Falling Apart in One Piece

Falling Apart in One Piece

One Optimist's Journey Through the Hell of Divorce

  • reading group guide
The emotionally charged story of a divorce that brought the surprising gift of grace

Just when Stacy Morrison thought everything in her life had come together, her husband of ten years announced that he wanted a divorce. She was left alone with a new house that needed a lot of work, a new baby who needed a lot of attention, and a new job in the high-pressure world of New York magazine publishing.

Morrison had never been one to believe in fairy tales. As far as she was concerned, happy endings were the product of the kind of ambition and hard work that had propelled her to the top of her profession. But she had always considered her relationship with her husband a safe place in her often stressful life. All of her assumptions about how life works crumbled, though, when she discovered that no amount of will and determination was going to save her marriage.

For Stacy, the only solution was to keep on living, and to listen—as deeply and openly as possible—to what this experience was teaching her.

Told with humor and heart, her honest and intimate account of the stress of being a working mother while trying to make sense of her unraveling marriage offers unexpected lessons of love, forgiveness, and dignity that will resonate with women everywhere.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416595571 | 
  • March 2011
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Author Stacy Morrison: Revealed

Stacy talks about the words she uses most and a fun superpower....

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
We Begin at the End

I suppose I should start where it all started. Or, more specifically, started ending. The night Chris told me he was done with our marriage.

I can recall exactly what I was doing on the June evening this one-way conversation started: I was standing at the sink in the kitchen area of our one-room first floor, washing a bunch of arugula, my favorite salad green, pushing my hands through the cold water in the salad spinner to shake the dirt loose. I was looking out the window over the sink, marveling at the beautiful backyard of our Brooklyn home: an actual lawn, its bright green grass thick as a... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Falling Apart in One Piece includes discussion questions and a Q&A with author Stacy Morrison. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.



Discussion Questions


1. Throughout the book, Stacy uses the metaphor of a shoji screen to describe her ability to compartmentalize and deal with the shock of her husband’s sudden decision to leave, the ill-timed flooding of her brand new basement, the challenges of caring for a toddler, and the first stressful weeks at the helm of a major national magazine. Have you ever used this strategy to cope with difficult aspects of your own life? Were there ever times when you shut off certain thoughts or feelings for too long? Do you think Stacy ever fell into this trap of denial?

2. What are some of the other strategies Stacy develops by the end of the narrative that help her rebuild her family and stay sane without completely cutting Chris off from her life? How do you think her outlook has changed since she was an ambitious young adult trying to land her dream job?

3. Stacy has a strong but complicated relationship with her mother. How did it inform Stacy’s career decisions? What lessons did it teach her about marriage?

4. How doe see more

About the Author

Stacy Morrison
Photograph © Anna Wolf

Stacy Morrison

Stacy Morrison is the editor in chief of Redbook magazine. Under her guidance, the magazine has found new vibrancy and relevance for today’s generations, winning a Folio award for General Excellence (2005), a Clarion award for General Excellence (2007), and a National Magazine Award nomination for Personal Service (2006). She has appeared as an expert on women, love, sex, money and more on the Today Show, CNN Headline News, CNN Moneyline, and The Early Show, among many other TV programs.

Before becoming editor in chief of Redbook magazine, she was Executive Editor at Marie Claire, working on the international advocacy projects, and had previously been the editor in chief of Modern Bride magazine and the venture-funded dot.com/magazine about design, One (which won three Ozzie awards in its short lifespan). She was also a part of the launches of Conde Nast Sports for Women, Time Out New York, and Mirabella magazine.

She lives in Brooklyn with her 4-year-old son, Zack, whose father is at the house many, many times a week.

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