Out-takes From a Marriage by Ann Leary (Denis Leary’s wife), was one of the books the lovely people over at Crown Publishing sent me. It was on a list they sent for me to pick from. So, I was definitely interested. Then, after my trip to B&N, I saw it sitting proudly on a shelf of new fiction. I got even more excited because I knew I had my own copy at home to read. It moved up quickly on the TBR pile.
Well, I really enjoyed this book. It was a light read that is perfect for the beach (of course, I read it on my sofa). It’s the story of a well-to-do NYC wife of an actor. It talks about her husband’s betrayal, her interactions with the preschool moms at the Multi Montessori School, her trouble with her early-teen daughter, and, also, her struggle with her own identity. All this was covered with a good sense of humor.
While the story is about a slice of upper class life I don’t know much about, I could relate to the family and identity issues. The story sounded realistic to me. The main character, Julia, is a woman who is real, flaws and all. I found myself rooting for her, even when she put a rumor on the internet that her actor husband was gay. I laughed, thinking I could have done something like that, also, if I found my husband was cheating. I understood her obsession with checking her husband’s voicemail. I was slightly disappointed about naive response to her husband’s explanation, but proud later on in the story.
I also enjoyed the part of the story where Julia dealt with motherhood. She didn’t always know what to do (I don’t either). She made mistakes and felt guilty about them (don’t we all?). She tried to do better. I could feel for her trying and, again, rooting for her.
The scenes with the preschool mothers are hilarious. Sometimes, I can’t believe people really act this way, but the author makes it funny and it does add to the story and Julia’s struggles.
Julia, a journalist who hasn’t worked for awhile, is also trying to figure out what she does all day. She know she makes excuses for not working on her screenplay, her children’s book, or anything else. But, she is starting to feel, I would say, empty, and more like those ridiculous preschool moms she can’t stand. I actually think this part of the story could have been developed a little more, but it did touch a chord with me.
Overall, I really liked this story. It touched on a lot of women issues without being too serious or depressing. It was nice to read something that had a sense of humor without making women look ridiculous. I would definitely recommend it!