Mirrored Lives
by Lib Lander and Jan Lander


Cameo Publications, LLC, 2003. ISBN 0974414905.
Reviewed by Lisa Check
Posted on 09/27/2004

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Relationships

Mirrored Lives is about the mirror-image lives of the two authors, who married the same man and suffered emotional and physical abuse. Though they married Sidney a decade apart, their experiences were strikingly similar. Apparently, some old dogs do not learn any new tricks. Lib is a black Southern woman who married Sidney right after college. Jan, a white Northern woman, was attracted to Sidney as her 24-year marriage was crumbling.

The story is told through the narration of Jan's experience as she meets, dates, marries, and then divorces Sidney. Lib helps Jan come to terms with the reality of the man versus Jan's fairytale expectation of their marriage. A mirage that Sidney built through their courtship. Readers come to know that Jan's religious upbringing stymied her realization that both of her marriages had been based on her expectations. Expectations that were never agreed to by either of her husbands.

The two women rely heavily on their faith as they rebuild their lives. Lib's transition to a new life is made difficult by her isolation. Jan is able to reclaim her life more easily because of an extensive support structure--her children, Sidney's children, friends and Lib.

Women who have gone through this type of experience, either currently or in the past, will gain from the courage and strength demonstrated by these two women. Not just to rebuild their lives but to really live. While it is an important story, shocking and emotionally charged moments were somewhat distanced due to the use of a third person, narrative writing style.

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