The Seven Year Bitch

( 6 )


From the bestselling author of High Maintenance and Going Down comes a witty, heartfelt comic novel about marriage, motherhood, and discovering that the life you have is exactly the one you want.

What’s a fabulous New York City girl supposed to do when she finds herself fantasizing about the Grim Reaper more than she fantasizes about her husband? When she can’t help but give him the finger on the set of Sesame Street? And when she doesn’t ...

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The Seven Year Bitch

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From the bestselling author of High Maintenance and Going Down comes a witty, heartfelt comic novel about marriage, motherhood, and discovering that the life you have is exactly the one you want.

What’s a fabulous New York City girl supposed to do when she finds herself fantasizing about the Grim Reaper more than she fantasizes about her husband? When she can’t help but give him the finger on the set of Sesame Street? And when she doesn’t exactly hope for a safe landing when he goes away on business?

No, ex-hedge fund manager and new mom Isolde Brilliant hasn’t got the seven year itch—taking care of her baby and husband and having a growing suspicion that she’s living life in captivity has turned her into a seven year bitch.

That’s New York author Jennifer Belle’s deliciously provocative phrase for the boredom, anger, and hurt that can creep into even the best of marriages—and affect even the most saintly of wives. In the tradition of Jennifer Weiner and Meg Wolitzer, Belle delivers a dead-on, raw and hilarious novel about motherhood and marriage and discovering the life you have is exactly the one you wanted.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A fun ride...The heroines of Jennifer Belle's wry comic novels often feel like a cockeyed cross between Cosmo girl and Woody Allen muse, and...Isolde Brilliant is no differnt."
Entertainment Weekly

"With a dry, witty tone, Belle takes a close look at a young marriage teetering on shaky ground."

"[A] funny, sometimes surprising, and ultimately uplifting novel."
Sacramento Book Reivew

Kirkus Reviews
Successful Manhattan Mom's best-laid plans go haywire after she loses her Wall Street job. Getting laid off is bad enough, but financial planner Isolde Brilliant finds it particularly galling that she will now have to spend more time with husband Russell. Brutally honest and a little outrageous-she loves the smell of her baby son's dirty diapers and dreams of sex with the grim reaper-Isolde has grown increasingly disillusioned with marriage. Russell, a hapless man-child ambivalent about fatherhood, runs a tiny, unprofitable publishing business out of their Tribeca apartment and has no qualms about his wife footing the bill for their lifestyle. On the day their son Duncan turns one, she catches him telling one of his authors that having a child was a mistake and joking about suicide. That same week her nanny quits, forcing her to find a replacement quickly, while she decides on her next career move. She hires Shashti, an illegal Guyanese immigrant who is married but unhappily childless at age 40. Isolde takes it upon herself to get Shashti pregnant, sending (and treating) her nanny to the expensive OB-GYN she used to birth Duncan. Not surprisingly, the lines between employee and employer blur, as Isolde begins to wonder if interfering in enigmatic Shashti's life is really a good idea. Enter Gabe Weinrib, a handsome, quirky multimillionaire from her past who has decided that, married or not, Izzy is the woman for him. She's mightily tempted, wondering if Gabe is the love of her life, a love she would be foolish to let slip away. The fact that Russell comes across as a total putz should make Isolde's ultimate decision a little easier, but an unexpected development complicates everything.Belle (Little Stalker, 2007, etc.) has once again invented a hilarious heroine, one who manages to be far more memorable than the plot.
Publishers Weekly
Welcome to not-so-happily-ever-after. Soon-to-be-40 Izzy just lost her Wall Street job, has a husband who runs a struggling publishing operation from their apartment, a year-old son, and a growing suspicion she's living life in captivity. “It's not that you get a seven-year itch,” divorced pal Joy confides. “It's that they turn you into a seven-year bitch.” And so Izzy goes all in, railing at hubby Russell; becoming involved in her son's nanny's quest to get pregnant; lusting after the rich, handsome guy who got away; and discovering her own heart thanks to her uncommon new job: judging promotional contest essays for 25 cents each. Belle's (Little Stalker) smart and hilariously ridiculous paean to love, marriage, and a baby carriage proves you can't always get what you want and you rarely get what you need, but you always get to choose. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments that come uncomfortably close to the truth about less-than-perfect relationships, which helps salvage an ending wrapped just a little too tight. Still, style and wit count, and on that, Belle doesn't disappoint. (May)
Library Journal
When Isolde "Izzy" Brilliant loses her financial sector job, she's delighted—now she can be a stay-at-home mom to her toddler son. That is, if your idea of a SAHM means having a full-time nanny while you cavort around Manhattan. Her marriage is failing, she can't decide whether she would rather be working, so she throws herself into helping to get her new Caribbean nanny pregnant (to the tune of thousands of dollars, all paid for without Izzy's husband's knowledge) and tiptoes around the possibility of an affair with a jet-setting businessman who wins her financial services at a silent auction. VERDICT While there are some funny moments, the self-centered characters and unpleasant situations make this an uncomfortable read for anyone looking for lighthearted motherhood fiction, and it's simply not fun enough for chick lit or Sex in the City fans. Purchase only if there is demand for the author's works (Going Down, the best seller High Maintenance, and Little Stalker).—Rebecca Vnuk, Forest Park, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594485169
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,475,134
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Belle

Jennifer Belle is the bestselling author of Going Down (for which she was named best debut novelist of the year by Entertainment Weekly), High Maintenance, and Little Stalker. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Independent (London), Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Ms., Black Book, Mudfish, and many anthologies. She lives in New York City and Olivebridge, New York, with her husband and their two sons.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Laugh out Loud Funny

    This novel is about Izzy Trent and her marriage to Russell. It chronicles the ups and downs of their marriage since having a baby. This book was laugh out loud funny. I am a newlywed and thought this book was an a look into a ordinary marriage when the sparks have dulled and you are trying your best to hold it all together.

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  • Posted July 18, 2010

    Gotta love Izzy!

    I did not like this book when I first started reading it. I found it crass and unrealistic. But I couldn't put it down. I had to know what totally inappropriate thing would come out of Izzy's mouth next. So, I had to re-think what I thought and I think that I do, in fact, like it very much!

    Izzy Brilliant is a total basket-case, but an endearing and well-meaning one. And like the park near her home she comes full-circle. She takes a very round-about way of getting there and puts herself and her family through hell but she does it with style.

    I needed a good shake and Jennifer Belle did it. Now, off to the bookstore for some more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2010


    I was extermly dissapointed in this book. It was not funny in fact I found it extremly sad that people might actually think like this and act like this. I have had my share of ups and downs with my husband and thought it would be a good read something I can relate to. But this charater was over the top. Must be that NY lifestyle, but to have a nanny and not work and not do anything with your kids still fight with your husband and are misreable? I wasn't going to finish the book it was so bad but I kept hoping for it to get better but it only got worse. The main character really was a bietch and deserved to be miserable and deserved her husband to have left her high and dry!

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  • Posted May 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I swear I wrote this book!

    I was fortunate enough to have won an ARC at Goodreads and this one blew me away. Can I give it 4.5 stars??? I really think that they picked me on purpose because i have never connected with a book in my life. I never even read books like this. This is strictly a woman's book and I would truly have passed it in a bookstore or anywhere for that matter and I can't tell you how happy I was to read this.

    First, I kept looking at the cover wondering where my name was. I must have wrote this book or have helped in someway??? I couldn't relate to her any more. The only difference was having some sort of money. I don't have any and she clearly did but it is nice to know that money can't separate us! Everything she said made sense. It made me feel like I am not alone. the things we shared were:

    - Having a sense of humor
    - being a working Mom (although she stopped and I can't afford to)
    - having an emergency c-section
    - having a planned c-section
    - always arguing with my husband thinking if it were gonna end up in divorce.
    And just some much more. She even talked like me at times.

    After reading this book it took a little weight off of my chest. Having 2 kids so close in age is very hard. I work full time, go to graduate school, my girls are 15 months apart, I have c-sections, and money is always super SUPER tight so you can imagine what me and my husband constantly argue about. This just proved that things are hard but you gotta just go with it. I assume things will be easier eventually and I am always making jokes and I try to make light of things but there are still pressures and I was grateful to have won such a book. I was laughing out loud multiple times and other times I had to call my sister or husband to tell them the funny or truthful things that I read. So thank you for my win and I really hope people would pick this up! I have been passing my views on to everyone! (less)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

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