Making and Breaking Families
By Jill Curtis
Review by Allison Martin
In Making and Breaking Families, author Jill Curtis provides an
psychological overview of issues facing nontraditional families, especially
those families affected by divorce or remarriage. A psychoanalytic psychotherapist
in London, Jill Curtis describes England as the "divorce capitol
of Europe," where two out of three marriages fail. Consequently,
many families are now headed by single mothers. She postulates that we
are losing touch as a society with the understanding that an important
function of families is nurturing children.
Jill Curtis interviews a variety of nontraditional families in Making
and Breaking Families - stepfamilies, grandparent headed families
and gay and lesbian families. Some of the family groups she examines are
more uncommon in the United States - double families (that is the father
heads two families, with a mistress), and families where grandparents
can not contact the grandchildren. Jill Curtis makes extensive use of
quotes throughout the book, using the voices of the participants to illustrate
the situations encountered by each type of non traditional family. Making
and Breaking Families provides a description of the stresses on families
today, with a discussion of the emotional toil on the participants and
their attempts to alleviate the problems.
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