Days Like This

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

The author’s thesis is that men and women have different attitudes toward divorce. In general, men are educated to think of a divorce as just another business proposition. Women, on the other hand, consider divorce to be an emotional experience.

Naturally, Phyllis Gillis writes from the woman’s point of view. She maintains that although the divorce laws have changed in most states, the law still punishes women both economically and socially, and society still blames the woman for a divorce. No-fault divorces penalize many wives, since even with equitable distribution, the earning power of men is much greater than that of women and alimony is never a given fact. The author herself experienced this gender gap at firsthand: While she struggled with finances to the point of having the utilities in her house disconnected, her husband and his girlfriend were vacationing in the Caribbean.

The book graphically describes how for more than a year the author was not able to get herself completely together emotionally, socially, or financially. A slight amount of bitterness is apparent in a concluding chapter when the author mentions that after the divorce, her former husband bought a $260,000 house and a new car.

Gillis also depicts the problems her six-year-old son had with the upheaval in his life. It is apparent that a divorce may be just as traumatic for a child as for the adults involved.

Throughout the book, the author mentions circumstances for which she was not prepared, hoping that her readers will benefit from her hard lessons. DAYS LIKE THIS is a very readable book and should be of interest to all women, as well as to men who wish to see another side of divorce.