3 out of 4 stars
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The Great Divorce by David Loy Frishkorn is a work of fiction that revolves around the Lasserman twins, Don and Daniel, and how the different paths they took in life affected the United States of America. Don was an outgoing individual who was involved in a lot of extracurricular activities in high school, which helped him get a partial scholarship for college. Don graduated from college, got a good job, and his life was on an upward trajectory. While Don was off conquering the world, Daniel, whose parents weren't able to afford his college fees, was struggling. He ended up getting Amanda (his girlfriend) pregnant, which led to their marriage. The pressure of the responsibilities of a husband and father was too much for young Daniel, so he turned to alcohol.
Along the line, Daniel lost his wife to cancer. He blamed most of his problems on the fact that the country had a black president. Apparently, Daniel was okay with blacks only when they didn't exceed his expectations of them. Daniel finally snapped when his new boss, a black man, fired him for incompetence. He went on a killing spree, gunning down over 20 black people. This was the catalyst for the events that led to the great divorce (the secession of several states from the United States of America).
The author kicked off the story showing the difference in Don and Daniel's lives at 64, and he went on to narrate the events that led to how they ended up at that point. The author does a very good job developing Daniel's character, giving him traits that made him unique, a purpose, a strong personality, and flaws. I don't think that Don's character was poorly developed, but he was painted as the perfect person by the author, not putting a foot wrong throughout the story. Another thing I didn't like about this book, with respect to character development, was how David constantly felt the need to divert from the story to develop minor characters. I found this very distracting and overwhelming at times. I also felt that the characters in the story were too many, and it was difficult to keep their names and roles straight at times.
It was interesting to read about characters like President Adamo and his successor, President Haight, who I feel were the author's representations of President Obama and President Trump respectively. A lot of events in the book are similar to the events that have occurred in real life. The book touches a whole lot of relevant issues like racism, domestic abuse, religious extremism, and guns to name a few. Using his characters, the author was able to show how bad things can get if left unchecked. He also offered solutions to these issues, which I found interesting.
Considering the number of characters and flashbacks the author included in this story, it impressed me not to find any inconsistency in the story. The timeline was also very easy to follow. In addition, The Great Divorce is well edited and well organized. It contained a few grammatical errors, but none that made my reading difficult at any point.
Overall, The Great Divorce was a very entertaining read. I also found it educative on some of the events that occurred in the United States of America, as I had to carry out further research to get the full picture. The issues I have with some of the characters means that I'll settle for rating this book 3 out of 4 stars. The Great Divorce will most appeal to people that are politically engaged. Fans of crime stories will also enjoy a few moments in the book.
The Great Divorce
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