6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An ironic, moving, laugh-out-loud funny take on marriage and fidelity...,
This review is from: Still Life with Husband (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?
Emily is backed up by an endearing cast of characters, most notably her best friend Meg and her boss, Dick. A couple of the characters late in the novel seem a little cartoonish, but Fox manages to make even those seem believable. The relationships portrayed in the novel really ring true -- they are sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes euphoric, but always reflecting real life. A couple of the events in the book left me unhappy and wishing for a different result for the characters, but I think that's just a sign of a really talented writer.
What I liked most about the book was its overall light-heartedness and unexpected sense of hope. I can't believe how hard I laughed in many parts of this book! The ending was somewhat frustrating, but it also made perfect, inevitable sense. I hope Lauren Fox has done enough with STILL LIFE WITH HUSBAND to distinguish herself from the multitudes of chick lit writers out there -- she's definitely got something special and wonderfully different to offer.