Perfect Life

Perfect Life

by Jessica Shattuck


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“Jessica Shattuck’s engrossing, deceptively ambitious novel explores a wide range of subjects . . . with a shrewd and sympathetic eye.”—Tom Perrotta

“In this smart and engaging follow-up to her well-received debut, The Hazards of Good Breeding, Shattuck focuses on three privileged Gen X college roommates who are now grown up, coupled up, and raising kids in pre-recession Boston. The cracks in their ‘perfect lives’ begin to show when the most precocious of the trio, a gorgeous striver named Jenny whose husband is infertile, makes the unconventional decision to have a baby with a sperm donation from Neil, her brainy, slacker ex-boyfriend from Harvard. . . . Stylish storytelling and sharp social commentary . . . make Perfect Life both topical and eminently readable.”—People

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393304596
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 06/14/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 503,418
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jessica Shattuck is the New York Times bestselling author of The Women in the Castle, The Hazards of Good Breeding (a New York Times Notable Book and finalist for the PEN/Winship Award), and Perfect Life. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Glamour, Mother Jones, and Wired among others. A graduate of Harvard University, she received her MFA from Columbia University. Shattuck now lives with her husband and three children in Brookline, MA.


Cambridge, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

April 2, 1972

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


B.A. Harvard College, 1994; M.F.A. in Writing, Columbia University, 2001

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Perfect Life 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
stephaniesmithrn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought it was an okay book. I didn't really care for any of the characters, or what happened to them really. They all seemed so shallow and material. I did like the common gene/DNA thread that ran through the book, and the story line was enough to keep me interested. However, it wasn't a book that I got excited about.
bc104 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Four college friends find their lives interesting yet again while in their thirties. This was an entertaining book similar to Alison Winn Scott or Jennifer Weiner -- in that there are young characters confronting the issues of parenthood, jobs, and friendship. Well done, entertaining for what it is. The ending was perhaps too satisfying and neat though.
Micheller7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A little psycho-babble, a little techno-babble and this tale of four former college roommates, several years later, speaks to new age reproduction and its effect on each of them. There is Laura, hubbie Mac, mother of two the usual way, Elise and her partner Chrissy, mothers of twins (anonymous donor) and Jennie and infertile hubbie Jeremy and baby Colin, brought forth into this world by the contribution (sperm) of the fourth member of this group, Neil. I was intrigued by the subject matter, but found the book a bit slow at the beginning. I was also a bit put off by the computer game angle that Neil is involved with. He is developing a game that includes a sphinx with perfect DNA for which this novel is named. He is not a likeable character, but plays a pivotal role as he is the lynchpin upon which this story unfolds. It gets better as it goes along, and by the end I wanted to keep reading to see the outcome. It does have a satisfying ending without being overly sentimental or cloying. The author writes well, the chapters are short, and it might make you think some about the relationships between children and parents, both with and without a biological connection. Although billed as funny, I did not find much, if any, humor in it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although the premise seemed promising, the book failed to deliver. The characters were under-developed. The plot twists were predictable. In the end, I didn't care what happened to these people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago