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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: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 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: #2,462,297 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

This is a fun book and easy reading.
Suzy Soro
I ordered this book after another favorite author of mine reccommended it.
Loves those books
The characters are wonderful, so well-developed and real.
Jennifer Lawrence

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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Lawrence on March 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Alice Kirshall has a storybook life, or so it seems. Her husband, Alex, a Hollywood entertainment lawyer signs on with a new client, actress Rose Maris. When Alex starts hitting the gym, Alice assumes he's going through a mid-life crisis and writes it off. But then he starts working later and later. The intimacy in their relationship has dwindled down to nothing.

When Alice discovers she is expecting, Alex isn't as excited as she would have hoped. He actually begins to ignore her. A few weeks later she goes to the hospital due to severe pain and bleeding and Alex is nowhere to be found. He shows up right as Alice is being carted into surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. When Alice awakes, Alex is right by her side, crying with guilt.

Alice returns home and is immediately overwhelmed with phone calls. She assumes the calls are from friends and family members calling to wish her a speedy recovery. But the calls are coming from the press: a story has appeared in a tabloid, reporting that Alex and Rosie are having an affair. Suddenly Alice's storybook life starts to crumble into pieces. She orders Alex out of the house and is left to deal with their five-old daughter, Gabby, the loss of their unborn child, and the loss of their marriage, alone.

As if all this isn't enough to drive anyone insane, Alice learns her mother, Mary, is having problems at the home in which she is residing. Mary has Alzheimers, and has recently begun using foul language that is upsetting the other residents.

Alice must pull herself together and deal with all this chaos in her life. She, with Gabby in tow, must pick up the pieces of their life and move on.

How to I begin to relay how much I loved this book? The characters are wonderful, so well-developed and real.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lauri Crumley Coates VINE VOICE on February 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Pieces of Happily Ever After
Author: Irene Zutell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 978-0-312-54009-8

Happily ever after is over. Alice Hirsh, native New York City girl, never expected to end up living in the bizarre kingdom that is the San Fernando Valley. Somehow, she is managing; making a home for her attorney husband, Alex, and their 5 year old daughter, Gabby; trying to hold on to both her job and sanity. Alice's husband soon lands a coveted trophy client: Rose Maris, bombshell beauty and box office queen. Before long, Alice notices Alex is working late every night, looking more fit, more tan, even buying new clothes. Before long, the gossip columnists are coyly hinting about Rose Maris and her attractive mystery man; then the full court press from the media begins. Alex Hirsh and Rose Maris are the couple of the moment, and the paparazzi are having a field day. Soon, Alice is hunkered down at home, trying to avoid the cameras and intrusive questions and comments from trash gossip hell.

How to keep a job, the house, care for her daughter, and attempt to learn to live a life of her own take our Alice on a humorous and heartfelt ride. Her responses are so true to life, you feel like you are reading a note from a dear friend. Her daughter is a hoot, a five year old self appointed princess, wise beyond her years in some ways, and always up to something.

Will Alice move on with her life? What happens if and when Rose Maris kicks Alex to the curb? Will he come home, begging his way back into the life they had, or will she move forward without him. The story of a woman forced to evaluate her life and make her own decisions, told with a humor and attention to detail that is second to none. Sure, chicklit, but chicklit at it's best, and thoroughly enjoyable.
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