I Smile Back

I Smile Back

by Amy Koppelman


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780976389590
Publisher: Two Dollar Radio
Publication date: 12/01/2008
Pages: 194
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Amy Koppelman is a graduate of Columbia's MFA program. Her writing has appeared in The New York Observer and Lilith. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children, and is the author of the novels, A Mouthful of Air, and I Smile Back. She adapted the screenplay for the film from her own novel.

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I Smile Back 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Megz2812 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Amy Koppelman is the epitome of what an author should be! I Smile Back is surreal. Mrs. Koppelman is putting "real" literature into the hands of "real" people who can relate to Laney Brooks,the housewife who struggles with "real" problems such as alcoholism,drug addiction and infidelity. Laney is sent to rehab by her husband,whom loves her and does everything out of love for her and there children so they can live the "normal" life of Suburbanites. The system of rehabilitation sets her up for failure, and she does just that. Her life is plagued with thoughts of suicide and relapse. In her eyes she realizes that she is messed up and wants fo her kids to have a decent shot at life but realizes that dream be obtainable. As she returns her son becomes distant and acts out. But in all actuality, the failure that Laney faces may nt be due to her addictions but rather than the harbored resentment she harbors towards her father who left when she was young. He got a second chance at life why shouldn't she? It is almost like a chain reaction that will never end. Her father who was an alcholic passed on some addiction to his daughter. Does this mean that the chain will continue for Laney's children. In life it seems like when a parent is struggling with addiction there child will fall to something similiar. Does this also mean that there life will be laced with pain, suffering, and heartbreak? Laney is a real person and at one point or another someone somewhere as wondered what it would have been like if they would have taken the other road that was layed before them. Amy Koppelman deserves so much more credit than accustomed to.
miyurose on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Laney Brooks is not a character most people are going to like, and even fewer will respect. When we meet Laney, she is spending her days drinking in her closet, cheating on her husband, and snorting coke before she goes to pick up her kids. The book follows Laney through her bottom and into rehab, and then back into her life again as she struggles to deal not only with her substance abuse, but with the reasons why, which she thinks goes back to when her father left the family. Frankly, Laney is an incredibly narcissistic woman, who sees every situation only how it affects her. Even when her son starts to show signs of compulsive behavior, all she can think about is how it will make her look. I didn¿t like Laney, and I didn¿t care about the choices she makes in the end, but I can respect the book as an interesting piece of writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amy Koppelman writes a courageous and compelling book with "i Smile Back". She does not make it easy for us readers but in the end we are left with characters and themes that resonate. i commend her with a job well done and look forward to more of her novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters in this book are so real. Laney's character is so well developed that you feel like she is in the room with you as you read. The book is heart breaking and gorgeous! I was so sad when it was over. I can only hope that Ms. Koppelman will keep writing. And, the book led to a fascinating book group discussion, our most lively conversation all year. I highly recommend it.
jillfinklestone More than 1 year ago
Laney's character is heartbreaking and tragic and really, really witty. Koppelman's voice jumps off the page as Laney struggles to be a modern-day wife-and-mother. Koppelman gives Laney beautifully written insights about things we all struggle with: How we are haunted by memory, suffer from our minds' incessant monologues, struggle to raise our kids conscientiously in the face of our own childhoods' failures, or as Koppelman puts it, "Gather enough strength to raise her kids with hope even though she herself exists in the fallout of that hope." And it has a literary intelligence - for example Laney's daughter Janey is only one letter away from being her mother...and on and on...For any child of divorce, for anyone who ever felt like an outsider in the school-mom scene, or at a husband's business dinner, or even just an outsider in your own life, this book is a must-read. It took hold of me and never let go.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, couldn't put it down and was disappointed the turbulent ride was over. Poetic, poignant, brave, this author dares to address the issues surrounding extreme detachment and unhappiness in even of the most privileged of circumstances.
mryan More than 1 year ago
of what it means to look at a person and truly not know what lies beneath the surface even when we are sure that we do. This seemingly perfect, has-everything-she-wants and living-the-dream character is battling demons so strong that the reader is inexplicably aware of the odds stacked against her recovery. It is apparent why some would feel threatened and uncomfortable with the dark tone. It is designed to make the reader think. I would not call Laney a likeable character but in reading her about her struggles, one cannot entirely hate her because it is all too obvious how horribly she suffers. This story gives offers a deeper dimension and a far more rounded view of the human condition at its worst. As for the author, it is clear that she has taken a honest-to-goodness God-given gift and honed it brilliantly. Amy's prose is deep, dark, rich, and moving. She offers a genuinely tactile experience through reading her work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite authors. Beautiful and haunting. I couldn't put it down for a second.
SouthernGirlNC More than 1 year ago
You always wonder what is behind the veneer of the person who has the "perfect life." Laney seeks a life to blot out the pain of her childhood, and the results are shocking. Ms. Koppelman writes a book that is so raw and so painful, but it is the fact that her character dives so deep into her dysfunction and makes no apologies that really grabs you. It is both refreshing and frightening at the same time. When Laney is considering her children and thinks, "Neither of them will ever know how hard I tried not to hurt them." It is heart wrenching. This book will make the reader squirm and feel uncomfortable...but it is not just because of the story, but the reader's own feelings about reality if one reflects upon themselves. Couldn't stop thinking about it.
kittymcd More than 1 year ago
Haunting and hypnotic. What a powerful book. The author has a really original, distinctive voice.
LukasMom More than 1 year ago
Laney Brooks has relatable surface qualities but then Koppelman exposes the flip side of this housewife's life which is totally dark and depraved. But as screwed up as Laney's life is, Amy Koppelman's style of writing keeps it real. I cannot say enough how much i loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
avidreader66 More than 1 year ago
This was the most annoying, horrible book I have read in a long time. The main character, who by all accounts lives a very privileged life, can't seem to get over the fact that her father left when she was a young girl. What better way to deal with this than by snorting cocaine, drinking, and having a bunch of meaningless, disgusting affairs involving all kinds of lurid details. I was sick to my stomach after reading this. The main character was so unlikable and the entire book was awful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago