I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You

4.4 51
by Courtney Maum

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In this reverse love story set in Paris and London, which The Wall Street Journal hailed as “funny and soulful…immediately appealing,” a failed monogamist attempts to woo his wife back and to answer the question: Is it really possible to fall back in love with your spouse?

Despite the success of his first solo show in Paris and the


In this reverse love story set in Paris and London, which The Wall Street Journal hailed as “funny and soulful…immediately appealing,” a failed monogamist attempts to woo his wife back and to answer the question: Is it really possible to fall back in love with your spouse?

Despite the success of his first solo show in Paris and the support of his brilliant French wife and young daughter, thirty-four-year-old British artist Richard Haddon is too busy mourning the loss of his American mistress to a famous cutlery designer to appreciate his fortune.

But after Richard discovers that a painting he originally made for his wife, Anne—when they were first married and deeply in love—has sold, it shocks him back to reality and he resolves to reinvest wholeheartedly in his family life…just in time for his wife to learn the extent of his affair. Rudderless and remorseful, Richard embarks on a series of misguided attempts to win Anne back while focusing his creative energy on a provocative art piece to prove that he’s still the man she once loved.

Skillfully balancing biting wit with a deep emotional undercurrent, this “charming and engrossing portrait of one man’s midlife crisis” (Elle) creates the perfect picture of an imperfect family—and a heartfelt exploration of marriage, love, and fidelity.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
After landing his first Parisian show, British artist Richard Haddon should be celebrating with his beautiful wife, Anne, and their seven-year-old daughter, Camille. Instead, he's feeling like a sellout. Anne has just discovered that Richard had been having an affair and is insisting he end it. Worse—the seven-month fling is already over, because Richard's lover dumped him. Then Richard agrees to sell The Blue Bear, a painting he created for Anne at the beginning of their marriage. Belatedly, he realizes how much the art, and the woman he created it for, mean to him. Richard sets plans in motion to get the painting back and regain the respect of his wife. There are a few comic scenes (the gay couple who purchase The Blue Bear are vegan, kombucha-swilling "pagan continuists"), but overall the novel comes across as a fairly realistic portrayal of a modern marriage that has lost its way. VERDICT Debut author Maum carefully paints Richard and Anne's relationship, from its heady start, to Richard's infidelity, to his shaky attempts to repair the damage he has done. A solid, well-written character-driven contemporary novel.—Christine Perkins, Whatcom County Lib. Syst., Bellingham, WA
The New York Times Book Review - Haley Tanner
Maum is at her best when exploring the hard place Richard's affair has brought them to, how necessary and impossible it is to forgive and forget. Here is the paradox of the accumulation of years in a marriage, how hard it is to keep holding on to what is good while letting go of what is bad…This novel is not all work and no play. Maum's descriptions of the Paris art world are entertaining, and there is sex—real, full-on, who-put-what-where sex. Maum is funny: the kind of funny that is mean and dirty, with some good bad words thrown in. And she has a satiric eye for artsy pretension…
New York Times Book Review
“Maum is funny: the kind of funny that is mean and dirty, with some good bad words thrown in. And she has a satiric eye for artsy pretension. . . . Enticing.”
Washington Post
“Here we have the literary beach read — a book that pleases people who read two books a month and people who read two books a year. . . . The situation is timeworn and irresistible. The settings . . . are idyllic escapes, lushly drawn. . . . [Maum] is abundantly gifted — funny, open-hearted, adept at bringing global issues into the personal sphere . . . eventually creating that rare thing: a book for everyone.”
Summer's Top Reads Today Show
“A great story about love and marriage . . . Very enchanting, a good beach read.”
Miami Herald
“Comic and yet still heartfelt. . . [A] warm, reflective novel.”
Arizona Republic
“Her portrait of marriage — much like her view of Paris — is clear-eyed and unsentimental. . . . Maum is hilarious, and the book manages to be cynical and heartfelt at the same time.”
From the Publisher
“Dry-as-a-bone humor, a realistic marriage with all its pitfalls and joys, artists portrayed as real people instead of caricatures, and France! You don’t need another perfect novel for summer–this is it.” —BookRiot
“[An] affably comic take on husbandly comeuppance, Courtney Maum’s I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You follows a once-sizzling British artist’s hilariously misguided efforts to win back the love of his wife.”
“Courtney Maum bursts onto the scene with a hilarious and wise novel. . . . Richard Haddon is one of the more lovable male characters we've encountered this season. . . . You'll find yourself agog at Maum's masterful storytelling and dead-on descriptions.”
"A charming and engrossing portrait of one man's midlife mess . . . Smart, fast-paced . . . You come for the plot, but you stay for the characters—especially Maum's flawed but likable and basically well-intentioned hero. Ultimately, this is the story of a man who would do anything to be a better person, and you will avidly wish for him to succeed."
Marie Claire
"Need[s] to be in your beach bag."
Vanity Fair
“Courtney Maum kills it.”
New York Daily News
“Hit the beach (or the backyard) with [this] can't-put-down novel.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"A very funny comedy of modern manners."
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Maum’s raw honesty about the hard work of long-term relationships, what is said and left unsaid, and her intimate knowledge of Paris make this a bittersweet yet comical read.”
Brooklyn Rail
“Maum is beautifully clear-eyed about the ways we fail each other and ourselves. . . . Zinging like Lorrie Moore . . . the narrative takes satisfyingly unexpected turns. . . . Rarely is a novel this funny quite so dark, but Maum takes that risk with substantial payoff. . . . This is a novel that remains stubbornly honest and optimistic about love.”
"Maum is awesome enough to cop to working as a Corona Extra party promoter in her official author bio, and funny enough to be the humor columnist for Electric Literature. Read this if your vacation plans sadly do not include hanging out with eccentric, upwardly mobile Euros."
“The giant, thumping heart of Courtney Maum’s debut novel beats loud and fast from its very first pages. . . . With wit and humor, Maum brings Richard’s lopsided love story to life.”
“Set in Paris and London, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You is precisely the type of book you should be reading this summer.”
“10 Books to Read on Your Summer Vacation Fodors.com
“Told with cutting wit and deep emotion, this is a heartfelt look at love and fidelity in the contemporary era.”
"Maum’s tale deftly captures a thirtysomething’s sense of grief for the lost passion of youth and the search for something of depth to take its place. Writing with an authentic and affecting vulnerability, Maum considers sentimentality from every possible angle—interpersonal relationships, lofty idealism, and art—and each receives an equally unflinching examination. An unapologetically thoughtful novel told without melodrama and with a lot of heart."
“Courtney Maum has crafted the story of a relationship so believable, so realistic that readers will be left wondering until the last minute whether the couple will reunite. . . . . The razor-sharp writing and character insights of I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You suggest that readers have much to look forward to from this talented storyteller.”
LibraryReads (June 2014 Pick)
"Set mainly in Paris, this love story for grown-ups tells the story of a decent man who almost ruins his life and then goes to great lengths to restore his marriage. If your path to a happy marriage has been straight-forward, you may not appreciate this book – but it’s perfect for the rest of us!"
IndieNext (June 2014 Pick)
“Sometimes a book's characters grab you by the heart and make you ache with understanding and anticipation. You will laugh, wince, and relate as Maum's debut plunges you into a visceral experience with her characters that is both familiar and agonizing. Love, trust, and creative expression are explored as a French lawyer and a British artist grapple with whether love can be rebuilt after betrayal. Gripping!”
Leigh Haber
“This book is such a discovery. . . . It’s kind of a love story in reverse. . . . Really gorgeously written.”
Maggie Shipstead
"A gem of a novel about the tangles of love, regret, and hope that might or might not hold a marriage together. Courtney Maum's deft, beguiling debut charms with its wit and glows with compassion."
Kevin Wilson
"Courtney Maum writes with such honesty and verve about how we struggle to deserve the people we love. Intensely personal and engagingly complex, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You is a moving, complicated, big-hearted novel."
Jim Shepard
"Antic, sexy, satirically deft, and of course funny, this novel is also, on both the personal and political levels, smart about the bottomlessness of our capacities for self-sabotage, and moving about the fierceness of our yearning to make good."
Ned Beauman
"Maum's witty and insightful novel captures a lifetime of falling in and out of love. It's an investigation of marriage which often combines its utter clear-sightedness and its tremendous warmth in the very same sentence. So agile and fully realized."
People Picks Book of the Week People Magazine
"Funny, touching and wise about love and vanity, this seductive debut might leave you rethinking some decisions of your own."
15 Titles to Pick Up Now O Magazine
"A winning first novel of infidelity, forgiveness, and (maybe, just maybe) falling back in love.”
"The characters and setting provide delightful fodder. . . . A brutally honest reckoning of the challenges of fidelity and family."
The Ultimate Summer Reading List Buzzfeed
“A very charming and romantic book.”
The Wall Street Journal
“Funny and soulful . . . Filled with wise and revealing insights about the mature rewards embattled marriages provide. . . . [An] immensely appealing novel.”
The Miami Herald
“[A] witty novel about an artist galvanized by the sale of a painting to confront some tough questions about fidelity and marriage. It’s got emotions, humor — and a really great title.”
“10 Books to Read on Your Summer Vacation&rd Fodors.com
“Told with cutting wit and deep emotion, this is a heartfelt look at love and fidelity in the contemporary era.”
Real Simple
Best Book of 2014

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I Am Having So Much Fun Without You

  • 1

    MOMENTS OF great import are often tinged with darkness because perversely we yearn to be let down. And so it was that I found myself in late September 2002 at my first solo show in Paris feeling neither proud nor encouraged by the crowds of people who had come out to support my paintings, but saddened. Disappointed. If you had told me ten years ago that I’d be building my artistic reputation on a series of realistic oil paintings of rooms viewed through a keyhole, I would have pointed to my mixed-media collages of driftwood and saw blades and melted plastic ramen packets, the miniature green plastic soldiers I had implanted inside of Bubble Wrap, I would have jacked up the bass on the electronic musician Peaches’ Fancypants Hoodlum album and told you I would never sell out.

    And yet here I was, surrounded by thirteen narrative paintings that depicted rooms I had lived in, or in some way experienced with various women over the course of my life, all of these executed with barely visible brushstrokes in a palette of oil colors that would look good on any wall, in any context, in any country. They weren’t contentious, they certainly weren’t political, and they were selling like mad.

    Now, my impression that I’d sold out was a private one, shared neither by my gallerist, Julien, happily traipsing about the room affixing red dots to the drywall, nor by the swell of brightly dressed expatriates pushing their way through conversations to knock their plastic glasses of Chablis against mine. There was nothing to be grim about; I was relatively young and this was Paris, and this night was a night that I’d been working toward for some time. But from the minute I’d seen Julien place a red sticker underneath the first painting I’d done in the series, The Blue Bear, I’d been plagued by the feeling that I’d done something irreversible, that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be, that I hadn’t been for months. Worse yet, I had no anchor, no one to set me back on course. My wife of seven years, a no-­nonsense French lawyer who had stuck by my side in grad school as I showcased found sculptures constructed from other people’s rubbish and dollhouses made out of Barbie Doll packaging, was a meter of my creative decline. Anne-Laure de Bourigeaud was not going to lie and tell me that I’d made it. The person who would have, the one person who I wanted to comfort and reboost me, was across the Channel with a man who was more reliable, easygoing, more available than me. And so it fell to the red stickers and the handshakes of would-be patrons to fuel me with self-worth. But halfway through the evening, with my own wife brightly sparkling in front of everyone but me, I was unmoored and drifting, tempted to sink.

     • • •

    In the car after the opening, Anne thrust the Peugeot into first gear. Driving stick in Paris is cathartic when she’s anxious. I often let her drive.

    Anne strained against her seat belt, reaching out to verify that our daughter was wearing hers.

    “You all right, princess?” I asked, turning around also.

    Camille smoothed out the billowing layers of the ruffled pink tube skirt she’d picked out for Dad’s big night.

    “Non . . .” she said, yawning.

    “You didn’t take the last Yop, right?” This was asked of me, by my wife.

    The streetlight cut into the car, illuminating the steering wheel, the dusty dashboard, the humming, buzzing electroland of our interior mobile world. Anne had had her hair done. I knew better than to ask, but I recognized the scent of the hairspray that made its metallic strawberry way, twice a month, into our lives.

    I looked into her eyes that she had lined beautifully in the nonchalant and yet studied manner of the French. I forced a smile.

    “No, I didn’t.”

    “Good,” she said, edging the car out of the parking spot. “Cam-Cam, we’ll have a little snack when we get home.”

    Paris. Paris at night. Paris at night is a street show of a hundred moments you might have lived. You might have been the couple beneath the streetlamp by the Place de la Concorde, holding out a camera directed at themselves. You might have been the old man on the bridge, staring at the houseboats. You might have been the person that girl was smiling in response to as she crossed that same bridge on her cell phone. Or you might be a man in a shitty French export engaged in a discussion about liquid yogurt with his wife. Paris is a city of a hundred million lights, and sometimes they flicker. Sometimes they go out.

    Anne pushed on the radio, set it to the news. The molten contralto of the female announcer filled the silence of our car. “At an opening of a meeting at Camp David, British Prime Minister Tony Blair fully endorsed President Bush’s intention to find and destroy the weapons of mass destruction purportedly hidden in Iraq.” And then the reedy liltings of my once-proud prime minister: “The policy of inaction is not a policy we can responsibly subscribe to.”

    “Right,” said Anne. “Inaction.”

    “It’s madness,” I said, ignoring her pointed phrasing. “People getting scared because they’re told to be. Without asking why.”

    Anne flicked on the blinker.

    “It’s mostly displacement, I think. Verschiebung.” She tilted her chin up, proud of her arsenal of comp lit terms stored from undergrad. “The big questions are too frightening. You know, where to actually place blame. So they’ve picked an easy target.”

    “You think France will go along with it?”

    Her eyes darkened. “Never.”

    I looked out the window at the endless river below us, dividing the right bank from the left bank, the rich from the richer. “It’s a bad sign, though, Blair joining up,” I added. “I mean, the British? We used to question things to death.”

    Anne nodded and fell silent. The announcer went on to summarize the fiscal situation across the Eurozone since the introduction of the euro in January of 2002.

    Anne turned down the volume and looked in the rearview mirror. “Cam, honey. Did you have a good time?”

    “Um, it was okay,” our daughter, Camille, said, fiddling with her dress. “My favorite is the one with all the bicycles and then the, um, the one in the kitchen, and then the one with the blue bear that used to be in my room.”

    I closed my eyes at all the women, even the small ones, who wield words like wands; their phrases sugary and innocuous one minute, corrosive the next.

    Aesthetically, The Blue Bear was one of the largest and thus most expensive paintings in the show, but because I had originally painted it as a gift for Anne, it was also the most barbed.

    At 117 x 140 cm, The Blue Bear is an oil painting of the guest room in a friend’s rickety, draft-ridden house in Centerville, Cape Cod, where we’d planned to spend the summer after grad school riding out the what-now crests of our midtwenties and to consider baby-making, which—if it wouldn’t answer the “what now?” question—would certainly answer “what next?”

    The first among our group of friends to get married, it felt rebellious and artistic to consider having a child while we were still young and thin of limb and riotously in love. We also thought, however, that we were scheming in dreamland, safe beneath the mantra that has been the downfall of so many privileged white people: an unplanned pregnancy can’t happen to us.

    Color us surprised, then, when a mere five weeks after having her IUD removed, Anne missed her period and started to notice a distinct throbbing in her breasts. We thought it was funny—so symbiotic were we in our tastes and desires that a mere discussion could push a possibility into being. We were delighted—amused, even. We felt blessed.

    During those first few weeks on the Cape, I was still making sculptures out of found objects, and Anne, a gifted illustrator, was interspersing her studies for the European bar with new installments of a zine she’d started while studying abroad in Boston. A play on words with “Anne” (her name) and âne (the French word for “donkey”), Âne in America depicted the missteps of a shy, pessimistic Parisian indoctrinated into the boisterous world of cotton-candy-hearted, light-beer-guzzling Americans who relied on their inexhaustible optimism to see them through all things.

    But as the summer inched on and I watched her caress her growing belly as she read laminated hardcovers from the town library, a curious change came over this Englishman who up until that point had been the enemy of sap. I became a sentimentalist, a tenderheart, an easy-listening sop. Much like how the lack of oxygen in planes makes us tear up at the most improbable of romantic comedies, as that child grew within Anne into a living, true-blue thing instead of a discussed possibility, I lost interest in the sea glass and the battered plastic cans and the porous wood I’d been using all summer and was filled with the urge to paint something lovely for her. For them both.

    The idea of painting a scene viewed through a keyhole came to me when I happened upon Anne in the bedroom one morning pondering a stuffed teddy bear that our friends, the house’s owners, had left for us on a chair as an early baby gift. They were, at that point, our closest friends and the first people we had told about the pregnancy, but there was something about that stuffed animal that was both touching and foreboding. Would the baby play with it? Would the baby live? I could see the mix of trepidation and excitement playing over Anne’s face as she turned the stuffed brown thing over in her hands, and it comforted me to know that I wasn’t alone with my roller-coaster rides between pridefulness and fear.

    And still—Anne is a woman, and I, rather evidently, am not. There was a great difference between what was happening to her and what was potentially happening—going to happen—to us. Which is how I got the idea to approach the scene from a distance, as an outsider, a voyeur.

    Except for the tattered rug and the rocking chair beside a window with a view of the gray sea, I left the room uninhabited save for the stuffed bear that I painted seated on the rocking chair, a bit larger than it was in real life, and not at all brown. I painted the bear blue, and not a dim pastel color that might have been a trick of the light and sea, but a vibrating cerulean that lent to the otherwise staid atmosphere a pulsating point of interest. Unsettling in some lights, calming in others—the blue stood for the thrill of the unknown.

    When I gave the painting to Anne, she never asked why the bear was blue. She knew why, inherently, and in the giving of the painting, I felt doubly convinced that I loved her, that I truly loved her, that I would love her for all time. What other woman could wordlessly accept such a confession? A tangible depiction of both happiness and fear?

    In the fall, that painting traveled with our belongings in a ship across the Atlantic, and it waited in a Parisian storage center until the birth of our daughter, when we finally had a home. We hung it in the nursery, ignoring the comments from certain friends and in-laws that the bear would have been a lot less off-putting and child appropriate if it hadn’t been blue. The very fact that other people didn’t seem to “get it” convinced us that we had a shared sensibility, something truly special, making the painting more important than a private joke.

    We continued feeling that way until Camille turned three and started plastering her walls with her own drawings and paper cutouts and origami birds, and we began to feel like we’d enforced something upon her that only meant something to us. So we put it in the basement, intending to scout for a new bookshelf system so that we would have enough wall space to hang the painting in our bedroom. But then I met Lisa, and too much time had passed, and when The Blue Bear was brought up, the discussions were accusatory, spiteful. And so it stayed in the basement, hidden out of sight, not so much forgotten as disdained.

    Months later, when I started gathering the paintings for the exhibition, my gallerist said he still remembered the first key painting I’d ever shown him, and that he’d been impressed by it. Might I consider including it in the show? The suspicion that The Blue Bear didn’t mean what it used to mean was confirmed when I told Anne about Julien’s proposition and she said if he thought it made the show more complete somehow, what did she care. Go ahead and listen to him. Sell.

     • • •

    After finding a parking spot outside of our house in the fourteenth, we moved automatically into our pit-crew positions to execute the life-sustaining gestures of our domestic life. While Anne gave Camille the aforementioned liquid yogurt, I went upstairs to draw her a bath, adding a peach bath ball that she liked. Anne came in to supervise her splashing while I tidied up the kitchen. Then I tucked her in bed and kissed her, and her mother read her a story before lights-out.

    In our bathroom, I brushed my teeth quickly and splashed water on my face. Without it ever being stated, I knew well enough to be out before Anne came in so that she could take care of her own needs without having to look up and see the reflection of my face next to hers.

    I slipped into bed and waited for the distant sound of singsong reading to fade. When I heard my wife’s footsteps in the hallway, I picked up the book on my nightstand and started to read Poor Fellow My Country, the longest Australian novel of all time.

    Anne went into the bathroom, shut me out with a closed door. When she came to bed, she did so smelling of rosemary with her dark hair in a high bun, hair I had been besotted with back in grad school, but now no longer touched. She said good night without looking at me, and I said good night back.

    It has been seven months and sixteen days since I last had sex with my wife. I loved her, and I lost sight of her, and I took up with someone else. And although she never asked who it was or when it started or exactly what it was—sex, flirtation, lust—she said didn’t want to know, she wanted it to be done. She wanted me as a husband and a father again, but no longer as a friend. And I made a promise to her that I would end it, although the relationship had already reached its final chapter. By the time Anne confronted me, certain I had a mistress, my mistress had left me to marry someone else. I told Lisa that I loved her, and she didn’t care.

    And so I find myself in a kind of love lock: pining for the wrong person, grieving beside a woman whose body I can’t touch, being given a second chance I can’t find the clarity to take.

    Once upon a time, I was very in love with Anne-Laure, and—incredibly—she was in love with me. And sometimes, it still comes at me, the sight of her, my dark-haired, sea-eyed beauty, a woman I have built a life with that I don’t deserve. And I will think, Deserve her. Get back to the way you were in your apartment in Rhode Island, class-skipping together naked under a duvet, laughing about how many pillows Americans like on a bed; back to the woody Barolos she brown-bagged to BYOB dives; get back to her intelligence, her daringness. Get back to the French in her, timeless, free, and subtle. Get back to the person faking sleep beside you. Reach over, beg, get back.

    Impossible as it is, I know that Anne still loves me. And when I catch myself looking at her across a room, atop a staircase, coming home from work with a shopping bag full of carefully chosen things, everything comes flooding back and it makes me fucking ache because I can no longer connect these memories that feel so warm when I think about them to what we’re currently living. Somewhere down the line, it got hard to just be kind, and I don’t know why, and I don’t know when, and when I see all of the reasons to be back in love with her again, I want more than anything to be swept up in the tide of before. Somewhere in the losing of my love for Anne, I lost a little bit of my love for everything else. And I don’t know what I’m waiting for to get those feelings back. Nor how long I—we—can wait.

  • Meet the Author

    Courtney Maum graduated from Brown University with a degree in Comparative Literature. She then lived in France for five years where she worked as a party promoter for Corona Extra, which had everything to do with getting a Visa, and nothing to do with her degree. Today, Maum splits her time between the Berkshires, New York City, and Paris, working as a creative brand strategist, corporate namer, and humor columnist. Visit her at CourtneyMaum.Tumblr.com or on Twitter @CMaum.

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    I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Richard Haddon is bored and disillusioned with his marriage and his career as an artist. So what does he do? He finds some excitement through an extra-marital affair. When it ends, Richard's life is in shambles. He wants to fall back in love with his wife. He wants to escape from the demands of a commercial art world, but how does he turn these desires into reality. Author, Courtney Maum takes us on Richard's maddening and heartfelt journey of how tries to make this happen. This novel totally engaged me with its clever prose, humor, memorable characters, and raw honesty. I couldn't put it down. It expertly captures the nuances of a complex marriage and zeros in on what true love is all about. Put this one at the top of your reading list this summer.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I've read plenty of books about infidelity, and plenty more about Paris, and I have to say this exceeded all my very high expectations. Maum creates an unlikable, yet totally lovable, protagonist in the adulterer Richard, and I found myself somehow relating to his situation and rooting for him to succeed, both in life and in art. Once Richard goes to England, the novel unfolds cinematically and at a perfect clip, and I hope it doesn't spoil anything to say that the way the author uses films to enrich the story is really interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone who's snorted with laughter at the novels of Martin Amis or felt deeply invested in the characters of Meg Wolitzer--or anyone who is willing to take a ride through Paris that is utterly free of the usual cliches and yet totally full of heart. 
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Why isn't this book on the bestseller list? I think it is because it is too smart, too clever, too well-written! Others here have provided a synopsis of the story so I will just add that at few times in my reading career have I been so moved by a book's honesty. I also could not put it down. I found myself rooting for this adulterer because the fault for why his marriage was troubled belonged to both of them. It so accurately depicts the ennui of a marriage in its 4th year and beyond and how you can find your way back from the potential abyss. I would go so far as to suggest that all couples read it before marriage! After reading book after book on the bestseller list, it was refreshing to find this one, so worthy, that surpassed them all!
    Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
    A French attorney wife, an English artist husband, who met while they were living in America, struggle to rebuild their marriage after the husband's affair. The cover blurbs often refer to how witty this is, and I think that kinda varies according to taste, like the way some people adore Monty Python and others shrug; I found some parts amusing, but overall, the tone of the novel was sad and desperate to ME, not particularly funny.  YYMV. Not quite contemporary, it's set around the time of the post-9/11 invasion of Iraq by GWB's team and that of Tony Blair.  Told entirely from the POV of the husband, Richard, who realizes, when his now-ended affair is over and exposed, that he truly loved - still loves - his wife after all, this chronicles his attempts and thought processes as he tries to repair their marriage. Sometimes Richard is sympathetic and sometimes I wanted to kick him in his self-pitying derriere. I liked this book, I did not LOVE it, but it is very skillfully written.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I just don't see why everyone is rating this book so highly.  The main character is self centered and unlikeable, the wronged wife is so perfect that it is simply unbelievable that he would cheat on her and the dialogue is clumsy  I confess that I quit reading with 2 chapters to go because (1) I knew what would happen and (2) I didn't really care.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Quick read, interesting, i related to the art aspect but the story of a married couple going through a "rough patch" is very well done.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Who wants to read a book about a jerk?  Maybe if the jerk is charming, but the jerk in this book is just a jerk.  I didn't even bother finishing this book.  Oh, and on page 75: "Why don't the French like cranberries?  It's such a useful fruit.  I guess French women are too ladylike to get yeast infections."  Um, cranberry juice is for preventing bladder infections, not yeast infections.
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    It was boring til the middle of the book
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    A great look at relationships, fidelity, and losing sight of love.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Okay, not great
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    It had many twists and turns
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    *shoots in head* "hello." *walks out* ~ Disgusted
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Seriously... That's so stupid lol
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    The looks at you and grabs your wrist with one hand and sqeezes it. She nudges you a little bit.