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Still Life with Husband Hardcover – February 6, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (February 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307264912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307264916
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,875,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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. (Feb. 7)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In Fox's debut novel about the constraints of marriage and the lure of infidelity, Emily Ross, married for nine years to the kind and decent Kevin, is feeling suffocated by her husband's desire to buy a house in the suburbs and start a family. When she meets a handsome newspaper editor in the local Starbucks, she's so busy cracking jokes, she forgets to mention one small detail--she's married. Two dates later, she finally admits her marital status, but, after expressing the requisite misgivings, the two engage in an intense affair. Then the lovers' remorse and guilt start to kick in, and Fox's narrative starts to drag as page after page is given over to the angst-ridden details. Fox covers familiar ground that has been done better by, for example, Tom Perrotta in Little Children (2004) and Lolly Winston in Happiness Sold Separately (2006). Still, there seems to be a strong demand for fiction dealing with the vicissitudes of marriage, and Fox has a particularly engaging sense of humor. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

I really enjoyed reading the book, but in the end I felt a little cheated.
REalHousewife
This book is the reason why I am buying less and less books and using the library more and more.
OlyNomad
The characters, story and humor are involving, relateable and thought provoking.
Judy Bernstein, VP Qualitative Insights, CBA Research

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cassie W. on August 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
STILL LIFE WITH HUSBAND, the debut novel by Milwaukeean Lauren Fox, introduces readers to Emily Ross, 30-year-old freelance writer, assistant editor of a male reproduction journal (her boss, amusingly, is named Dick), and discontented wife. Her husband is Kevin, a sweet, boring technical writer who is desperate to move to the suburbs and have a baby. Emily's not sure she's ready for such a big step -- and when she meets handsome writer David Keller, she starts to think she may never be ready for that kind of life with Kevin. Inevitably, and predictably, Emily and David embark on an illicit affair.

STILL LIFE WITH HUSBAND is a novel about one woman's choices, and the lasting effects those choices have on the people who love her. Emily Ross is, as one of the previous reviewers mentioned, one of the most engaging chick lit heroines since Bridget Jones. The whole novel is written from her first-person perspective, and the voice Fox gives to her is ironic, self-reflective, and incredibly witty. You will respond to Emily in some way -- either positively or negatively, but you WILL respond to her. Look at the other reviews here if you don't believe me! Yes, Emily is selfish and adulterous; but she's also a good, generous friend and smart enough to know that she very well could be screwing up her life. That's precisely what makes her such a believable character -- the balance of darkness and light in her psyche. None of us are purely good or bad, and Emily reflects that utterly human quality brilliantly. A 30-year-old woman whose dream is to write love poems for fish (and yes, there are a couple of poems in the text for your pure reading enjoyment)? I mean, how could you not love her, at least a little bit, despite her disloyalty to her husband?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LUV MY BABY on June 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
I think anyone married for a long time can relate to this book. I loved it. I HATE to read but if I could find more writers like her, I would be such a book worm. I laughed out loud, I got anxious, I could really feel what she was going through. It is worth the read,
I was on VACATION, and spent a lot of time reading this b/c I just couldn't put it down.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daisy Whitney on January 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
By their nature affairs are designed to be dissatisfying. They scratch an itch that can't fully be scratched. That's why they're a tricky proposition in fiction too. How do you write a satisfying ending in an affair novel? Which relationship do you break up and at what cost? Most affair novels opt for an easy way out - no one gets caught or someone gets caught but then she's pregnant by her husband so all is forgiven. Lauren Fox's Still Life with Husband doesn't take the easy way out. Fox uncovers a fresh ending and a new twist to the affair story, one that is uniquely rewarding for the reader, especially because of the fine writing in which it's wrapped.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Erin Motley on April 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I compare the way this book was laid out to be similar to its plot line: the feelings one might have in the stages of an affair.

I was dissatisfied and looking for a book when I picked this up, much like the way Emily felt when she was with her husband and met David. So I began reading, and got caught up in the story: detailed feelings Emily has as she maneuvers her " boring real life " around her "unpredictable sex"-life with David . I got caught up in her mixed emotions as she walks the plank towards an inevitable discovery of the affair and her relationships with her family and friends along the way. The sub plot with her friend Meg is interesting and also kept me consumed with the theme of marriage and how to survive problems along the way. Without spoiling it, Emily finds herself in a predictable but complicating situation at the end. This extra knife in her husband's back, which has irony I did not miss in comparing Meg's problems, made me even more want to find out what happens. The book kept me reading and wanting to know what was going to be the outcome of everyone's situation. (much like one might get caught up in the excitement of an affair).

This comparison continues, unfortunately.... The ending is awful. The future is cheese????!!! I know that in reality, you cannot always have a happy ending, and I am fine with that... But the book's ending left me feeling dissatisfied, and wanting more , and it just left an incomplete feeling in my head. I have never had an affair, but the ending might make one feel the same way.

In any case, i know this is not a higher level , intellectually stimulating novel, nor is it designed to be so, but man...figuratively and literally, It's ending is pretty cheesy. I sort of regret having an affair with this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dizziey on September 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In Lauren Fox's "Still Life with Husband," Emily, a married freelance writer was not satisfied with how her relationship with her husband, Kevin was going. Even though Kevin was stable, predictable, and defintiely reliable, Emily felt that she was not connected to Kevin as she should be and one day, she met David, another writer at a coffee shop. They had a great rapport and from there began Emily's affair with David. A majority of the book focused on Emily's struggle and how she had to juggle her guilt of cheating with another man and at the same time, finding fulfillment and satisfaction with him.

This was a very well-written book as the writing was clear, concise, and very conversational. This was written strictly from Emily's perspective and he author was able to really illustrate Emily's conflicted feelings towards her own infidelity. In addition, I like that the author touched on another sticky issue in a marriage - for instance, Emily's best friend, Meg who had been trying to conceive and her struggles with it. I think this was a better than average novel in this genre. The way the book ended gives me the impression that the author could possibly write a sequel. Highly recommended!
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