The Kept Man

The Kept Man

2.6 3
by Jami Attenberg
     
 

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Now in paperback: the novel that’s “unabashedly emotional, refreshingly devoid of New York City cynicism, and tenderly funny” (People).

Jarvis Miller’s artist husband has been in a coma for six years. And so, Jarvis has spent these years suspended between hope and grief, paralyzed with longing for a life and a marriageSee more details below

Overview

Now in paperback: the novel that’s “unabashedly emotional, refreshingly devoid of New York City cynicism, and tenderly funny” (People).

Jarvis Miller’s artist husband has been in a coma for six years. And so, Jarvis has spent these years suspended between hope and grief, paralyzed with longing for a life and a marriage that are slipping away. But then, unexpectedly, Jarvis makes her first new friends in years when she meets the Kept Man Club: three men whose lifestyles are funded by their successful wives, who gather once a week on laundry day. With their help, she reawakens to the city beyond her Brooklyn apartment, past the pitying eyes of her husband’s art dealer and his irresponsible best friend as her future begins to take on the irresistible tingles of possibility for the first time in almost a decade. When a shocking discovery casts a different light on her idealized marriage, she’s propelled even further down a path that she would never have dared to imagine just months before. Tender, bold, and unabashed, The Kept Man is a compulsively readable novel about love and loss from one of our most dynamic new storytellers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this lugubrious first novel from Brooklynite Attenberg (Instant Love), Jarvis Miller is a young, pretty "half-widow" in the Williamsburg neighborhood. For six years, her brilliant painter husband, Martin Miller, has lain in a coma in a nursing home, while Jarvis rarely leaves the apartment for more than her once-a-week visit to see him. With frequent musings such as "Waiting for Martin to wake up is a different kind of waiting than waiting for him to die," Jarvis slowly takes steps to go on with her life, and in the process, begins to suspect that her picture-perfect marriage may have been something else entirely. She finds little solace in Alice, Martin's glossy, possessive art dealer, or in Davis, Martin's louche artist friend. What helps the most is a serendipitous friendship with three married men she meets in a Laundromat, "The Kept Men Club"; the three are financially supported by their wives just as Jarvis, former party girl, was supported first by Martin, and now by his legacy. Attenberg gets the Williamsburg cityscape correct but builds almost zero tension with Jarvis's depressive brooding over Martin, his continued hold on her and the decisions she faces. Not for a moment in this airless dirge does Jarvis or her marriage feel credible. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Short story writer Attenberg (Instant Love) successfully demonstrates her talent and experience in her debut novel. Her heroine is Jarvis, a dark-haired young woman of Irish descent whose offbeat beauty gets her noticed everywhere. Even rising art star Martin Miller has to have her, and their marriage is one of funky, punk-rock counterculture bliss in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. And then the unthinkable happens-at the brink of fame, Martin suffers a fall that leaves him in a coma. As the months turn into years with Martin suspended in time, Jarvis's devotion to him continues-even as her life moves forward without him. Her serendipitous meeting of new friends through a local Laundromat widens Jarvis's horizons and leads her to delve into the history of Martin's work. What she finds shakes her world and the foundation of their happy (but dormant) marriage. An engaging and innovative first novel for all fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ9/1/07.]
—Beth Gibbs

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101218013
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/27/2007
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
395,943
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

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