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Breakup: The End of a Love Story Paperback – August 17, 1999
"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
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When Joel Rose left his wife, Catherine Texier, and the East Village to move in uptown with an editor at Crown Books--which had just paid him $105,000 for his new novel--their acrimonious split was the talk of literary New York. Reading Texier's present-tense account of their final months together is like watching a train wreck in progress. Emotions are volatile, behavior is bad, each nasty skirmish in the marital war is reported in excruciating detail apparently unmitigated by editing. She plunges readers into the thick of things with pungent prose that displays, despite the fact that she's French-born, her impressive grasp of Anglo-Saxon expletives--though idiosyncratic words such as "competitivity" give the text a faintly foreign flavor. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband, once a champion of alternative literature, comes across as a climber who wants mainstream success and big bucks as much as he wants to end the marriage--indeed, his reluctance to actually pack up and move out suggests that what he'd really like is to have his cake and eat it too. Yet the narrative also provides ample support for Rose's contention that his wife is emotionally needy and self-centered. (She notes, but never really grapples with, the impact of their vicious quarreling on their two daughters.) Do we need the graphic particulars of the couple's sex life, still "hot" even as their relationship lurches toward auto-destruct? Probably not, but Texier's willingness to tell all certainly makes this an engrossing example of the memoir-as-reprisal. --Wendy Smith --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Shortly after the author returned from a trip to France, the country of her birth, she discovered that her husband of 18 years and the father of their two daughters wanted to leave her. Texier, a novelist (Love Me Tender) who co-edited with her husband, Joel Rose, Between C and D, a lower Manhattan literary journal, publishes here the diary she kept in 1996, the final year of their marriage. Artfully written and candid in its anguish, her memoir describes the harrowing months when she tried to change Rose's mind by maintaining their sex life, cooking for him and restraining her rage at his betrayal. Although she discovered that he had been having a 15-month-long affair with the woman he wanted to leave her for, Texier continued to hope that the memories of the good years they had shared would be powerful enough to keep them together. It was only after Rose took his lover on a trip to Los Angeles that the author finally told him to leave their home. Men and women alike will respond to Texier's re-creation of her feelings of depression, anger, jealousy and erotic longing that accompanied the dissolution of her marriage. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
It's written from the heart, and once you pick up this book you won't be able to put it down. You may not love it, but you WILL understand...
A few reviewers, here on Amazon and professional reviewers also, have called the woman pathetic, narcissistic, not self-critical and self-absorbed. I think it's very easy to criticize someone who does not act the way you would expect, especially from reading a book and not knowing the person.
What gets to me is that this is a memoirs and so, a memoirs is necessarily self-absorbed one way or another. She is writing about her feelings, her thoughts, her realization that her marriage is dissolving. What do you expect? If she is narcissistic, does that make you a voyeur for reading the book? As to the charge that she is pathetic, I don't know what to make of it. Why is she pathetic? Because she is staying in the house while her spouse visits his mistress? Because she has revenge fantasies? Texier explains that as a European woman, she possibly has a different view of what to do when your spouse cheats on you. So, part of the answer to her behaviour is cultural. But even then, I know non-European women who have stayed and hoped that the man would turn around. Most women who are cheated on will have fantasies of violence and never act on them. It's part of the process of bereaving for a relationship, especially a long-term one. And Texier does mention her spouse's criticisms towards her. But clearly, if someone tells you you are soul mates, you are great together and everything is well, it's very difficult to understand what it is that happened for all of that to change. Why is that man not pathetic to reviewers instead?
This is a highly readable, compelling and soothing reading for a woman who has been abandonned. There is an ending to it, maybe not a happy ending, but a sense of coming full circle and regaining sanity and peace of mind. I highly recommend this memoirs.
Overall I enjoyed the book. It did its job of evoking a strong emotional response. However, it was incredibly repetitive. How many times did she have to tell us how confused and sad and angry she was? I know that's the point of the memoir, but I couldn't help but roll my eyes while reading yet another passage that read like one on a previous page.
I only wish Texier had the courage to dump the sad, pathetic Joel sooner than she did. If not for herself, then for her two children who had no choice but to weather their storm. I feel very sorry for them and what they had to go through.
I don't know what I would have done in her situation so I can't pass judgement. (Even though I kind-of am!) Texier is a beautiful writer and I'll read more of her work in the future. But if you haven't bought it already, wait for the paperback.