From Moon Dust where the heroine is thinking back on the family's Thanksgiving dinner after she announced she and her husband were getting a divorce. She's home now and thinking about how the day had gone. Although I've not had a divorce, at her age, I did have a family that was not so different from Susan's. When a couple decide to separate, it impacts their family, friends, and community.
With a sigh of relief, Susan sunk into the large, white chair in her living room and stared at the lights of the city strung out far below. Thanksgiving with her large family had been for the most part enjoyable, delicious and tiring. Everyone wanted to know about her separation from Dane, to ask questions about what he had done to make her leave him. Half of her family had approached her at one time or another to try to either change her mind or get the full scoop on what had really happened, but since she'd been expecting that, it had been tolerable.
Kicking off high heels, Susan rubbed her feet as she thought back on her conversation with Sarah. Big sister Sarah, who always wanted to take care of Susan's hurts, had wasted little time in zeroing in on this issue and putting pressure on her not to get a divorce. "But how could you just leave him?" Sarah's large blue eyes had been intent on Susan, her plump body effectively blocking flight from the family room. "Don't you know divorce is a sin, Susan?"
"Sarah," Susan had tried to explain, "you aren't going to understand any of this. You've got a marvelous husband and three bright kids. With a life as full as yours, how could you possibly understand the barrenness of what Dane and I had?"
"Barrenness? What kind of word is that? Are you reading those wacky psychology books, Susan, is that how you got this wild idea from that psychologist pal of yours? That stuff is garbage."
Susan had felt stymied, how could she explain any of this to her down-to-earth sister, who seemed satisfied with so little in life. Knowing it was useless, Susan had tried. "How can I continue to live with a man who doesn't love me? Who closes me out of his life? Who won't share anything with me? I mean, get serious, could you live that way?"
"Frankly, Susan, most men are not so good at sharing their feelings as women are, Do you think Jack tells me when he's hurt or feeling down? I just have to be understanding, not demand too much."
"But what if that wasn't enough for you?" Susan had been determined somehow to make Sarah understand. "What if you want a man to tell you how he feels, and you don't want it to take a gun to make him do it. For that matter, with Dane, I'm not sure that even at the point of death, he'd admit to being frightened or in doubt."
"So then that's just his way!"
"But it's not mine!" Both their voices had risen with their frustration level.
"Susan, divorce is wrong."
"Maybe so, but sometimes so is marriage."
"But you were joined by God. You can't divorce him."
“I was joined by a contract, a piece of legal paper, and the same thing can end the marriage." Susan had walked to the large bay window, to stare out at the sheep and cows grazing in the pasture below the big, old farm house.
Sarah had followed, and the two sisters, so alike and so different, stared from the window. "Dane is such a nice guy... And something else. He does love you. I'm sure of it."
"Sarah, you’ve chosen the way you want to live your life. Can’t you give me the freedom to do the same? I have to do what I believe is right just as you did."
Sarah's voice had lowered to little more than a whisper. "Was the problem in bed?"
Susan had laughed. "No! It was not in bed. Listen, this is something I'm not going to argue about. I know you've always thought you know what's best for me, but you have to let go of this. I'm not a kid in school. I'm a woman, twenty-eight years old, who knows exactly what she wants." Or did she I? But that had not been the time to admit that to Sarah.
"Don't you love Dane?" Sarah had wailed.
"I don't think that's the issue."
"But do you still love him?"
Susan had thought for a moment, not wanting to tell her sister, wishing she could bring herself to lie because it would be so much simpler. She had looked across at Sarah and said, "I do, but sometimes love isn't enough."
Sarah had obviously been unable to fathom her sister's thinking. For a moment, Susan had been certain she would walk out of the room without another word, but she had reached out instead and drawn Susan into her arms. "I think you're wrong, but you're my sister and I love you." And so the two had a good cry before they returned to the others, who had peeked their heads in to see there was an argument, but had stayed away to let them settle it.As Susan stared out into the black night of the city, lights twinkling to remind her other people existed, she wondered, not for the first time, where Dane had spent Thanksgiving. She looked through the darkness in the direction of their neighborhood and saw the twinkling of the first Christmas lights.
Moon Dust is a contemporary romance set in Portland Oregon. It deals with some tough subjects including the ramification of sexual abuse on adults and our education system as well as divorce as a solution-- or is it.