4 out of 4 stars
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Gino's Mom by Gary Markman is a work of fiction based on a true story. The author narrates the life of Macy, a woman who survived an abusive relationship and struggled to raise her disabled son by herself.
Macy worked hard to fulfill her dreams. She excelled at her job as a reading specialist, progressed in her career, and got her doctorate. Despite that, her personal life was wanting. Wayne, the man she married, was satisfied with the bare minimum. He was a teacher, but he put more effort into becoming a struggling musician. When he got physical with her, she failed to report him and made calculated moves to avoid confrontation. She freed herself the day she filed for a divorce, although the action came a little too late.
I liked that the author presented domestic violence from the perspective of a career woman, proving that it could happen to anyone. From this, I took home the lesson that women, especially young women, need to be careful of whom they let into their lives. Macy's story has inspirational notes because her tenacity shone through the difficulties. She worked hard at her job, kept her home in pristine condition, and cared for her son. It will motivate readers to push through despite the obstacles.
The author tackles sensitive issues like raising a disabled child and dealing with delinquent teenagers. Parents in such situations often hide their children from the public or worse yet, abandon them altogether. He highlighted cases of bad parenting, and I could see how his overly permissive ex-wife enabled his sons' antisocial behavior. By mentioning that, the author's intention isn't to bash anyone. He showcases the downside of a relaxed parenting style, especially on developing children. Although he was divorced, the author never gave up on his children and tried his best to set them on the right path.
As much as divorce disrupts the family unit, it sometimes becomes the only option. Readers will be surprised by the secrets uncovered throughout divorce proceedings and pity the spouse who discovers the ugly side of the person they married. The author also highlighted the challenge of living as a blended family and tackled the adverse effects of divorce on both parents and children. For some, a broken marriage might be the end, but the author and Macy picked up the pieces. The pair forms a deep bond, leading the author to tell both their stories in this book. I was relieved that the story doesn't contain any explicit scenes, although it is a romance novel.
I must admit that there's nothing I didn't like about the book. The prose flows smoothly, and the author's storytelling kept me glued. He told the story in two parts, the first section narrating Macy's life before her divorce and the second section beginning with the author and Macy's first meeting. Although I spotted a few errors, mostly misspelled words, they didn't detract from the reading experience. I will, therefore, award this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars because it deserves nothing less. It is an informative, educational, and entertaining read that I will recommend to people in relationships, married couples, and anyone raising delinquent children.
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