On the other hand, before I met my husband, I dated a string of divorced men. They generally fell into two categories. They either had a palpable hatred for their exes or clearly still had feelings for her. I’m not saying all divorced men are like this, just the ones I dated.
In my debut novel, Waiting for Ethan, Ethan is recently separated from his wife after seventeen years of marriage. He probably falls into the latter category. The first woman he dates is the story’s protagonist Gina. When Gina was thirteen, a celebrity psychic told her she would marry a man named Ethan. At thirty-six, she’s still single when she meets Ethan. Because of his name, she’s convinced he’s the man the fortune teller was talking about all those years ago and is determined to make their relationship work.
Gina’s friend Luci has a front row seat to Gina’s relationship and is quite vocal that it’s a mistake. Luci, who is divorced herself, believes a person ending a marriage has no business starting a relationship. While writing Waiting for Ethan, I participated in several writing workshops in which the participants gave me their feedback on my draft and characters. Their reactions to Ethan were mixed, to say the least. Some saw him as a bad guy, a horrible boyfriend who mistreated Gina. Others thought he was a good guy going through a hard time doing the best he could. That’s certainly how Gina views him.
What was fascinating to me was how people could read the same scene and have such different reactions to it, either sympathizing with Ethan or not being able to stand him. Now that the book is available, I’m curious to see what readers think of him. If you read Waiting for Ethan, send me an email at Diane@dianembarnes.com and let me know if you sympathize with him or want to throttle him.