My Ex-Life by Stephen McCauley (5 out of 5)

I LOVED this book! It’s not out yet. That’s in May, 2018. It’s being brought you us by the publishing folks at Flatiron Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press. If you like light-hearted and funny with a lot of soul, this is a fine place for you to start your spring reading.

David is living a nice life in San Francisco, until he realizes that his best friend and realtor has pulled a Benedict Arnold and is trying to pull his house out from under him. Add to that insult the injury of his broken heart when his ex dumped him, and his growing dissension with his job (helping elite families get their kids into respectable colleges), and it’s clear that David needs a major shake-up of his current situation. Over on the East Coast, his ex-wife Julie has her hands full trying to find a way to make her house payments and keep her ex-husband Harry (Of course his name is Harry. Of course.) from taking the house away, along with trying to convince their daughter Mandy to get serious about college. Julie’s a bit of a closet pothead, starting to believe her decisions made under the influence, are not her best ones. She has an illegal Airbnb operating out of her house, and people are on her tail about it. Her daughter Mandy gets her first summer job, only to be fired, which is kept quiet. Mandy gets an interesting job offer from the shady computer guy who works at the local school. It’s a job she accepts, and it changes her life in ways that can only be seen after the fact. David decides to go visit Julie, and they pick up where they left off- this time around, WITH NO ROMANCE! This is important to note, because a number of authors would have taken the tired (of it) and true (torture) road and written them a new chapter. Not this time! Nothing could make me happier. That terrible 80’s film “When Harry Met Sally” (that annoying Harry name again!) played the world’s smallest violin with the ages old question- can a man and a woman be just friends? Even if they were involved in some physical or matrimonial way at some point? McCauley nailed it on the head, and managed to be legit and not awkward. I read a lot, and I have read many books destroyed by this very dynamic. In McCauley’s capable hands, this is not the case. There’s realism, humor, the undeniable power of nostalgia, and heart. A lot of heart. This novel has relit the fire burning in my little (4’10”. Thanks for asking!) heart. I cannot wait for it to get published in May. It reminded me a lot of Matthew Norman, Tom Perrotta, and early Nick Hornby. Great! Check it out in May when it’s released.

~ by generationgbooks on January 3, 2018.

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