Backward in High Heels

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Overview

It's Judith Kelman, but not as you know her! If you want to get to know someone, divorce him - The day Maggie heard her husband's office had burned down, she was heartbroken. But actually, the disaster was worse than she thought. Harold wasn't in the building: he was in bed with a beautiful twenty-three-year-old graduate student. Now he's leaving her, and Maggie has to pull herself together. But who should she listen to? Her lawyer? Her overbearing mother? In the end the best ...

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Overview

It's Judith Kelman, but not as you know her! If you want to get to know someone, divorce him - The day Maggie heard her husband's office had burned down, she was heartbroken. But actually, the disaster was worse than she thought. Harold wasn't in the building: he was in bed with a beautiful twenty-three-year-old graduate student. Now he's leaving her, and Maggie has to pull herself together. But who should she listen to? Her lawyer? Her overbearing mother? In the end the best advice comes from a most surprising source?.?.?.

Its Judith Kelman, but not as you know her!If you want to get to know someone, divorce him - The day Maggie heard her husbands office had burned down, she was heartbroken. But actually, the disaster was worse than she thought. Harold wasn't in the building: he was in bed with a beautiful twenty-three-year-old graduate student. Now hes leaving her, and Maggie has to pull herself together. But who should she listen to? Her lawyer? Her overbearing mother? In the end the best advice comes from a most surprising source...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The middle-aged woman's postdivorce rebirth plot is given a rejuvenating jolt by Kelman (Every Step You Take) in this uplifting bathtub read. Maggie Strickland's emotions shift from shock to grief to rage when she discovers her husband, Harold, an ethics professor, survived an office fire because he was not at work but instead was canoodling with a graduate student. Divorce proceedings soon follow, and though Maggie's children are sympathetic to her plight, they are too busy with their own lives to offer much support. But a chance encounter with Anthony "Wop" Sinclair, a grade-school classmate with an unfortunate nickname who has transformed into a megasuccessful entrepreneur, provides Maggie with welcome distraction. Anthony's marriage, too, is in trouble, and his interest and attraction flatter Maggie as Harold mounts an aggressive campaign to settle the divorce quickly. Just before the divorce becomes final, Maggie learns the reason behind Harold's urgency. The brisk pace, witty narrative and likable if exaggerated characters keep the reader turning pages until the expected happy ending. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Kelman (Summer of Storms) departs from her customary suspense novels with this sassy comedic tale about a 40-plus mother of two grown children who has her own coming-of-age experience. Speech therapist and voice dialect coach Maggie Strickland is stunned when she discovers that her professorial husband, Harold, is leaving her for a 23-year-old graduate assistant. Maggie attempts to adjust to life on her own with the help of her friend Janine, a fashion designer and expert matchmaker. Maggie's self-deprecating humor is witty and entertaining as she trades barbs with her cranky mother and engages in counseling sessions with a kindly young female rabbi. Though laugh-out-loud humor is never in short supply, the novel's winning appeal derives from Kelman's ability to combine humor with Maggie's burgeoning sense of self. As Maggie discovers that she is a grandmother and begins dating her junior high crush, she comes to the conclusion that her sense of worth is not dependant on the adoration of a man. Recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/06.] Sheri Melnick, Harrisburg, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Can a New York wife of 28 years enjoy a new life after her insufferable husband leaves her for a younger woman?Manhattan speech therapist Maggie Strickland is shattered when Harold, a philosophy professor, abandons her for one of his comely graduate students and sues for divorce, employing a prominent law firm cozily known as "Slam Dunk." Friends like former Mouseketeer Janine Bookman try to boost Maggie's deflated ego-that is, the ones who haven't taken Harold's side or informed her that she's too needy to be their friend any longer. Depressed and overindulging in ice cream, Maggie gets no help from her family. Daughter Allison is an intimidating yuppie control freak with little time for her bruised mother. Fickle son Brian announces out of the blue that he has married a woman with a small child and aims to help run her cookie business. Mom, who meets Maggie once a week for a tuna-fish-sandwich lunch, is a punishing kvetch and sadist who delights in reminding her daughter what's wrong with her. Visits to a sympathetic therapist, Rabbi Jennifer, help Maggie sort out her tangled feelings. She valiantly tries dating a man she knew in high school, but Tony Carlucci, refashioned into the very flashy, wealthy Anthony Sinclair, turns out to be uxoriously attached to his estranged wife. Loathsome Harold finally proves too exacting even for his young squeeze, but by this point, Maggie recognizes that she's far better off without him. In this uncharacteristically lightweight trifle from accomplished suspense novelist Kelman (The Session, 2006, etc.), the one-liners come fast, especially the Yiddish put-downs from Maggie's over-the-top mother. Predictable, but Kelman's work is as tight and smart asever.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780727891853
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Pages: 249
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

With more than three million copies of her books in print, Judith Kelman is a master of psychological suspense. She lives in New York City.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2008

    Wonderful blend of hilarity and poignancy.

    This novel is a change of pace for Judith Kelman, who is renowned for her novels of suspense. But readers who have had the privilege of reading Kelman's other fiction will recognize her penchant for combining humor and pathos. There are many laugh-out-loud funny one-liners and scenes throughout. (The chapter titles alone are worth the price of the book!) In between chuckles, readers will root for Maggie as she gradually rediscovers and reinvents herself, despite the many obstacles she must overcome.

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