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ARC Review: The Divorce Colony

The Divorce Colony: How Women Revolutionized Marriage and Found Freedom on the American Frontier by April White April White’s The Divorce Colony is set during the Gilded Age, in the America of the late 1800s. It revolves around the lax divorce rules then to be found in South Dakota.  Today, getting divorced is almost easier than getting married. But in the Gilded Age, divorces were not so easy to obtain. Divorce was viewed as a moral concern for the state, and was denounced from the pulpit for threatening the sanctity of marriage. Even President Theodore Roosevelt spoke out against it.  Laws around divorce tended to be most lax on the frontiers of the United States. By the 1880s the territory of Dakota gained the dubious honor of posting the largest rise in divorces in the country. At the turn of the century one city - Sioux Falls, South Dakota - gained a reputation for having the laxest divorce laws of all, and required only a three month residency in order to take advantage of them

Review: Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose

Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose
by Joe Biden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Promise Me, Dad is Joe Biden's memoir of his son Beau's cancer diagnosis and death, the impact on the family, and on Joe's decision not to enter the 2016 race for US President. As you read this story you can "hear" Joe's voice - his phrasing and manner of speaking clearly comes through. This is an honest, moving and personal story and is unlike any other book I can think of written by a politician. At under 300 pages it's a pretty quick read.

NOTE: In the Acknowledgements at the end of the book Joe thanks author Mark Zwonitzer for his "extraordinary talent, patience and hard work". Some have taken this to mean that he was the ghostwriter for this book. I infer from the Acknowledgements that Zwonitzer likely provided editing and assistance with the book's structure at a minimum, and perhaps more. Regardless, as I read the book, as I said above, it was Joe's voice I heard.

Promise Me, Dad links

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