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Pieces of Happily Ever After Paperback – September 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312540094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312540098
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,736,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Journalist Zutell debuts with a sassy, sweet tale of love lost and found. When Hollywood entertainment lawyer Alex Hirsh starts hitting the gym and sporting Armani, his wife, Alice, chalks it up to a midlife crisis. But soon Alex—now the execrable Xander—is all over the tabloids, caught canoodling with his newest client, man-eating actress Rose Maris. Cue Alice's tears, rage, breakdown, followed by a bumpy and comic road to happiness, right? Yes and no: the novel walks a familiar path, but there are plenty of details to keep the story feeling fresh. Alice is entertainingly judgmental, and the new friends she makes as a divorcée are winning: there's Nancy, who wears horrible Hallmarky sweatshirts but curses a blue streak, and Ruth, a former porn star desperate to protect her son from her past. Naturally, there's a love interest for Alice, but the real love story is the one between Alice and her precocious six-year-old daughter. And it's their sweet, complicated relationship that lifts this tale above the slew of competing family dramas. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A sassy, sweet tale of love lost and found." --Publishers Weekly

 

"Young Gabby's obsession with fairy tales subtly mirrors Alice's new life as she explores what happens when you have to rescue yourself and make your own happily ever after, hopefully meeting a true Prince Charming along the way." --Booklist

 

"This should give anyone experiencing drama in his or her life comfort to know that happily ever after comes in the moments between the disappointments, sadness and frustration. Pieces of Happily Ever After reminds us we just need to look for them." --The Huffington Post

 

"Zutell’s cast of characters are layered and detailed. Even those with bit parts are well-developed. And Zutell doesn’t let her characters take the easy road as heroine Alice navigates her way back to happiness and maybe a bit of happily ever after." --TheBookChick.com

 

Praise for They’re Not Your Friends:

 

[A] very funny debut novel [that] damns Hollywood hotcha culture, reproducing its lower-end pitches perfectly… [It] catches Tinseltown at its worst.” –Publishers Weekly

 

 “Hilarious, poignant, and so true to life it's frightening. They're Not Your Friends is a very entertaining Hollywood novel and the perfect summer read." --Robin Lynn Williams, author of The Assistants

 

“A hilarious, from-the-heart debut.” --Melissa Senate, author of See Jane Date and Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?

 


More About the Author

Irene Zutell is the author of three books. Her most recent novel, Pieces of Happily Ever After, comes out on September 1.
Irene started her career as a newspaper reporter, covering the police and city hall beats. After being bored senseless and falling asleep during too many town meetings, she decided a change of scenery was needed. So, she became a travel writer, exploring every continent and most countries by plane, train and cruise ship. After a few years of this, she moved to Los Angeles where she became a reporter for People magazine, covering human interest stories and stalking every celebrity imaginable.
Irene's work has appeared in many publications, including Us Weekly, The New York Times, The NY Daily News, Newsday and others. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 33 customer reviews
The characters are wonderful, so well-developed and real.
Jennifer Lawrence
I just finished reading "Pieces of Happily Ever After" by Irene Zuetell, and it was one of the best books I have read in a long time.
M. Downing
Started it last evening, because had read all of other "good" books, and saved this one for when there was nothing else to read.
Jennifer Kohn Murtha

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Kohn Murtha on October 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I picked this up at the library, thinking that it would be a nice chick lit book, or a beach read, or a guilty pleasure. Started it last evening, because had read all of other "good" books, and saved this one for when there was nothing else to read. Hah!
Color me fooled---was hooked from the first page, and kept on until one am, when I told my dear, long-suffering husband (himself also an avid reader) that if I stopped right then, I'd have something to wake up with.
Finished it and had to review it with the most glowing words that I can find...so, buy this one, people-outstanding characters, funny and poignant observations about the nature of life in LA and really everywhere-a true treasure. Most books from the library I enjoy and return, but this one, I'm buying, and I'm buying Ms Zutell's other books too...so that I can keep my appetite for her fine work somewhat in check.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stefanie Taylor on October 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
It's a novel but it should be a movie. It's beautiful. It's funny. It's deeply moving (I cried - twice) and it's got edge. Irene Zutell, the author, is a friend of mine and I went into reading it with slight trepidation because I always have that feeling like what if I don't like it? How will I tell my friend the truth? Well no worries there, I was completely taken aback by my love for this book. Seriously, I want to make out with it. Truth be told I'm still in a little post good book haze where moments and feelings come back to me while doing other things -which is so rare for me when I read.

Remember when Julia Roberts met her fairy tale camera man, married him and lived happily ever after? Did you wonder what happened to Vera who was happily married to the guy before America's Sweetheart got her hooks in him? Did you cringe along with me when Julia was spotted wearing an A loe Vera shirt? Do you still want to key her car a little bit? This book gives you a glimpse into what Vera might have been feeling -if Vera was a sarcastic, funny, east coast transplant with compassion, stretch marks, porn filming neighbors, a five-year-old daughter and a mom with Alzheimers. The heroine is brought to life so much that it feels like she could easily be your friend, your neighbor, or a mom you see at drop off at your kid's school. Someone you never took the time to know but should have.

Irene keeps the story moving (which I like because who wants to hear a two page description of a lake?) but takes time to create great visuals like the over-the-top lawn extravaganzas done by her Christmas holiday loving neighbors. I got so swept into the story that I never wanted the book to end and now I have to wait for her to write another one. DAMMIT.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Suzy Soro on November 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fun book and easy reading. Women everywhere can relate to a husband walking out on his family and the aftermath that follows. Alice and her daughter Gabby pick up the pieces and try to move on. Do they succeed? Read the book and find out!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
I absolutely loved this book! The characters were interesting, complex and yet easy to relate to. The story [...] in immediately and kept the pages turning. I will definately be reading Irene Zutell's other books!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Poppyseed on August 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a good book if you are looking for a fast and mindless read. It's about a woman who recently separated from her unfaithful husband. The husband was having an affair with a Paris Hilton-like movie star. The woman has a preschool age daughter Gaby. Even though I am a parent of a little girl myself, the character Gaby seems very annoying. All the characters are very superficial and not very likable. The plot does move along nicely, but the characters don't really develop any depth. The "moral" of this book is that there is no happily ever after, but there are pieces of happily ever after. It was a mindless entertainment for a few hours, but after reading it, I donated to our library's paperback exchange. It is not a keeper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa VINE VOICE on June 13, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Alex, an entertainment lawyer, gets a new client an actress and starts working late. I think you know where this is going. He takes his wife out to a dinner date where she also meets this new client. Who just gushes and gushes about how fabulous Alex is and how wonderful Alice is for loaning him out to her. Wonder what she means by that? Alice has a miscarriage, while Alex was out with Rose, the other woman. A few days after the miscarriage Alex admits things and says he needs to find himself. Only thing is that he wants to find himself with the actress. Alex seemed a bit whiny and self centered. He really needed to grown up. It was like life was happening and it got to be too much for him he was always wanting someone else to take over responsibilities and let him just float along. Who wants that in a hero? I think Alice found some happiness later on though with someone who was at least grown up. I think both Alice and Gabby were better off with Alex out of the house. He really didn't even want to provide any structure to the child. I liked that Alice learned to not judge a book by its cover. After all she found a good friend in Ruth the ex porn star. I think the reader will have to read between the lines to determine how everyone's piece of happily ever after comes about though.
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