reflection questions in the book that could be used in a support group or personally.
Those readers who have not faced divorce in their own lives may also find that they can understand children of divorce better after reading several of the stories. Many of the questions are also excellent for anyone in a marriage that is facing the possibility of divorce. It just might help in revealing the deeper issues that lie below the surface of marital disagreements.
I wonder if the book might not come in handy for those who have lost a parent to death as well, especially if the remaining parent languishes in depression, pushing his or her children away because of the pain.
The risky business of forgiving
A particularly healthy view of forgiveness is the book’s strength. She acknowledges the difficulties in forgiving others and admits that it’s “risky business.” She also makes the strong point that “it’s safer to hold on to the anger, disappointment, and justified resentment” and in doing so she challenges readers to embrace pain with God’s help in an effort to move them toward growth.
The book is subtitled, “A supportive guide for personal growth,” and I can think of no better way to describe this easy-to-read, informative, and enlightening book. It’s a quick read, but one that may change your entire outlook on the way you view the divorce of your parents, your own marital problems, and the issues that surround old and new hurts.
Your relationship with your divorced parents may not change after reading this book but I would hedge my bets that at minimum, you will at least find a new conduit to peace in your heart.