Split, By Suzanne Finnamore

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The Independent Culture

American columnist Suzanne Finnamore was 40 when her husband walked out. With a young son to raise and a mortgage to pay, she decided to throw caution to the winds and write everything down.

The result is a heartfelt and at times recklessly honest account of her first year alone - detailing everything from the tragi-comedy of couples' counselling, to the pain of coming to terms with the Other Woman.

Despite the occasional flight of West Coast whimsy, and an income that still allowed for regular manicures, Finnamore's struggles will chime with many.

Key to her rehabilitation were a circle of close friends and her redoubtable mother, Bunny - a supplier of KFC take-outs, Jack Daniels and caustic insight: "I know one thing about men. They never die when you want them to."