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Outtakes from a Marriage: A Novel Paperback – May 12, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307405885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307405883
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #806,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“[A] sparkling debut novel …. Keenly observant of celeb culture … Leary pens a bittersweet tale about love, marriage and the perils of fame.”

“The prose is sprightly … you’ll keep reading.”
—Entertainment Weekly

"After years as a struggling actor, Joe Ferraro is starring on a hit TV show - and has a Golden Globe nod. But when his stay-at-home mom wife Julia hears a sexy-voice phone-message congratulations from a woman clearly more than a pal, her life is turned upside down. Leary, wife of actor Denis Leary, mines the laughs with her knowing New York-set story. She insists it's all fiction."
New York Post

"Memoirist Leary (An Innocent, a Broad) follows in her fiction debut the unraveling of Julia Ferraro after she accidentally discovers a racy message in her Golden Globe–nominee husband's voice mail. As the doubts about her husband, Joe, mount, Julia begins examining other areas of her life with closer scrutiny, and her behavior becomes increasingly erratic as her paranoia grows: she dabbles in Restylane and Botox, attempts to seduce her shrink and plants rumors about her husband on Gawker. In addition to Julia's marital angst, she is also managing a shaky relationship with her entitled, adolescent daughter, Ruby, and is wracked with anxiety over her own lack of a career. Julia is a sharp and self-aware narrator, though there are moments when she seems too much a romantic, particularly for someone with otherwise worldly and wry sensibilities. Leary, the wife of actor Denis Leary, has an eye for the comedy of manners of the rich and idle. As Julia's daughter observes, 'You don't really have to do anything.'Julia responds: 'I know. You have no idea how stressful that is.'"
Publishers Weekly

"[T]he ruefully funny story of the stay-at-home wife of a sexy TV star who inadvertently discovers he's having an affair, and sets out to discover with whom before the Golden Globes.”
Sarasota Herald Tribune

"A hilarious, moving, and addictive novel."
—Dani Shapiro, author of Black and White

"I loved it. I loved Julia—her strength, her vulnerability, and her realism—and I loved Ann Leary's stingingly sharp observations of marriage and motherhood. I can't even say it works as a stunning first novel, because it is far better than that. Ann is truly a writer with enormous talent and heart."
—Jane Green, author of Second Chance and The Other Woman

"Outtakes from a Marriage is a ruefully funny novel about adultery, family, and the good memories that get people through hard times. Ann Leary is a sharp observer of domestic life and celebrity culture."
—Tom Perrotta

“Memo to all men: Read this book. You’ll rejoice in its searing honesty and crackling wit. You’re sure to learn something about marriage, about women, and, above all, about yourself as women see you. And women? You might see this book as a mirror where you discover yourself. You’ll know (I think: I’m only a man) how Ann Leary so often hits the nail on the head. I envy all who haven’t read this book. They’re in for a treat.”
—Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes and Teacher Man

"How does a free spirit turned wife and mother cope with her actor husband's infidelity? According to this debut novel from memoirist Leary (An Innocent, a Broad, 2004), with tears, irreverent humor and, ultimately, a reaffirmed sense of self.

"Julia Ferraro's husband Joe has been nominated for a Golden Globe for best actor in a TV series. Weeks before the ceremony, Julia innocently uses Joe's phone to check her messages and punches in his code by mistake. The raunchy, suggestive message she hears sends her near-perfect world into a tailspin. After struggling for years, Joe is now a household name. Julia and he have two young children, Ruby and Sammy, and share a spacious pre-war apartment on the Upper West Side. It's a far cry from the early days of their courtship and marriage, when Julia was the fun-loving breadwinner and Joe was an "awkward, shy, borderline dork" whom Julia "taught to drive a stick shift and to shoot pool and, really, how to dress." Now she is obsessed with discovering the identity of the young woman with "that fresh, foul purr." A girl who once threw wild parties, Julia now balances Joe's celebrity with gentle barbs and copes with such demands as Sammy's status-driven preschool. (The lampooning of Sammy's Multicultural Montessori School is the funniest part of the book.) As the Golden Globes near, Julia plunges into a maelstrom of insecurities about her marriage, her parenting skills and her weight, and she struggles to steer a course between pushover and avenging First Wife. The outcome is satisfying without being sappy.

"A witty take on marital survival in Manhattan—with heart."
Kirkus, starred review

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

ANN LEARY is the author of a memoir, An Innocent, a Broad, and is the host of the new NPR radio show In House. She and her husband, the actor-comedian Denis Leary, live with their two children in northwestern Connecticut.

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Customer Reviews

Felt could have gotten here and beyond in a bit more writing.
Cheryl Coneeny
I loved this book and could not put it down and recommend "Out-Takes From a Marriage" to anyone who wants a fun summer read.
Ms. Leary writes a very engaging story of a family in the above situation.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Heather on January 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I can't explain why I loved this book, but I did. It may be the funny and witty main character, Julia Ferraro. Here is a woman who, while raising two children, has given all she has to help her husband climb to the top and in the process discovers that she has let go of her own dreams. Yet she isn't resentful of this. I believe that during the book Julia actually realizes that life was more fun before the money and fame. There is a small lesson in appreciating the small stuff. It's not how much you have that makes life more exciting, it's what you make of what you have.

I would not have thought I could relate to a celeb mother but in some small ways I believe most mothers would be able to relate to her. This is probably in part due to Leary's writing style which is simple and not overly focused on the celebrity aspect. Leary writes about many different situations that we as mothers find ourselves in. She is able to weave humor throughout the book. I was actually laughing out loud in parts. This is not a very thought-provoking read but it is fun and light-hearted. Although this novel didn't end the way I wanted it to, I would definitely recommend this book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. August VINE VOICE on June 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ann Leary's book could have been a typical Hollywood fictional expose but it is an intelligent, often humorous, story of fame, fortune and shattered expectations. Julia Ferraro is the down-to-earth wife of a Joe Ferraro, a new idol, nominated for a Golden Globe. It appears, however, that the successful Joe forget his roots and his supportive wife and started to believe his own press.
Julia discovers a possible affair by listening to Joe's messages. She quickly figures out his password and becomes semi-obsessed with tracking the messages and identifying the southern sultry voice of his probable lover. From that point on, Leary proves to me that Julia is smarter than Joe and no matter how many ways she tries to spin the story, she recognizes the lies and the destruction of her dreams.
The book spanned different issues: motherhood, private schools, cosmetic surgery, and Julia's ambivalence for her own goals. I thoroughly enjoyed the Multi school mothers who cruelly verbalized their judgments on Julia and other mothers and children who did not meet their standards. I also found humor and degradation in the cosmetic surgeon's office. It is very funny and yet I felt every needle and was rather appalled with the surgeon's "selling" of her craft. It seemed scarily realistic!
Leary's female characters were more defined and served a purpose to weave the story together. The reader would always like Catalina, the loyal housekeeper but question her best friends and I certainly became impatient with Ruby, Julia and Joe's daughter. This was a good page turner and Ann Leary created a plausible story rather than a mundane Hollywood tell-all.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By JHR on May 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought Outtakes from a Marriage (hardcover version) a couple of months ago after a couple of friends had recommended it. I thought it would be a great way to kick back, relax, and read a good novel while on vacation. Unfortunately the vacation never came because of a family medical emergency. While sitting in a hospital waiting room as my mom underwent a serious surgical procedure, and while my sister was nearby flipping out, I pulled Outtakes from a Marriage out of my tote and began reading. Well I couldn't stop reading. Ms. Leary's writing style, wit, humor, and vivid descriptions, took me far away from what was going on around me. I became very engrossed in the story line and couldn't get over how quickly the time had passed. A couple of times my sister brought me back to reality to ask me what the heck was so funny...my book...that's what! I would recommend this book in a heartbeat. I love to read and didn't really know what to expect when I bought this book, but I'm very glad that I did. The following week my sister borrowed my book and she was pleasantly surprised at how much she also enjoyed Outtakes. I look forward to reading future books by Ms. Leary!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary G. Longorio VINE VOICE on August 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Joe and Julia Ferraro have weathered the lean times when Julia's pay as a writer for the Village Voice kept them afloat. They had a close group of friends that converged on the Ferraro place for get togethers. Then Joe found work as Mitch Hollister on a TV cop show. The ties with old friends weaken and Joe is busy with the show and his image.

When Joe finally is nominated for a Golden Globe, Julia discovers the wife of a nominee is pretty much nobody. Relegated to the sidelines Julia is stunned to hear a suggestive message on her husband's cell phone. Sure, she has been busy raising their child and trying to keep abreast of all of Joe's publicity and Gawker.com ....The call sparks a frantic round of Botox, hair extensions, return visits to her therapist, lip injections, anonymous web postings and self loathing. By the time the Ferreros arrive on the red carpet at the Globes, Julia has reached her limit.

There is a danger when a star or family member of a famous person writes a novel. Immediately, readers dissect the story, hoping to find crumbs of truth they imagine pertain to the author's life. Out-Takes From a Marriage is just such a book. Ann Leary spins a tale of a well-known TV actor whose wife suspects him of adultery. Biting humor and sharp writing keep the story moving, even through the awkward Dr. James storyline.
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