As Long As It's Perfect

As Long As It's Perfect

by Lisa Tognola


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To Janie Margolis, “assistant contractor” sounds like the ideal job for a mom whose role raising kids has become routine―but her perfect plan starts to unravel when she and her husband, Wim, find themselves arguing about everything from money to masonry to man caves. Then the economy collapses, and it’s hard to surmount the reality ahead: they are about to sink their entire savings into rebuilding a new house they can’t afford while trying unsuccessfully to sell the one they already own. Will Janie back herself so far into a corner that she’ll find herself homeless before she finds herself a home?

From crushes on contractors to frenzied shopping expeditions to the erection of a cupola that looks a little too phallic for her upscale new neighborhood―or really any neighborhood!―Janie navigates the pitfalls of building. Along the way, she deals with a con artist kitchen designer, a construction worker and architect who fight like schoolgirls, and a tile guy who turns her shower into a pornographic work of art, all while struggling to stay out of debt and keep her marriage going. In the end, she comes face to face with her flaws and learns that dreams can be achieved―but the only way to authentic happiness is through truth and acceptance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631526244
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 737,142
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Lisa Tognola is an author, freelance writer, social worker, wife, and mother of three who always dreamed of getting married and living in the perfect house—until she discovered that passion comes with a mortgage. A former humor columnist at The Alternative Press , based in New Jersey, she is now a contributor to and has contributed essays to five anthologies in the Not Your Mother’s Books series as well as My Funny Valentine: America’s Most Hilarious Writers Take on Love, Romance, and Other Complications and My Funny Medical: Off the Charts Humor from an All-Star Cast. Tognola hails from California but now lives in New Jersey, where she spends most of her time fantasizing about sunny skies, palm trees, and In-N-Out Burger.

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As Long As It's Perfect 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
LeslieLindsay 13 days ago
The all-American Dream to build the most perfect home comes crumbling down--and then up again--in this relatable tale about one woman's obsession with home remodeling. Suburban mom, Janie Margolis is feeling cramped in their small-ish home with three children and no garage. She wants bigger and better and she wants it now. AS LONG AS IT'S PERFECT (SWP, October 2019) is all about that quest for the best. Janie starts watching HGTV shows and dreaming of the most perfect place. Finally, she convinces her husband, Wim, that it's time to move. Together, they start house-hunting. They have a long list of 'wants.' Nothing and everything is right. Finally, a real estate agent shows them a house on the 'perfect' street, it's a bit out of their price range and a little dated...but...the location is right. Still, it's not quite right. Wim and Janie make plans for a tear-down. After all, they have to have the American Dream, the house that's 'just right' for their family. But soon, the details of building a home from the ground up become a bit overwhelming. Wim and Janie bicker and argue. Money becomes tight. Their list of wants is bordering on pretentious. Much of AS LONG AS IT'S PERFECT reads like a memoir. And with good reason. In the acknowledgements section, the author mentions this story was inspired by real events. I felt like I was right there alongside these characters--a fly on the wall--but failed to really connect with them. Maybe that's because I read this under the impression it was a novel, when really, it might be too 'realistic' for that genre. I adore homes and design and construction, and so this kept me reading, but I wanted a bit more character development and a clearer arc. Ultimately, AS LONG AS IT'S PERFECT is about what it's like to be lured by lose one's financial security, and is there a difference between 'fulfillment' and 'having it all?' I found some similarities between AS LONG AS IT'S PERFECT and the writing style of Emily Giffin meets Leah DeCesare's FORKS, KNIVES, SPOONS and maybe Vicki Warner's TENEMENTAL , the writing style of Elyssa Friendland (THE INTERMISSION) meets the work of Louise Candlish. L.Lindsay|Always with a Book
PortiaNJ 26 days ago
Debut author Lisa Tognola nails it! Anyone who has struggled within a relationship, struggled with contractors, or struggled to understand themselves, will find myriad moments of recognition in this wise, witty, and totally engrossing tale of a suburban woman’s quest to create the perfect canvas for her life. Written with humor and savvy insight into the human heart, this novel follows Janie from the inception of her project through progress and setbacks to a final resolution that is a lot more than bricks and mortar. I read this book in one sitting, but you may want to savor it over several cozy nights. “As Long As It’s Perfect” will leave you feeling both satisfied and impatient for Tognola’s second book.