The Great Divorce
A Nineteenth-Century Mother's Extraordinary Fight Against Her Husband, the Shakers, and Her Times
By Ilyon Woo
(Grove Press, Paperback, 9780802145376, 404pp.)
Publication Date: August 2011
List Price: $17.95*
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Ilyon Woo’s The Great Divorce is a dramatic, richly textured narrative history of early America’s most infamous divorce case. A young mother singlehandedly challenged her country’s notions of women’s rights, family, and marriage itselfall in a bid to win back her kidnapped children from the celibate, religious sect known as the Shakers. Pulling together the pieces of this saga from crumbled newspapers, Shaker diaries, and long-forgotten letters, Woo delivers the first full account of Eunice Chapman’s epic five-year struggle. A moving story about the power of a mother’s love, The Great Divorce is also a memorable portrait of a rousing challenge to the values of a young nation.