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In this promising first novel, screenwriter/director Miller (The Ballad of Jack and Rose) probes the life of housewife Pippa Lee. Fifty-year-old Pippa lives a contented life with her older husband, Herb. However, everything changes when Herb announces that they are leaving Manhattan for a retirement community. Unsettled in her new home, Pippa begins sleepwalking through life—literally. She catches herself on a security camera cooking and eating while unconscious, then finds evidence that her somnambulist self has taken up smoking. In light of her erratic behavior, Pippa reconsiders the life she has built for herself and the example she is setting for her two grown children: raised by a pill-addicted mother, Pippa ran away from home at 17 and struggled with drugs, abusive relationships and her own feelings of guilt before looking for redemption in the family that she now worries is falling apart. Pippa's struggle to break the chain of misunderstandings and adjustments that passes from parent to child is moving. Despite a few moments of overwrought melodrama, the story's held together by Miller's sincere and intelligent protagonist. (Aug.)
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In her first novel, Miller, a film director and the wife of Daniel Day-Lewis, employs effective imagery to explore the shifting nature of identity. Fifty-year-old Pippa Lee feels she is too young to be living in a retirement community. But her 80-year-old husband, Herb, a famous publisher, thinks it’s time to simplify their lives. They trade their urban Manhattan neighborhood for a suburban community of identical homes and manicured lawns. But all is not well as Pippa begins to walk, cook, and even drive in her sleep. She soon reveals the price she paid to secure her successful lifestyle. She was raised by a mother addicted to Dexedrine and rebelled with a wild adolescence. Rootless and adrift in her twenties, she fell in with a group of artists who constantly changed partners and drugs. It was when she met Herb that she first realized her need for security, one she fulfilled by stealing him away from his wife. Miller brings a simmering intelligence and verbal flair to this deft exploration of the courage required to own your own life. --Joanne WilkinsonSee all Editorial Reviews
Thoroughly enjoyed Pippa and her many lives...I liked it so much, in fact, I have put it up for my book club. We are ready for a "light" read after some heavy topics. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dawn B.
When the book begins Pippa is in her fifties. She's one of those well-to-do perfect housewife types that everyone simply adores. Read morePublished on February 1, 2013 by Barks Book Nonsense
I just finished reading this book this afternoon so I haven't had time to fully digest it all, but I felt the urge to add my opinion after reading so many negative ones. Read morePublished on April 15, 2011 by KellyG
I also read the first bit of this book from an online book club and thought it would make a fun read, so I ordered it. Read morePublished on February 14, 2011 by Dianne Myhan
The premise of this book sounded good, but the reality was underwhelming. Left me wondering how on earth this manuscript impressed any book editor. Read morePublished on July 12, 2010 by Mom of 2 Boys
I enjoyed the first half of the book. I really wanted to learn more about her relationship with her daughter and I wanted to know more about her life going forward from age... Read morePublished on July 9, 2010 by R. Gordon
To say I loathed this book is an understatement. My impression of the body of this author's work is that she is completely out of touch with the real world, real people, true life... Read morePublished on February 20, 2010 by Scarlett in Hoops
I understand that when the book was in third person, Pippa was distant from herself and didn't really know who she was in this new lifestyle of hers. Read morePublished on January 4, 2010 by Katie K.
This is a perfect story who are looking for a good quality read with some soft life philosphy.The book has two major points;
- one is about Pippa; the perfect wife of an 80... Read more