Tag Archives: Marriage

Review: Other People’s Houses

Other People's Houses

Other People’s Houses
By Abbi Waxman
Berkley Books, 9780399587924, April 3, 2018, 352pp.

The Short of It:

Grab a cold drink and clear your afternoon for this one.

The Rest of It:

I’ve been reading some pretty good books lately.

Frances Bloom is THAT mom. She’s the carpool mom and people in the neighborhood look up to her. She’s a friendly approachable type, reliable, and thoughtful but as she shuttles the neighborhood kids to and from school each day, she can’t help but see the imperfections of her own little neighborhood,

Her close, married friend is having an affair with a much younger man, affecting the neighborhood in many ways. One of the moms on the street is MIA (what’s that about?). Her cousin who happens to live just down the street from her is wanting another baby even though her partner may not want one. With all this going on around her, Frances begins to doubt her own happiness. Does she have a happy marriage? Has the thirty pounds she’s gained over the years driven a wedge between her and her husband?

This all sounds rather domestic and fluffy but I have to say that it’s pretty realistic as far as neighborhoods go. If you really pay attention while walking the dog, you see things. Reading this book is like flinging a window open and sticking your face right into your neighbor’s house.

The story is a bit scandalous and there’s some language. It feels kind of naughty and wrong. I can’t lie, I ate it up. Because along with wrong, there’s a lot that’s right. There’s a lot of honesty within these characters and truthfully, I could relate to several of these families in some way.

There are mixed reviews of this book. I’d hazard to guess that those who had trouble with it, probably couldn’t relate to any of the families in the story. But if you’ve ever done a carpool, been on the PTA with a bunch of catty wenches, lived in a tight-knit community, and had your best friend’s marriage fall apart, you’ll find plenty to relate to because there’s a little bit of everything in here and I found it to be pretty authentic in the telling.

Plus, it has  some juicy bits and at one point I was laughing out loud.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: Go Ask Fannie

Go Ask Fannie

Go Ask Fannie
By Elisabeth Hyde
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780735218567, April 10, 2018, 304pp.

The Short of It:

This family’s story tugged at my heart.

The Rest of It:

Murray Blaire is getting on in years. At 81, he’s set in his ways but still present enough to know the importance of family. In an attempt to convince his youngest adult daughter that the man she is seeing is far too old for her and a real jerk, he invites his three children up for a long weekend.

Ruth as the eldest, figures it’s a good time to discuss the possibility of long-term care before her father actually needs it but Lizzie and George and most of all, Murray, just aren’t ready to talk about it. Plus, Lizzie quickly figures out the real reason for the visit and although she realizes she made many mistakes in her life, she’s not quite ready to address them. Certainly not in front of her judgmental older sister.

This is family drama at its best. Go Ask Fannie is a touching story about what it takes to have a successful marriage and raise a family while still maintaining a sense of self. Lillian and Murray lived a wonderful life but her death and the death of their son Daniel place a cloud over this family that cannot be ignored. Murray’s grief and the weight of loss his kids carry is palpable. It’s a story about missed opportunities and second chances. It’s sweet and well-told and comes together beautifully at the end.

Elisabeth Hyde is a new-to-me author but I really enjoyed her writing. Go Ask Fannie is a book many will enjoy this summer.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.