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Recalculating (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Jennifer Weiner
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

On the surface, Maureen’s life appears no different from any other stereotypical 54-year-old housewife's: a suburban home in a small Pennsylvania town, two loving kids, grandchildren, and a husband to dote on at the end of the day with a home-cooked meal and a crisp martini. Fat bitch, dumb bunny, slut, tramp: these are just a few of the cruel words that echo in Maureen’s ears every day and define the harsh reality she actually lives in. For years, Maureen has harbored a dark secret known by only one other person: her husband, Tommy.

After Tommy dies, Maureen imagines that the years of physical and mental abuse are over. But just six months later, while looking for the Halloween decorations in the attic, Maureen finds a gift-wrapped GPS with her name on the box: an early birthday present from her late husband. When the voice from the machine starts giving her sinister directions, she learns that sometimes the dead are restless... and she's locked in a battle not just for her life, but for her soul.

Editorial Reviews Review

Jennifer Weiner has a particular gift for breezy storytelling. It's that breeziness, in part, that's helped to brand her insightful, funny work about suburban women as "chick lit," a term she both embraces and resents. While Recalculating moves by as effortlessly as her other writing, this chilling modern-day ghost story is anything but breezy. Weiner has created yet another identifiable character in Maureen, a middle-aged woman haunted by a husband whose controlling grip remains tight around her even after his death. Drawing on Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," Weiner's experiments with the paranormal achieve spooky effect. But the true horror of this story lies in the ordinary, the quiet, cruel everyday that happens behind suburbia's closed doors. Deftly structured, Recalculating covers both the terrain of a hellish marriage and the emotional revolution of one woman's trying to find her way to freedom. Even in Maureen's darkest moments, the reader can't help but root for her. --Simone Gorrindo

About the Author

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, which have spent a combined five years on the bestseller list, with over 15 million copies in print in thirty-six countries. Her iconic debut Good in Bed is now in its fifty-ninth printing. In Her Shoes was turned into a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, and Shirley MacLaine. Her newest novel, All Fall Down, has become one of the best-reviewed novels of the year, hailed as “compulsively readable” by The New York Times Book Review. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at

Product Details

  • File Size: 1400 KB
  • Print Length: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (October 31, 2011)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0060M8GYY
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,549 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Halloween story more sweet than scary October 31, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
All the women married to someone who on occasion acts like an insensitive lout are especially going to enjoy "Recalculating," where that dirt bag husband Tom gets just what he deserves, and although he strikes back from the grave, "everything good in the world" has its own way with everything evil.

Despite some evil doing and menace appropriate for Halloween, this is really a lighthearted romp of a story, told by a writer who seems to be a natural at spinning a straightforward tale and who is very good at keeping things moving headlong toward a satisfying conclusion. Satisfying, especially, for the women readers; not so much so for the men.

There are many things implausible scattered throughout like old shoes left lying around but they really don't distract from the fun of it all, not really.

Tom is verbally abusive to Maureen, a suburban mom in her fifties, who has put up with a lot of cruelty during the couple's long time together. He also attacks her physically but he has never hit her. Tom pinches. And his pinches are by no means love tweaks. Maureen has the deep purple bruises to prove it.

The Stephen King moment comes after Tom has been dispatched from the scene and Maureen finds a box with her name on it tucked away in the attic next to the Halloween stuff. The story's title refers to the GPS unit wrapped nicely inside the gift box with a card that reads simply "Love always, Tommy." A gift from the grave that can talk and give directions. You can only imagine what happens next.

"Recalculating" is a story that's spooky not scary. It gets an adult rating for some of the language (coming from Tommy, of course), but all the chills are mixed in with the gentler jibes. Despite the treachery, you'll have some good natured fun cheering for Maureen. In the end, the story is as sweet as the single piece of chocolate covered caramel Maureen unwraps and pops in her mouth.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but Fun November 21, 2011
By Alexa O
Format:Kindle Edition
For $.99, this is a very worth-while purchase if you are a Jennifer Weiner fan and wonder what she's like when she tries out a new genre. It's not perfect--the premise is a bit wonky and Maureen is a bit slow on the uptake toward the end. It feels like a rough draft (and I gather from other reviews that it was written and published very quickly). As a fan of Jennifer Weiner's, that doesn't bother me much. Maureen, Tommy, and the secondary characters are all very well-developed for so short a story, and the plot is fun if a bit outlandish.

All in all, I'm glad I gave it a shot.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spooky only in how bad it is July 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Poorly written, flimsy, not even worth the .99 cents. This is a huge departure from her usual style and it simply doesn't work. unbelievable from beginning to end. Literally kind of painful to read and suffer through.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor March 5, 2012
By JoAnn
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unintelligent content, short jumpy text, no story there to write about or get involved in. Certainly not "spooky" like the last comment. Finished the last page and said "what?" Not worth the .99 to purchase.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, but not bad for .99 cents August 7, 2013
By Talia
Format:Kindle Edition
This creepy little short was actually quite good. I'd never read any of her stuff before, and honestly, I picked it up from Audible simply because Susan Bennett narrated it.

For a .99 cent book, it wasn't a bad read. The plot is pretty straightforward. Maureen, a victim of domestic abuse throughout her long marriage, finally gets the courage to off her husband, Tommy, as he slowly wastes away from cancer.

Several months later, she discovers a gift he left her stashed away in their attic. It's a GSP. But Maureen quickly discovers her GPS is haunted by the spirit of her dead husband, and he wants revenge.

I think Weiner wanted this to be a goofy-yet-slightly creepy Halloween short, and it sort of works. But there are times when Maureen is extremely slow on the uptake and that detracts from the overall story.

If you want to be a little entertained and just want something that's a quick read, you'll probably like this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a fan... September 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although I love Jennifer Weiner, I wasn't really a fan of this short story. I thought the whole GPS thing was a bit strange and completely unbelievable which kept me from getting into the story. It is a very quick read though so you can make the decision on your own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! June 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very original idea, and verrrrrrrrry creepy. Great character development - not an easy thing to do. The story flows gracefully. Reads like a template from real life: when one problem is resolved, a worse one develops.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing April 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have really enjoyed Jennifer Weiners book but this one did not cut it. I should have taken the suggestions from the other reviews here and not read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great thriller
An unexpected treat. Would love to see more of this genre. Looking forward to seeing more from this author. Thanks for the thrill
Published 5 days ago by Nature
4.0 out of 5 stars Tommy's still an ass
A departure from the author's usual work but still a satisfying novella. I liked the super natural element and that the main character finally won out over her past in the end. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bellingham Bookworm
4.0 out of 5 stars Departure but good read
The story was interesting and well-written but a departure for the author. I will read anything she writes, however this was not her typical style or characters.
Published 1 month ago by E. Cary
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Check my purchases. I did not purchase this.
Published 1 month ago by Charles Hoffman
3.0 out of 5 stars Recalculating
I'm not a big fan of Kindle singles or short stories but this one wasn't too bad. A perfect little read for Halloween day.
Published 1 month ago by Wendy D.
5.0 out of 5 stars and I am amazed that Jennifer Weiner came up with this tale which ...
I worn you that this story will be on your mind a long time after you read this tale. You will never us your GPS without thinking twice, and I am amazed that Jennifer Weiner came... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mary F. MacFarlane
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An interesting short story of letting go and moving on.
Published 2 months ago by Lynette Lang
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Love Jennifer Weiner, and Recalculating was entertaining, kept my interest throughout the story.
Published 2 months ago by Sharon
3.0 out of 5 stars OK,KIND of strange.
A book about spousal abuse, not sure how that qualifies as entertainment!
I generally like her stuff but this seems a bit off.
Published 2 months ago by P J Montuori
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
page turner couldn't put it down. wish it was longer. excellent read. can't wait to read the rest of your short stories
Published 3 months ago by MissyAnn
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More About the Author

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and The Next Best Thing. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at

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