Skip to main content

Review - The 40-Year Old Version: Humoirs of a Divorced Dad

When Joel Schwartzberg got in touch with me on Facebook and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing his award winning book, my immediate reaction was positive.  Reading and reviewing books is something I love to do.  You get a free book to read and all you have to do is write a few critical lines. What's not to like?

Then, when I realized that the secondary title was 'Humoirs of a Divorced Dad' my Irish Catholic hangups started to kick in.  Divorce was a dirty word where I came from.  Visions of unloved, unwanted, neglected kids and embittered, disillusioned parents came to mind.  Did I really want to review this book?  But I'd said I would and along it came.  And read it I did and reviewing it I am.  And do you know something?  I freaking loved this book. It was seriously good.  Humorously good too.

I suppose as a reader and reviewer of romance novels, I've become accustomed to the happy ending always being a 'given'. Yet romance novels are very often just fantasies.  Real life has many shades.  They aren't all rose coloured.  Of course nobody likes the idea of divorce, but if it comes to that, it's great if the two former spouses can put their differences aside and co-parent their offspring in a sensible and realistic way.

This book isn't so much autobiography as a series of essays on The Life and Times of Joel and Life As He Lives It.  Joel's being a divorced father of three kids (all under ten at the time the book was written) colours the book and the essays he writes.  He's a great father.  He only gets to be with the kids on Saturdays ('Dadurdays', as the kids call them) but he makes them count.  He probably spends more quality time with the children then many married dads do.  In some ways, he's a spectator in his kid's lives, ever observing and watchful and ready to jump in when required.  His second wife also cares for the kids and has won them over with her patience and dedication.  :Not that Joel ever says so directly - you just find yourself reading between the lines.  The fact that the kids have such a chilled out relationship with their father and his partner probably says a lot about what a good mother they have too.  Not that Joel ever says that either.  But you probably understand what I mean.

I love the word 'humoirs'.  Humorous memoirs.  Joel is a writer anyway and happens to have a deliciously ironic and self deprecating sense of humour which I truly appreciate.  He's particularly funny when he shares about moving back in with his parents as an adult, when he was newly separated from his first wife. You just never can go back there, can you?

As I once read somewhere, 'life is strange with it's twists and turns as every one of us sometimes learns'. Joel deserves great success with his book for proving beyond doubt that a so-called sad ending isn't necessarily the end of the world after all. And that's really something.


  1. Loved reading your review Maria. Sounds like a great and fun memoir!

    second try at captcha

  2. This sounds like a fun read, Maria. :)

  3. Holy Mary Business School is the leading Business School in South India. It is also an A.I.C.T.E. approved management college. Click here for more mba in hyderabad

  4. Holy Mary Business School is the leading Business School in South India. It is also an A.I.C.T.E. approved management college. Click here for more

  5. Click learn pedia for more info about top iit jee coaching institutes in Hyderabad

  6. For further info about top iit jee coaching institutes in Hyderabad, please click the link of learn pedia

  7. top iit jee coaching institutes in Hyderabad is right here at learn pedia

  8. See if you are finding top iit jee coaching institutes in Hyderabad. Thanks

  9. See to have the best free iit jee coaching materials

  10. See to have the best free iit jee coaching materials

  11. top iit jee coaching institutes in Hyderabad are here at Cliick for more

  12. Visit for best itt jee institutes

  13. Find out best IIT JEE coaching offices in Hyderabad very simply by clicking this


Post a comment

Thanks for visiting me. Please let me know you were here

Popular posts from this blog


Many years ago, when I lived in Dublin, I met someone nice and started dating. I wasn't serious, I just thought we could have nice interesting discussions about India, which I found absolutely fascinating, as I was working in the Embassy of India back then. I had no intention of getting attached with a foreigner, with all the attendant cultural problems. I was happy living in Ireland and the idea of marriage couldn't have been further from my mind. We both thought we could just keep things in control. One day, after a lot of emotional turmoil and denial, it hit us both that we were in love. Truly. Madly. Irrevocably. To the point where we couldn't live without each other. I'd known about the Indian system of arranged marriages and when it occurred to me that he would probably be married off by his family as soon as he returned to India, I felt physically ill at the thought. We are both tenacious and patient people. We realised that bringing our two worlds together

The Tale of One Kitty

The cat..... Those who know me already might say that they didn't know I had a cat.  I didn't, you know! Our dog, Duggu is such a handful, I didn't think we could take on another pet. But a few months ago, a beautiful cat (whom we eventually named Puggle)  arrived. She's not really ours..... Nope! She's someone else's cat who just went on what the Aussies might call a walkabout. My younger daughter Riya found her on the roof of our house, a pretty calico (three-coloured) cat. Riya was instantly smitten. Some milk was fed to the little creature and the deal was sealed. Puggle has been a regular visitor to our house ever since. And two days after she arrived, in mid-May, she gave birth to four kittens. We'd had no idea the kitty was enceinte. So what did we do? What can you do? If a single mom landed on your doorstep and gave birth in your house, what would you do? Try to help, obviously. As the cat bore no identification and had been roaming the colony unst

A Blogging Guru

This is what a guru looks like - well something like it! Back to blogging I'm back at my blogging again. Three blogs at the moment. Not bad really, is it? My favourite blogging adventure was my original expat blog, which, unfortunately, I had to close once I was no longer able to blog anonymously. Because it was what some of our US based friends might call 'way TMI.  This is my general blog, MBB is my book blog and My East/West Life is my current attempt at blogging about life in India for an Irish wife. Then there's the experimental writing blog on Wordpress....and you know, can you believe I've been blogging for ten years now? Yes, that's right. But I've taken a looooong hiatus from blogging recently owing to the loss of a beloved family member. And I've stood back from the blogging a little. And then I came back. And amazingly, I've discovered stuff I never knew before. New discoveries I discovered that owing to Adsense ads, I've