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)
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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 WilkinsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved