Sunday, May 1, 2011

Review - Still Life with Husband by Lauren Fox & Book Club Q&A

Amazon Summary

Yes, it's an affair novel, but file this adroit but placid debut under chick lit for early marrieds—the ones who are not sure they want to be on the baby-house-'burbs track. At 30, Emily Ross is a Milwaukee freelance writer with a part-time job as assistant editor at a medical journal called Male Reproduction and a marriage to "steady, staid" Kevin, a technical writer she met in college. Kevin, "innocent and intolerable," wants a baby and a house. Emily is ambivalent and bored. A few pages in, Emily meets David Keller, a dark, good-looking writer/editor at the local alternative newspaper, and starts an affair. Things, as expected, do not go well, but Fox's voice is steady, moving easily between comedy and drama. Her emotionally literate delineation of character and relationship give the book texture, with Emily's relationship with her best friend, Meg, emerging as the book's most resonant. Fox draws just the right tension out of Emily's mix of honesty and self-delusion, reflection and romance, with an undercurrent of a sort of left-handed hope. For anyone who's lived through a relationship drama, though, Emily will have a decidedly entitled, gee-whiz quality that's hard to take. 

My Review - 3 1/2 More Sugar Please

I have found that Book Club choices are harder than Challenges, they definitely get me reading out of my comfort zone.  I don't know if this is chick lit or adult fiction, a little of both I guess.

I do enjoy a little drama at times, especially family drama, reading different views on the drama are interesting.  I enjoyed the fact that we did get a sense of perspective from those directly involved in the affair, Emily and David but how others were affected also, the husband, best friend, friends spouses, parents and sibling, very interesting indeed.  Also, thumbs up to Lauren Fox for having the female be the cheater, this never gets discussed and it reality, I appreciated that.

The best part of the book in my mind is Meg and Emily's friendship, they are best friends that are opposites but the love is truly genuine with a few inside jokes, so the humour was cute.

Emily was missing something in her life and when she saw David, she practically dove right in, no thought process just what she wanted now, never thinking tomorrow, consequences, or others, a very special selfish moment in her life. 

The flow of the book was a little off to me, not the best execution.  It just went into different directions kind of out of the blue, so it messed with the flow in my opinion.

Over all it was a good story and I think it ended wide open to allow the reader to come to a conclusion  of what happens after consequences of an affair, interesting style.

A favourite quote

I've been a silly, ridiculous girl.  This daydream I've been sucking on like a lollipop has been poison.  A poison lollipop!

This was BookBelle choice this month and here are her Questions.


1.  Team Kevin or Team David?  Neither, I think she should have considered divorce before cheating as they had very different future goals and I do not believe a relationship that starts with cheating has what it takes to last a lifetime.

2.  What scene do you feel was the fatal, no turning back scene for Emily?  I think the 1st email, having the thoughts are bad enough but once you put it in action, there is usually no going back.

3.  If Emily asked for your advice about her marriage what would you tell her?  I would tell her forever is a long time and when Kevin and her have completely different ideas of having a child and buying a house, the real decision is to stay together and compromise or decide to divorce and move on.

4.  Do you think Emily would have made a different decision if she would have confided in Meg or Heather?  No I don't.  Even when you confide in friends I don't think you dig to far when there is nothing to really discuss.  They met in the cafe and she continued to daydream about him.  I think it is like high school to consider telling your sister or best friend that you are daydreaming about a guy.  Kind of so what in my mind.  BUT I think if she confided in them when she sent the email and went for the walk, they possibly could have talked her out of it before it got out of hand even though the email and walk were completely inappropriate.

5.  Will Kevin and Emily reconcile once the baby is born?  I hope not, I hope Emily decided abortion is best.

6.  Will David re-enter their lives?  I think so, this affair may continue but will it last, no.

7.  Do you think Barbara, Emily's mother, gave her good advice when she told her that sometimes our lives don't turn out the way we envision but we need to make the best of what we have?  I think this is good honest advice but I think it can be interpreted differently.  I do not think it means stay with your husband or keep the child and make the best out of it but how else will you take it right?

8.  Who is your favorite character?  I didn't enjoy 1 character really but I did enjoy Emily and Meg's friendship.

9.  Did you like this book?  Why or why not?  It was an ok book for me.  I enjoy this hard topics being emotional and hardcore not sugar coated, which is more chick lit feel.

If you are interested in joining the Book club, go over to Paula's blog Tome's Devotee here.  The positive is that you get to have a turn to choose the book of the month when it is your turn.


  1. Book clubs are fun! ;) Never heard of this book before, but the cover is so funnny. ;) Liking it. Great review.

  2. I, like you never even thought Kevin or David. I have to say, it sounds as though she will be keeping her baby. After all her belly-aching that he was pestering her on this, this is what she chose anyway. Great thoughts Marce :)

    Tomes Devotee

  3. Great review and answers, Marce.
    I agree that it was refreshing to have the woman be the cheater for a change. It added a level of realism, plus as woman readers reading a woman protagonist, it challenged our loyalties, so to speak, and pushed us even more out of our comfort zone. At least for me, anyway.

    I also liked that David was the one who ended the affair because he felt so morally compromised. I don't think he'd ever cheat on anyone ever again. As the cheater or accomplice.

  4. Oh I'm agree Christine! I think he was devastated when he saw Kevin. This was just too much for him.

    It was refreshing to have the female be the cheater.

    Tomes Devotee


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