Getting Rid of Matthew

Getting Rid of Matthew

3.9 10
by Jane Fallon

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A fabulous debut about a long-suffering nearly 40-something woman, Helen, and her affair with a family man named Matthew, who is not so surprisingly her boss. Just at the moment she decides it's time to dump him and get on with her life, she opens the front door to find Matthew on her doorstep. "I've done it!" he announces triumphantly. "I've left her. I'm yours!" he…  See more details below


A fabulous debut about a long-suffering nearly 40-something woman, Helen, and her affair with a family man named Matthew, who is not so surprisingly her boss. Just at the moment she decides it's time to dump him and get on with her life, she opens the front door to find Matthew on her doorstep. "I've done it!" he announces triumphantly. "I've left her. I'm yours!" he tells her, and proceeds to move in. She is not brave enough to throw him out. She then discovers how much she can't bear him, wherein ensues a zany plot that involves figuring out that the best way to get rid of Matthew is to befriend his wife and convince her to take him back. The only problem is that Helen discovers she really likes Sophie, Matthew's wife--a lot more than she likes Matthew. And on top of that, she has a rather dishy stepson. . . .

Light as a feather but about real issues, Getting Rid of Matthew is a deliciously funny novel that proves the peril of getting what you ask for.

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Editorial Reviews

Cleveland Plain Dealer
Fallon delivers the goods in a believable and scathingly funny voice. She gives Helen and Sophie the human bumps and curves that make them so alive, you'll find yourself wishing you could ring them for lunch.
San Francisco Chronicle
Fallon's conversational and deeply descriptive writing style -- and witty dialogue -- make the novel thoroughly readable. . . . For those longing for another lighthearted beach read as summer draws to a close, Getting Rid of Matthew is a solid option.
Publishers Weekly

Brit TV producer Fallon takes "careful what you wish for" to hilarious heights in her debut novel, a comedy of errors triggered by a mistress who discovers thrice-weekly hookups with her married lover are better than a 24/7 relationship with him. Helen, office staffer at a public relations firm catering to desperate D-list celebrities, is fast approaching her 40th birthday with little chance of swimming out of the secretary pool or snagging a full-time commitment from Matthew, her middle-aged lover and "relay relationshipper." When Matthew abruptly leaves wife Sophie and preteen daughters Suzanne and Claudia to move in with Helen, she's not sure it's the happy ending she prefers. Thus begins a head-spinning ruse to convince Matthew to go back home and to persuade Sophie and her scene-stealing pair of potty-mouthed children to take him back: Helen invents a new persona, hard-charging PR whiz "Eleanor," who befriends Sophie and gives her advice to repair her shattered marriage. The scheme gets more elaborate when Helen/Eleanor falls for Matthew's estranged eldest son. This delightfully fizzy chick lit caper goes disappointingly flat before the finish, but the surprising and rewarding treat is a bright, grown-up story of two women who discover friendship and trust in one another. (Aug.)

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Kirkus Reviews
The other woman attempts to make amends in this debut novel from Fallon, a U.K. television producer and partner of comedian Ricky Gervais. For four years, "nearly forty" Helen has been treading water watching those around her achieve, thrive and take risks. Helen prefers to be an observer and let things happen. Aimlessly she attaches herself to jobs and people that don't suit her in an effort to approximate a grown-up life. Helen's achievements are few: She holds a dead-end job as a personal assistant at a middling British PR firm, maintains one friendship, lives in a shabby apartment and has a very married boyfriend named Matthew. The novel centers around this illicit relationship. Matthew was Helen's boss when he seduced her. He correctly identified her vulnerability and quickly insinuated himself into the role of lover. Matthew is a cad who relishes his roles as PR chieftain, smug married father of two and seducer of younger women (it becomes clear that Helen is but one of Matthew's conquests). Nothing new up to this point, but thankfully the novel gets moving when Helen decides to dump Matthew. Here's the twist: Rather than gaining her freedom, Helen gets a hirsute roommate. When Helen gives Matthew the brush off, he falls apart and comes back groveling. It seems Matthew would rather heave over his family and start life anew with his young mistress than face life as a dumped lover stuck in suburban hell. To get rid of her new and unwelcome flatmate, Helen devises a plan to befriend his estranged wife, Sophie, and get the couple back together. While madly scheming to return Matthew to his family nest, Helen befriends Sophie and starts to take responsibility for her misdeeds.Refreshingly, this heroine doesn't waste time justifying her actions. Helen sees the error of her ways and sets about doing the right thing. Inevitably, she makes some comical missteps, but her heart remains in the right place. Fallon's debut has bright spots: The leading lady is memorable (one of the few singletons not obsessed with her baby-making status) and the dialogue pops. Pacing seems to be the main flaw, as the action sags in the middle and never regains momentum. Fallon's debut is sharp enough, but a languishing plot dulls the author's wit.

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Product Details

Hachette Books
Publication date:
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Sales rank:
File size:
608 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Adele Parks
"This is better than reading your best friend's diary, it's like reading your worst enemy's diary; which is of course impossible to resist."--(Adele Parks, author of The Other Woman's Shoes)
Elizabeth Buchan
"A hugely satisfying novel of tables being turned. Smart and funny, it has an underlying tinge of melancholy which adds depth and resonance plus an understanding of just how complicated human relationships are."--(Elizabeth Buchan, author of Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman)
Cathy Kelly
"Forget chick-lit and hen-lit-Jane Fallon's first novel is sharp, funny, tell-it-like-it-is lit. Getting Rid of Matthew is an incredibly accomplished debut, with not a single misplaced word in an honest, hilarious, and yet searingly real portrayal of love and friendship. Turn off the TV and pull up the duvet: you won't be able to put it down until you've finished it."--(Cathy Kelly, author of Best of Friends)
Jamie Lee Curtis
"Immensely relatable and gently moving, it will leave you full and smiling like the best of novels do. A dazzling debut."--(Jamie Lee Curtis)

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Meet the Author

Jane Fallon is multi-award winning TV producer in England with hit shows including This Life and Teachers which have also been shown on BBC America. The US version of Teachers is currently airing on NBC. She lives in Central London. It doesn't hurt that she is the longtime girlfriend of Ricky Gervais, creator of the hit series The Office (and now a Hyperion author).

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Getting Rid of Matthew 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
chante-marie More than 1 year ago
This book was as fantastic as it was hilarious! It'll keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering how Helen will find a way to make things work. You'll dislike Helen almost as much as you wish there was a way that you could stop yourself from routing for her, and hoping that everything works out for the best. Clear your day before you open Getting Rid Of Matthew, because it's a book you absolutely won't be able to put down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fallon's heroine -- Helen -- doesn't always do the logical thing. But more often than not, she does what is right. This book has a lot of humor and more than its share of on-the-edge-of -your-seat reading. In the end, it is a beautiful story of the power of friendship between women -- even those who most people think should be enemies.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I generally read at the end of the night right before bed. After a day filled with the stress of two teenager I am so looking to escape. This book is hysterical. All the characters are great. This is an good example of 'be careful what you wish for.'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good fun. Enjoyable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first time I have ever written a review but felt compelled to do so. Although the story is interesting, I am going to throw out my book after I write this review -- having read only 90 pages. I don't understand how an author can make 2 derogatory comments within a span of 5 pages about autism. Being a mother of a child with an austistic spectrum disorder, I don't appreciate the label being applied either to [1] a person in finance or [2] the giving of a generic gift. Flowers are not an 'autistic men's gift. She woman, must give flowers.' The author and her publisher should be ashamed of themselves and apologize to the hundreds of families dealing with this epidemic. It is no laughing matter and the jokes made by this author reflect her utter lack of understanding and compassion with the illness. Again, shame on her.