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Confessions of a Bigamist: A Novel Hardcover – May 11, 2004

3.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The heroine of Lehrer's fourth novel (Out of Eden, etc.) already has two personas-one as 47-year-old Michelle Banyon, chic wife of a successful Manhattan lawyer; the other as Daisy Strait, popular women's magazine columnist, consultant and public speaker who specializes in streamlining lives and closets-when she meets a man who makes her question who she really is. After literally knocking Wilson Collins off his feet (with her car) following a speaking engagement in Texas, Michelle surprises herself by falling in love. To Wilson, our heroine takes on a third persona (he calls her Mickey): sexual, feisty, needy, yet still fiercely independent. She also becomes a liar: Mickey can't bring herself to confess her true marital status. Michelle is painted as a good and moral person (though surprisingly untroubled by guilt), who agrees to marry Wilson rather than lose him. She gets into trouble when she tries to balance the competing demands of her long-term but often long-distance marriage to Steve and her more passionate relationship with Wilson in Texas, as well as her burgeoning career as Daisy, a woman who would never find herself in Michelle/Mickey's conundrum. Though the friendly, chatty narrator takes readers into her confidence with breezy ease, Lehrer's blithe answer to the novel's underlying question-is it really possible for a woman to have it all?-may strike many as unrealistic.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“A fantastically funny yarn about a woman who wants it all, and gets it all twice.” —Vanity Fair

“What fun it is to read this book, to watch the imaginative plot unfold . . . to be touched by the poignancy of the characters.” —Elizabeth Strout, author of Amy and Isabelle

“A great escape.” —Newsweek


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (May 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400050251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400050253
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,429,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed 'Confessions of a Bigamist.'

The book is, first, well-written, with a solid, appropriate voice and an easy-to-read format. Likewise, the book is rich in substance, from the literary to the intellectual to the sociological (and, yes, the erotic, too). The story is well-composed and -executed, and the characters are developed and believable; plus, a feminine wit and perceptiveness pervades the text. However, what I most enjoyed lay on a deeper level: namely, 'Bigamist' presents a human and psychological study, due to its explorations of our Janus-like condition, and the many sides and selves and desires which comprise any individual (as well as how those selves tend to *conflict*). A sober authenticity underlies the book's fictional narrative, such that it raises many relevant, real-world questions about the reality of ourselves, the personality, and our multi-faceted nature. In this way, the book informs and provokes while it entertains, and succeeds at both. Overall, I came away from 'Bigamist' feeling satisfied and educated.

My thanks goes out to this book's author and publisher. I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work and service.
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Format: Hardcover
Michelle can't figure out what type of person she is, and she's running away from her past and everything Indiana represents. When she goes back to confront her Indiana sister, Andrea, she notes how beat up Andrea looks and how no woman in New York would look as old as Andrea, even if they are actually the same age. In this way Kate Lehrer manages to alienate a whole slew of Indiana readers. I don't think it's true and I've seen plenty of New York women who look like hags. Check it out next time you go to New York! Anyhow she has one husband Steve, who's not above a little shady business practice, he is a wealthy lawyer whose Christmas bonus is almost half a million dollars. And still Michelle's not satisfied. She has her own business advising women to de-clutter their lives, get rid of old magazines, boyfriends, you know, "he's just not that into you." When she runs over Wilson Collins, I took it that someone must have advised Kate Lehrer to make sure her hero and heroine "meet cute." Taking care of Wilson, she falls in love and decides to depart with him on a romantic vacation in the rain forest, where the two get closer and closer.

I like all the parts where Michelle (who calls herself "Mickey" after Wilson tells her she seems like a "Mickey" rather than a Michelle) feels like she's falling apart. From childhood she has been afraid of snakes and tangly things of all kinds, they embody chaos for her and make her feel as though she were about to die. At age 47 she has an amazing breakthrough, I'm not giving away any spoilers that aren't in the title of the book when I say that she takes the career advice of the novelist Anais Nin, who also had two husbands, and managed to have a successful career on top of that. Kate Lehrer may not like Indiana women, but she likes individuality, good posture, and happiness for all concerned. When Michelle begins to internalize her many selves, and has a bit of a health scare, you'll feel for her in every sick moment.
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Format: Hardcover
Michelle Banyon literally knocks over handsome Wilson Collins as she drives away from a Texas speaking engagement. She's built an organizing empire under the name Daisy Strait and has kept her own identity -- married to Steve Banyon, an international lawyer who travels a lot -- hidden from her adoring public.
With her husband out of the country more than he's in, Michelle begins spending time with Wilson, finally agreeing to a quickie wedding. She loves both her husband and Wilson. They both love her. So why not?
Confessions of a Bigamist is plausible. Whether it's realistic depends on your beliefs about the human psyche. As an experienced businesswoman, Michelle would have realized the legal implications of a marriage. He could have claims on her wealth and she could be burdened with his debt. And I'm not a lawyer but she may have committed crimes: bigamy, fraud...
However, I didn't get hung up on realism. I would read this novel as playing out an interesting "what if" scenario, not as a literary character study that teaches us deeper lessons about life. It's entertaining and it raises some questions. That's enough for a novel that's probably categorized as chick lit, perfect for summer reading.
To make Michelle more human, we see her rebuilding ties to her estranged sister and grown-up niece, Dottie, a dancer who finds the New York competition overwhelming. We only see Dottie in some degree of angst so those scenes don't add much. Estranged siblings -- one domestic, one involved in business -- are pretty common in real life and fiction.
I kept turning the pages, expecting the author to take us right to the edge of a crisis. When a publisher makes a big offer on a book, and when she's featured on a tabloid cover, there's a big risk of exposure.
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Format: Paperback
I cannot beleive I wasted precious reading time on this novel. Did you ever have a book that you wanted to throw across the room after reading the ending?? Well, this book was that one for me.

I never connected to Michelle, Mickey or Daisy. I never connected to any of the characters!. Please dont waste your

time!
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