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This One Is Mine: A Novel

This One Is Mine: A Novel

3.5 26
by Maria Semple

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Violet Parry is living the quintessential life of luxury in the Hollywood Hills with David, her rock-and-roll manager husband, and her darling toddler, Dot. She has the perfect life—except that she's deeply unhappy. David expects the world of Violet but gives little of himself in return. When she meets Teddy, a roguish small-time bass player, Violet comes

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This One Is Mine 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
OurBookAddiction More than 1 year ago
It’s a little hard for me to give an objective review on this probably. I read this because I loved the author’s “Where’d You Go Bernadette” and wanted to check out her earlier writing. This one wasn’t near the caliber of Bernadette but was interesting in its own way. At least in Bernadette, even though the characters were a mess, there were redeeming qualities in them. These main characters? They are messed up...like totally detached from reality. Violet – Out of all the characters I had the least amount of respect for her. It’s hard to feel sorry for her in any capacity and her choice in Teddy made my stomach ache. The way they author described Teddy...let’s just say “ewwww!” He’s physically dirty and smells for crying out loud! Where is the attraction in that? How am I supposed to believe that a woman like her (actually any woman) would be attracted to him? How? Unless I partition off part of my brain? David – He’s pretty much what I’d consider the normal for a guy who has power. Oblivious to his family life and everything revolves around him. No surprise there. But he gives his wife anything she wants and she has unlimited spending ability. Since she quit her job he’s ok with her staying home and being a mom but she has a full time nanny and doesn’t even really seem to want to be a mom. Sally – David’s sister whose only goal in life is to land a rich husband and she will stoop to despicable lows to do so. At times I found myself feeling sorry for her at least. She had some redeeming qualities in her even though you had to dig a little to find them. Teddy – Ugh...gross! Look I get that we all come from different places. My revulsion for him has nothing to do with him being a drug addict, alcoholic, or having little income. No one is perfect and we all have baggage. The physical description of his constant uncleanliness was revolting to me. Dude lives in an apartment, he can keep himself clean. I don’t get the attraction Violet feels for him. Every time he speaks it’s an embarrassment. He’s just freaking nasty to me. Toe picking is a cardinal no no! While the story line went in a direction I wish it hadn’t, I like the author’s writing style. I think Ms. Semple writes exactly whatever she wants without any concern or fear how her readers might take it and I respect that greatly. I’d likely read anything she writes because of that. She writes without fear. If you are offended by profanity and sex this probably isn’t the read for you. I only mention it because more and more lately I see people complaining about this in their reviews. I don’t want you coming back and commenting that it was vulgar and I didn’t warn you. This is definitely a book written for adults without delicate sensibilities...someone like...me! *giggles*
The_Book_Vixen More than 1 year ago
This One is Mine is about the never-ending journey to find complete happiness (even when it's staring you right in the bloody eye) and the disastrous choices made in the pursuit of that happiness. Violet is a 40-something bored housewife. (She gave up her career as a television writer to start a family.) She's got it all: a successful husband, David, who's a rock-n-roll manager, a beautiful daughter, financial security, a massive house with staff, and yet she's miserably unhappy. Then Violet meets Teddy Reyes, a bass player who's battling his own demons. She becomes immediately infatuated with him, even with all his faults. Teddy is epitome of the-one-to-stay-away-from. He screams DANGER in every possible way. Although Violet isn't oblivious to the warning signs, she just chooses to ignore them. I found myself screaming at Violet NO! Don't do that! What were you thinking?!! There were a lot of red flags that she just blatantly ignored. Teddy's past and vices don't deter Violet, instead it only makes her want to help him in every possible way. (And made me want to smack her.) But he sparks her sexuality in a new and different way and she doesn't want to lose that. She's looking to find herself and she tries doing so with Teddy as her vessel. Sally, Violet's sister-in-law and David's sister, has had a rough life. Having been a type-one diabetic since she was three, she's always had to look to David for financial support and she's determined to cut that string. Unfortunately for Sally, she has a massive debt thanks to a good-for-nothing ex-boyfriend. Now she's single, which to Sally is unacceptable and just won't do. She is on the prowl to find her future, successful husband and only the best will do. Enter Jeremy. He's basically what Sally is looking for, even with his weird quirks, and the two date and later get married. Sally makes a poor, selfish decision (for all the wrong reasons) and jeopardizes their marriage. Teddy's presence in Violet's life brings these characters all together. Everyone's paths seem to eventually cross and intertwine with Teddy's. Makes you wonder what if Violet and Teddy never met...? Reading This One is Mine wasn't at all what I had expected from reading the book blurb. This is not your typical novel about an extra marital affair. These are not your run of the mill characters. These characters are gritty, shallow and fun to read. Their lives are like a train wreck; you're afraid to look at the horrific mangled mess but your curiosity gets the best of you and you have to take a peek. I had to keep reading to see what was going to happen next, and to see where these character's lives were going to go. I may not have agreed with Violet's choices but I certainly wanted to know where her two feet were going to land. Violet is one character that I won't soon forget. Semple has a great ability to take a simple, streamline plot and turn it into an unforgettable story.
michaelsean More than 1 year ago
I must admit this a departure from my normal literary genre. This One is Mine by Maria Semple is not at all the chick lit book I thought it would be. Ms.Semple has previously written for such prestigious television shows such as Arrested Development, Mad About You, and Ellen. Now, if I am being honest, that probably worked against her for me as I did not have a positive view of any of those shows. Nor has that changed. However, the quality of her written word in this novel is impeccable. I can forgive her sitcom indiscretions. This One is Mine is written from the perspective of Violet Parry. She is an intelligent former career woman who has married well and slipped into a life of boredom sprinkled with new age cliche-sauce (yoga & RIE parenting to name a few). She is married to the famous David Parry who is a music manager extraordinaire who proudly earned, "8 million dollars last year." Somewhere along the line Violet loses her way and begins to spiral out of her perfect marriage with the relectunt help of one Teddy Reyes, a bass player with no future and a whole lot of luggage. Ultimately it all comes together nicely at the end of the book. I was expecting some vapid Hollywood BS when I opened this book and was pleased to read such a well written novel. This book has a lot working against it when I opened it. I am pleased to say I am a convert. Bravo to Ms. Semple and her debut novel. I am eagerly anticipating her next one.
LegalBeagle More than 1 year ago
Answering the question of what happens after "happily ever after" is This One is Mine by Maria Semple. The novel follows the lives of two women: Violet Parry, a "have" as in have a rich husband, beautiful toddler, elaborate mansion with a full household staff, and lots of free time; and Sally Parry, Violet's sister-in-law and a "have not" as in no money, husband, mansion/wait staff or copious leisure hours. Neither woman is happy with her lot in life. Violet is at loose ends, because although she loves her daughter, being a mom it isn't enough. Moreover, her husband David, the ultra powerful music industry executive, treats her like an incompetent servant. Meanwhile Sally will do anything to have Violet's life. She pines for a deep pocketed hubby who can pay off her crushing credit card debt and score invitations to Hollywood's A list parties. Both women resolve to change their lives in all the wrong ways. After a chance encounter, Violet embarks on an affair with a broke, hepatitis C infected, recovering addict, musician Teddy Reyes. Fate, on the other hand, has little to do with Sally's elaborate plans to snare in matrimony, Jeremy White, a man she barely knows and doesn't love, but who will soon be a rich and famous sportscaster. This One is Mine is a witty send up of LA life while simultaneously unfolding an intricate story of complex people making very poor choices. Neither woman is particularly likeable. Nor are the men any more appealing with the loser-jerk Teddy and the Scarface quoting type A David. Amazingly, however, by the story's conclusion I was rooting for the whole gang! In spite of or maybe because of the bad decisions, the characters gain a bit of insight by the end of the novel. Along the way Semple satirizes the lifestyles of Hollywood's rich and clueless. This One is Mine is a smartly written and hilarious debut novel! Publisher: Back Bay Books (March 24, 2010), 320 pages. Advance Review Copy Provided Courtesy of the Publisher.
CleverlyInked More than 1 year ago
Violet Parry an UNFORGETTABLE character. Violets life is perfect to the outsiders. Her husband who forgets what a relationship should entail seems insensitive. It almost seems like he forgets she is human and has feelings. I almost feel maybe Violet wasn't quite right either. I kept saying to myself "I would so not do that". Yet it was so realistic. Things that happen in this plot happens everyday. Sally was something in a class all her own. If you don't fall in love with this tiger on the prowl I don't know what would make you happy. I am still in shock as to the twist and turns of this one. I still don't know how I got there but I did. Like a whirl wind of twists which makes for a perfect plot! The witty, clever and LOL writing style was Powerful to make you stay attached. I really enjoyed this ride! I will continue to look for more of Maria Semple books in the future! I had a blast, Does my hair look OK after that ride??
Beginwritingyogamore More than 1 year ago
This One is Mine by Maria Semple is, simply put, the most perfect novel I have ever read. The prose sparkles; the plot surges forward from page one. With its compelling depiction of class intersections and the compromises people make to achieve their own comfort, This One is Mine is part romance, part cautionary tale, and part tribute to the sunny, unique world of Los Angeles and its supporting canyons. The characters are so fully drawn and compelling that I was halfway through the book before I realized that the main character's husband shares a name with an extremely unpleasant colleague of mine. The husband is so completely a person, so wholly "David" that I didn't even make any real-life connections. The world of the book IS real life while you're reading. Violet, the main character, struggles to find her new identity after leaving her TV writing job for the less-defined challenges of being an at-home mother and supportive wife. David, her husband, balances the increasing strain of his music executive career against the fraying of his marriage. His sister, Sally, deals with not one, but two, life-threatening illnesses while searching for her Mr. Right and the social status she presumes he'll bring with him. The other characters interact with them in fascinating trajectories along their own lives. In a book that is completely readable and a gripping page turner, Semple deals with some surprisingly grim subjects: diabetes, infidelity, poverty, drug addiction, social climbing, Asperger's syndrome and abortion. Yet, despite their many flaws, or perhaps because of them, the characters are likeable, believable, and, most of all, forgivable. This is a book that must be experienced. Believe me, purchasing This One is Mine and immersing yourself into Semple's amazing story will be the best thing you've done this year.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
I picked up "This One is Mine" by Maria Semple because I like the Hollywood background (wanting to move there when I was younger), but wasn't prepared to read about rich but bored housewife Violet and Sally, whose only goal in life is too marry rich. The story goes back and forth with what each is doing; Violet thinking about having an affair and Sally conniving to hook and catch a newspaper columnist, soon to be television star. This was certainly a quirky novel and more than just chick lit.
ReviewYourBook.com More than 1 year ago
This One Is Mine
Maria Semple
Little, Brown and Company, 2008
ISBN: 9780316031165
Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com
4 stars
Maria Semple writes in a delightful style. The words just seem to flow. The characters make this book. They are well-developed, and each has a distinct personality.
The setting is LA. The cast of characters are shallow and self-centered. Sally is on the prowl for a rich husband. Violet is dissatisfied, so she has a fling. This One Is Mine is a hilarious read. I quickly turned the pages to see what would happen next. Fans of chick lit will enjoy This One Is Mine.
Artichokes 4 months ago
A bit of a wild ride.. The characters are train wrecks and there is a looming sense of impending disaster but the writing is good. I like Maria Semple and I am a huge fan of Bernadette.. Entertaining
Anonymous 7 months ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved Where'd You Go, Bernadette and was really looking forward to this book. But I found Violet's relationship with Teddy so depressing that, about 1/3 of the way thru, I stopped reading and put this one in the Good Will bag.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh my gosh, I love Maria Semple's writing!!! I read this book in two evenings and was sorry when it ended. She has a way of drawing you along the story that is so engaging! I first read "Where'd You Go Bernadette" and love it. Then this one. I'm waiting for Ms. Semple's next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this because I loved the author's "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" and needed a light comedy; I would have been better off reading a dystopian novel where everyone died after suffering for 500 pages . The characters are the most loathsome I've ever encountered in a supposedly comedic novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is just not believable! I simply can not except that ANY person would take the risks that the main character did in this story! Maybe I am naive, but I just could not go along with this book and therefore do not recommend. However, this author's second novel "Where'd You Go Bernadette" is a HUGE improvement, and a book that I enjoyed a lot. Side note: I would like to comment on this author's obvious distaste for the stay at home mom.....Seriously, I think it is sad that you can not appreciate why a woman could make that choice and be fulfilled! I am a stay at home mom and feel very fulfilled, and it is not because I am some scary PTA mom either!!! Something to ponder for future novels!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a terrible book. Unlikable characters, slow story line. I am sorry I wasted my money.
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