March 20, 2018

#BookReview: My Ex-Life by Stephen McCauley

About the Book:

The time for Stephen McCauley's breakout audiobook has come and My Ex-Life is it in a major way. A delicious audiobook for fans of Tom Perrotta, Maria Semple, and Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney about how sometimes the only way to move forward is to go back.

David Hedges is having an unusual mid-life crisis. His boyfriend Soren has left him for an older man, albeit a successful surgeon. His job – helping the spoiled children of San Francisco’s elite get into college – is exasperating. As his life reaches new lows, his weight has reached new highs. The only good thing he has is his under market value apartment that has a view that is so stunning he is the envy of all of San Francisco. But when the landlord finally decides to sell – to Soren and the surgeon courtesy of his supposed realtor friend -- David hits rock bottom.

Across the country, Julie Fiske isn’t having much of a better time herself. Carol, the woman (younger, of course) that Harry, her second husband, left her for, is downright likable – more likeable than Harry was. The bills that she files by throwing into the back seat of her car keep piling up -- so much so that she has turned her rambling home into an illegal B&B in the tourist, seaside town where she lives. Her sullen teen daughter adamantly refused to apply to college (As David says, “I’m always drawn to sadness in teenagers, which I take to be a sign of intelligence. What teenager with half a brain looking at the condition of the planet they would inherit wouldn’t be sad?”) And Julie can’t seem to quite smoking weed (why should she? it’s the one good thing she has). 

Harry lays down an ultimatum – if Mandy doesn’t start applying to college, she’s going to come live with him and Carol. And then Mandy surprises Harry, and stuns Julie, by saying she’s been working with David Hedges, Mom’s first husband from long ago. It’s a lie, but a good one, and, Julie thinks, not a bad idea. So when Julie out of the blue calls David up and asks if he’ll help Mandy, he says of course. And when Mandy tells David he should come visit them and stay in one of their B&B rooms, he surprises everyone, including himself, by accepting.

Soon David and Julie are living together and in many ways pick up exactly where they left off. But while the chemistry between them is still there, and they can finish each other’s sentences, there’s one conversation they never finished that is unavoidable.

Publisher:  Flatiron Books
Recommended Age: Adult 
Genre: Fiction 
How I Acquired this book: Publisher 
Overall rating: ★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
About the Author:
Stephen McCauley is the author of six previous novels, including The Object of My Affection, True Enough, and Alternatives to Sex. Many have been national bestsellers, and three have been made into feature films. The New York Times Book Review dubbed McCauley “the secret love child of Edith Wharton and Woody Allen”, and he was named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. His fiction, reviews, and articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Harper’s, Vogue, and many other publications. He currently serves as Co-Director of Creative Writing at Brandeis University. He has several properties listed on Airbnb in Massachusetts and New York and owns a total of zero toss pillows.

Noteworthy experiences while reading this book: Wonderful and uplifting 

Check out author's other books? Yes
Recommend this book? Yes

Notes and Opinions:  This book did not go the way I thought it was going to go. This one ended up being a very good and uplifting story about not giving up on love, life, and family.  The characters were very warm and the story was so good.  I really loved everyone and the only issue I had was that I think the ending was a little to fast. I think this one would have been even better with another 20-50 pages. But it was still amazing at what it had.  I couldn't put it down and I cant wait to check out more from this author. 

Go Into This One Knowing: Fun, Wonderful, Uplifting 

 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. This money gets used to buy items for giveaways. 

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