I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around

I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around

4.5 4
by Ann Garvin
     
 

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USA Today bestseller

"I was intrigued by the strength of the main character, Tig Monahan, whose life begins to unravel as she comes to terms with her mother's advancing Alzheimer's. Though Tig makes mistake after mistake, she never gives up. As the chapters flew by, I laughed, I cried, I smiled. And when I turned the last page. I found myself

Overview


USA Today bestseller

"I was intrigued by the strength of the main character, Tig Monahan, whose life begins to unravel as she comes to terms with her mother's advancing Alzheimer's. Though Tig makes mistake after mistake, she never gives up. As the chapters flew by, I laughed, I cried, I smiled. And when I turned the last page. I found myself feeling proud of Tig and looking up to her unwavering hope and strength of spirit." --First for Women

"It's not enough that Ann Garvin is hilarious. Then she has to go ahead and be compassionate and wise about the hopeful car-wreck that is most of humanity..." --Michelle Wildgen, author of You're Not You and Bread and Butter

Everything is falling apart in psychologist Tig Monahan's life. Her mother's dementia is wearing her out; her boyfriend takes off for Hawaii without her; and her sister inexplicably disappears, leaving her newborn behind.

When a therapy session goes horribly wrong, Tig finds herself unemployed and part of the sandwich generation trying to take care of everyone and failing miserably. Just when she thinks she can redefine herself on the radio as an arbiter of fairness, she discovers a family secret that nobody saw coming.

It will take everything plus a sense of humor to see her way clear to a better life, but none of that will happen if she can't let go of her past.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/14/2016
Psychologist Tig Monahan is watching her mother, Hallie, slowly lose her mind to Alzheimer’s. With her sister, Wendy, persistently absent, guilt-ridden Tig forgoes joining her boyfriend on sabbatical in Hawaii in order to care for her mother as Hallie enters an assisted living home. Tig, who has always been a structured, responsible caretaker, finally reaches her breaking point with everyone away; she tells off one of her clients and quits her job. After Wendy returns pregnant, the sisters reconcile and Tig decides to go start working on the radio as an on-air counselor. At first it’s a routine gig, but her stability is questioned again when a client decides to sue. Taking stock of recent turmoil, Tig comes to realize that her fastidious personality may be more like her mother then she cares to admit, and it may be time for a change. Garvin’s wit and sensitivity keep her in full control of the emotional subject matter. Pinpoint details and realistic characterizations of Tig’s internal strife firmly situate readers in this eccentric, endearing story of a family coming together to face the ravages of Alzheimer’s. (June)
From the Publisher

"Garvin has crafted a poignant and clever anthem for the sandwich generation, and Tig is a flawed, funny, and highly relatable narrator. Her emotional growth is genuine without being forced.... Fans of Carol Cassella, Allison Pearson, and Elisabeth Egan will enjoy this warmhearted and introspective look at what it means to be selfless--and selfish." --Booklist

"Psychologist Tig Monahan is watching her mother, Hallie, slowly lose her mind to Alzheimer's.... Garvin's wit and sensitivity keep her in full control of the emotional subject matter. Pinpoint details and realistic characterizations of Tig's internal strife firmly situate readers in this eccentric, endearing story of a family coming together to face the ravages of Alzheimer's." --Publishers Weekly

"A witty and poignant read about love, life, and family." --Brava Magazine

"I connected with Garvin's spot-on descriptions of Alzheimer's and the oddly soothing routines of a nursing home. On this and many levels, I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around succeeds. Buy it, read it, forgive yourself for your shortcomings." --Isthmus

"Ann Garvin...presents a thought-provoking story that deals with loss and upheaval in a humorous way, making otherwise difficult subject matter not only accessible to readers but entertaining as well." --Shelf Awareness

"There is a good bit of emotional truth in Garvin's description of family relationships, of the different ways people try to deal with the loss of vibrant loved ones to the haze of Alzheimer's disease. Good comedy has to be rooted in truth, and Garvin knows what she is talking about." --Blog Critics

"I was intrigued by the strength of the main character, Tig Monahan, whose life begins to unravel as she comes to terms with her mother's advancing Alzheimer's. Though Tig makes mistake after mistake, she never gives up. As the chapters flew by, I laughed, I cried, I smiled. And when I turned the last page. I found myself feeling proud of Tig and looking up to her unwavering hope and strength of spirit." --First for Women

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440595455
Publisher:
Adams Media
Publication date:
06/04/2016
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
118,173
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author


Ann Garvin is the author of The Dog Year and On Maggie's Watch. She lives in Stoughton, WI, and is a professor of sports psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a MFA teacher in New Hampshire.

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I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous 15 days ago
I enjoyed this book.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Everyone who reads Tig Monahan's story will relate to her in some way. The complexities of maintaining family relationships, marriage, and parenting are depicted with entertaining humor. The characters are endearing and engaging and the plot twists kept me reading. I couldn't put it down! I highly recommend this novel.
SheTreadsSoftly 9 months ago
I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around by Ann Garvin is a highly recommended family drama. Tig Monahan is a classic caregiver, people pleaser, and part of the sandwich generation. She's trying to make sure her mother, Hallie, who has Alzheimer's, has the best care possible and is settling into Hope House, an assisted living facility without any help from her sister Wendy. She is a therapist who is reaching the end of her patience. She is a partner in a relationship where her boyfriend, Peter, wants/expects her to leave everything and go to Hawaii on sabbatical with him. Clearly, Tig has some issues. Predictably, since no one can do it all, Tig reaches her breaking point. At her last day of work, a therapy practice she gave notice to leave so she could go with Peter to Hawaii, she snaps at a patient during couple's therapy and lets him know exactly what she thinks. Then, with her mother not settling in and Wendy nowhere in sight and not taking her calls, she decides she simply can't leave with Peter right away. Peter leaves Tig with a load of guilt. Then Wendy shows up, with no notice, 9 months pregnant. And that's just the tip of the iceberg of issues. No wonder Tig is stressed out. Now she's jobless with a very pregnant sister staying with her and a mother who never recognizes her. Could things get worse? Can Tig really take care of everything for everyone all the time? Garvin does an excellent job keeping all the stressors of Tig's life realistic, while at the same time adding some humor and wit along with the realistic drama. Families can be messy. Aging parents that must be assisted by their children, who are already overly busy and stressed out, is a common occurrence. Garvin takes this fact and runs with it, while carefully developing the plot. Tig's character is well developed. Her struggles with handling everything are detailed and very realistic. The quality of the writing sets this apart from other family dramas. Garvin keeps the plot moving as more things happen to Tig that force her to confront some personal revelations. There is one thread in the plot that happens a bit too smoothly, so you will have to suspend disbelief there. No spoilers - it will either bother you or it won't. I found it easy to overlook, but I did note its convenient placement in the plot. This would be a great choice for summer escapism reading. Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.
Lana-Jo 10 months ago
I absolutely loved I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around. As usual Ann Garvin fails to disappoint! Her tell it like it is humor, sprinkled with her deep levels of compassion, and her talents for story telling always make for a great read. Tig Monahan, radio therapist, finds herself taking care of her mother with dementia, being left behind by her boyfriend who goes on sabbatical to Hawaii, and caring for her sister’s newborn baby. As if Tig’s plate isn’t full enough; her life unravels even more when she finds out a shocking family secret. Ann Garvin manages to capture the fullness of her characters once again. They never feel fictional or flat, but like people we can relate to. Tig is messy, flawed, and beautifully reminiscent of someone we know. She is the kind of woman you want to take for coffee. In I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around there is depth, substance, and laughter. Elements that can only be found in one of Garvin’s stories.