Just to Spite You

Susan Gregory Thomas’ memoir In Spite of Everything is an interesting look into Generation X mixed with her own analysis of what caused her divorce. A daughter of a broken home and an alcoholic father, Thomas promised herself that she wouldn’t allow her own children to deal with divorce. Then, her husband said he wasn’t happy anymore.

Thomas goes to great lengths to look into the family dynamic that created the general world-view of Generation X and finds direct correlations to her own upbringing. Her arguments are well-documented (with frequent footnotes where needed) and she even finds that Generation X played a big role in the housing bubble burst in 2008.

Personally, I found her story of her family fascinating and also heartbreaking. Sometimes, I felt the statistics don’t matter. I thought they got in the way of Thomas just telling her story. Can you really say this for all of Generation X? Of course not. There are always going to be blindspots in your argument. But still, she clings to analysis like it’s her life preserver.

Thomas has written on many intellectual topics, questioning the reasons we do what we do. I admire her ardor for in-depth research, but I felt it took away from making her personal story–well, personal.