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Cars from a Marriage Hardcover – April 27, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her third novel, Galant (Fear and Yoga in New Jersey) explores a marriage through the lens of the various cars that the couple owns during their 20 years together. Yes, it sounds like a gimmick, but it comes off much better than it sounds. Ivy, whose father owns a dealership and is convinced she's going to die in a car accident, moves to New York City (where cars are optional) after college and meets future husband Ellis. It's not love at first sight, and things are in fact more than a little rocky, as Galant reveals the troubles they go through together, the trials of raising two daughters, Ellis's extensive traveling for his job, and temptations outside of their marriage—all centered around stories involving their cars, from Ellis's bachelor Mustang to more family-friendly conveyances. This family is far from perfect, and Galant proves adept at revealing what's in their hearts, giving readers an affecting and strikingly honest look at a marriage. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

DEBRA GALANT is the author of Rattled and Fear and Yoga in New Jersey. She is also the creator of the popular blog Baristanet.com. She lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312367279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312367275
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,336,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A chapter into Debra Galant's "Cars From a Marriage," I had the urge to jump on my laptop and begin a story of my own. This is a writer's impulse when reading something good, something GREAT--we want to emulate the craftsmanship of the author, see if we can create the same magic with words. I didn't abandon the book to start typing because, by Chapter 2, I was too caught up in the story to put it down (not to mention, those nagging doubts about coming up with even a sentence as lively as one of Galant's, never mind a scene).

"Cars From a Marriage" tracks the relationship of Ivy, a Southern belle turned single New Yorker quickly turned New Jersey stay-at-home mom, and Ellis, a stand-up comedian turned husband and PR exec, via the cars they drive. From Ford Mustang and falling in love to Buick Century Wagon and suburban doldrums/parenting overload, from Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon and a family funeral to Audi Cabriolet Convertible and infidelity--Galant draws us into Ivy and Ellis's cars, into their minds, into their world, with these two main characters narrating every other chapter in distinct voices--voices that are so believable, they seem to inhabit the room with you as you read. Their views on driving--both funny and serious--mirror the way they navigate life, and the clash in styles has bigger repercussions than highway spats (though there are a few doozies in that department). "Cars From a Marriage" turns the high beams on the dynamics of driving and marriage and proves an illuminating, inspiring, amusing, and thought-provoking read.
--Jill Johnson, Freelance Writer, [...].
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Format: Hardcover
After the first chapter of Cars From a Marriage I thought I was reading a memoir. The story reads so easily and the feelings are so real that I forgot it was fiction and thought I was reading Debbie's story. I grew up in Montclair, NJ and especially enjoyed the tidbits about the colonial on Hawthorne Avenue, running to Krauser's and getting high in the dank basements while house hunting. The funny thing is, I now live in Virginia and could also relate to Ivy's hometown, Charlottesville and her southern upbringing - although Ivy is anything but your typical southern belle. I absolutely loved this story. Debbie alternates chapters between the voices of Ellis and Ivy (husband and wife). Each relating their point of view as Debbie takes us through their ups and downs, their successes and failures, their joys and their fears, their fantasies and their sins. Any couple who has been married for more than a couple years will certainly relate to their tale with much laughter and perhaps a twinge of guilt. I absolutely loved this book and would highly recommend Cars From a Marriage to all my friends.
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Format: Hardcover
Cars from a Marriage has Debra Galant's trademark laugh out loud humor, but it is also a poignant character study. It's an absorbing, in-depth portrayal of a couple, Ivy and Ellis, with chapters alternating between their voices. I couldn't help but identify with Ivy's anxiety, and I think that others, even brave drivers, will too. Her vulnerability and self-doubt are so real. Galant writes men so well-although I identified with Ivy, Ellis also had my compassion.
I thoroughly enjoyed her other two novels, Rattled, and Fear and Yoga in New Jersey, but I think this latest novel, while just as smart and funny, is a more literary endeavor.
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Format: Hardcover
I just finished "Cars from a Marriage" in the wee hours of this rainy morning. It has kept me company this past week, as I neglected the chores of daily life to spend time instead in the marriage of Ivy and Ellis (who might live down the street from me in suburban NJ). Debra Galant has captured something very real, and infused her characters with authentic personalities, habits, fantasies and flaws. Parts of the story made me sad for our imperfect marriages, however the big picture made me celebrate our collective journey -- on the road and off. Kudos on a story well told and thanks to the author for the great read.
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Format: Hardcover
"Cars from a Marriage" is a delightfully honest portrayal of a 20+ year marriage, told from the perspective of the cars that the couple drove during their life together. I found this premise intriguing and highly enjoyable. We don't really think about how our cars have been with us through the ups and downs of our lives, and telling the story of a marriage in this manner is refreshing and quite unique!

Ivy Honeycutt and Ellis Halpern meet and fall in love in NYC in 1981. Ivy is a southern transplant with an intense fear of driving, although her father owns the local Buick dealership in her hometown. Ellis is a wannabe stand-up comedian who rescues Ivy from a mean waitress in a nightclub he is performing at. He whisks her away in his 1974 Burgundy Mustang Hatchback and they fall in love.

Where most stories end, "Cars from a Marriage" is just beginning. From the 1982 Light Green Buick LeSabre, to the 1987 Buick Century Wagon (white with wood trim), to the 1992 Silver Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon, to the 1995 Red Audi Cabriolet Convertible (rental), and finally to the Red Chrysler Sebring Convertible (rental), the reader is taken on a journey of the highs and lows of a 20 year marriage. What I found interesting about this book is what each car signifies - that the car is a metaphor for the characters lives at that time. From just starting out, to having children, to figuring out life, to death, and to infidelities. You can picture the family in each of these cars during these times, feel the joy and feel the pain that they are experiencing.

The story is told in alternating chapters between Ivy and Ellis. I really felt for both of these characters.
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