But I Love You Anyway

Overview

Two sisters confront love, marriage, and a failing business in this “charming and deceptively breezy second novel” (Publishers Weekly) that “deftly explores big issues like loyalty, trust, sorrow, and disappointment in sure, bright, effervescent prose” (New York Times Book Review).

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1996 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. Signed by author. 272 p. Signed by author on bookplate.

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Overview

Two sisters confront love, marriage, and a failing business in this “charming and deceptively breezy second novel” (Publishers Weekly) that “deftly explores big issues like loyalty, trust, sorrow, and disappointment in sure, bright, effervescent prose” (New York Times Book Review).

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two novels of manners by the popular New Yorker writer, which PW described as "charming and deceptively breezy" and "graceful, deft and at times wryly comic," respectively. (July)
Michele Leber
At 40, Mimi is once divorced and once widowed, raising two kids with support from friendly ex-husband Richard and running a mail-and-parcel business with her sister, Eve. But Mimi's life is complicated when she takes an instant dislike to Eve's new husband, John he reminds her of her charming father, who deserted his family and stole from his clients, and a chain moves in to compete with her store. Then Mimi meets Henry, who's 12 years younger and five inches shorter than she is and persists in pursuing her. Ahead lies business success, theft, legal trouble, betrayal, depression, and reawakened love, with a twist or turn whenever the plot appears predictable. And in the words of Mimi's late husband, Bill, who occasionally appears in her dreams, "Things work out." Lewis creates wonderful characters, full-bodied and slightly flawed, and presents them with a full range of life's problems, in a story that leaves the reader wanting more. Understated and insightful, this is popular fiction at its best.
Kirkus Reviews
A deft, engaging novel in the form of a series of vignettes, depicting the trials and joys of extended family life, from the author of Heart Conditions (1994), etc.

The narrator, 40-year-old Mimi, a once-divorced, once-widowed mother of two lively, quirky kids—Melanie, 12, and Daniel, 10—lives on a shoestring in suburban San Diego and is beset by troubles. First, her dippy sister, Eve, marries a suspiciously carefree guy named John, whom she met in a smarmy self-help workshop—an unemployed but oddly cash-rich ex-restaurant manager believed by Mimi to be a thief and a con-man, just as Mimi's and Eve's charming, long-vanished father was. Mimi hates him on sight. Also, the photocopy-and-parcel store that she and Eve run together is being seriously threatened by the opening of a fancy new chain store in a mall just down the freeway. And, finally, Mimi finds herself struggling not to fall in love with Henry, a too-young, too-short, "nice" but unemployed guy she meets on a blind date; Mimi's decided never to replace Bill, her second husband who died of cancer. At first, Henry's allure is that his marketing background and ideas promise to help save the store; but Mimi falls for his persistent devotion, even as her own unconventional ideas—building a drive-through window for the convenience of harried customers with kids; installing a cafe serving Eve's husband's fabulous coffee and cookies—begin to turn a profit. Meantime, money starts disappearing from the till. Who's the thief—John, a part-time employee, or Henry?

Though the vignettes are at first somewhat slow-moving and awkward, the story soon enough gains direction and suspense—and ends with convincing lessons satisfyingly learned by all major players.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780151001606
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/26/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 1.11 (d)

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