(1 customer review)
Publication Date: 28 Oct 2021
Categories: Contemporary, Crime and ThrillersISBN: 9781913913380
“Remy Maisel takes the madness of the modern world, marries it to an ingenious concept, and makes it personal, funny, and heartfelt.”
Dan McCoy, Emmy Award-Winning writer for The Daily Show
In a case of badly mistaken identity, Emily, a down-on-her-luck intern, is recruited by the State Department to solve the Palestinian problem. Only this time they want it handled as a divorce settlement.
Travelling across Jerusalem and New York, Emily must rely on the experience of her parents’ disastrous divorce to handle the case. Plus, she went to Hebrew school. If she survived that, how much harder can this be?
In order to pull off the most acrimonious divorce of all time, she must let go of the family trauma that has tainted her whole life... but what if it won’t stay in the past?
Remy Maisel has been a professional writer since she was a teenager, when Arianna Huffington personally invited her to blog for The Huffington Post after a university talk. She co-authored Is Satire Saving Our Nation? Mockery and American Politics with Sophia A. McClennen and Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z – An Unofficial Fan Guide with Sharilyn Johnson. An early draft of Grounds for Divorce was shortlisted for the 2017 City University Novel Prize and longlisted for the Cinnamon Press Debut Novel Award, and her second novel won the 2020 A Woman’s Write Grand Prize for unpublished novels. She lives in London.
Emily York (Guest Review) - 09 Dec, 2023
"Grounds for Divorce" - A Disappointing Misstep by Remy Maisel
"Grounds for Divorce," Remy Maisel's latest novel, attempts to tackle the complex and sensitive issue of the Israel-Palestine conflict through a quirky and unconventional lens. Unfortunately, it falls significantly short of handling the topic with the necessary depth and sensitivity.
The protagonist, Emily, a seemingly ill-fitted intern, is thrust into the middle of an international crisis, drawing parallels between a geopolitical conflict and her parents' messy divorce. The premise itself is a stretch and does a disservice to the gravity of the real-world situation it attempts to satirize. The use of a personal divorce as a metaphor for the Israel-Palestine conflict is not only superficial but also distasteful, given the ongoing turmoil and suffering in the region.
Character development, or the lack thereof, is a major shortfall in this novel. Emily's character comes across as underdeveloped and her actions and decisions throughout the book seem implausible. The secondary characters, meant to provide insight and depth, are instead flat and contribute little to the narrative. The reader struggles to connect with any of the characters or understand their motivations.
Maisel's attempt to infuse humor into such a sensitive and complex topic feels misguided. The narrative tone wavers, failing to strike a balance between addressing a serious political issue and providing entertainment. The humor often feels forced and inappropriate, diminishing the seriousness of the real-life conflict it parallels.
Moreover, the book's resolution feels hurried and oversimplified, trivializing a centuries-old conflict. The lack of substantial research or understanding of the political, cultural, and historical context of the Israel-Palestine conflict is evident and disappointing.
In conclusion, "Grounds for Divorce" is a misjudged effort by Remy Maisel to blend geopolitical drama with personal narrative. The novel not only fails to deliver meaningful commentary on a significant international issue but also struggles to develop its characters into relatable or believable figures. The attempt at satire comes off as insensitive, leaving the reader dissatisfied and disheartened.