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Henny on the Couch Paperback – March 27, 2012
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
"Rarely has there been a novel that has dealt quite so honestly with the issues that assail urban women today. Unflinchingly honest and devoid of self-indulgence, Henny on the Couch is a compelling, brave, and beautiful novel."―Kaylie Jones, author of Lies My Mother Never Told Me
"Soodak's first novel, about an affluent New York mom and her rocky relationship with her own mother, considers several mother-daughter parallels . . . Set against the backdrop of the Big Apple, which Kara clearly loves, the book examines Kara's life ... in writing that flows. . . [this] portrait of a privileged upper-class New York mom rings true."―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
This book was a disappointment to me.
Alternating present day with flashback scenes from two distinctive phases in her life, the reader is offered background into Kara's personality. Raised by a single alcoholic mother whose bitterness over the lost promise of a successful singing career colors her entire world and radically alters Kara's childhood. After her mother's death, Kara continues on to college. It is there that she meets Oliver Bellows, a moody promising young artist with whom Kara falls deeply in love and spends the better part of her education trying to reconcile her feelings for him with his lack of them for her. Taking up painting for the first time in college seems to be her way of attempting to forge a stronger connection to her love while whiling away the time spent waiting for him to come around.
A chance encounter with a neighborhood art gallery showcasing the work of a now famous Oliver has Kara reassessing her life and its direction. At the same time her seven year old, Henny is exhibiting concerning difficulties both at home and in school, something that Kara reluctantly attends to.
Lately, I have read a bit too much of this subset of the fiction genre. Disillusioned and unhappy women who are years into marriage and motherhood, feeling unsettled and wondering what happened to their lives?Read more ›
Henny on the Couch by Rebecca Land Soodak takes a look at how easy it is for us to go through every day in charge of the details and lose sight of the big picture we want to create with those details. Kara experiences what many moms do: she is generally happy with her life, yet she's also restless for something more. She started a successful business, but the work there doesn't make her happy. She always wonders if she's spending enough time with her children, particularly when her daughter Henny starts to have trouble in school. And her husband seems sure of where he wants to go, which is to grow his business and move the family to the West Coast, but Kara's not sure she wants to do that either. She wants to address the issue, but she doesn't know how to do that and stay married.
Underlying it all is Kara's own experience as a child, with a mother who was always disappointed that she wasn't talented enough to pursue her dream of singing professionally and drank to numb her sense of failure. When Kara meets Oliver, her old lover, again, and when her best friend makes a life change Kara doesn't approve of, she finally takes the time the think about what she really wants and how she wants her life to be going forward.
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review.
I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, especially the main character, Kara's witty, complex and subtle way of seeing things. I consider myself both feminine and a feminist, but appreciated the writer's perspective on the Monica Lewinsky part. For all the analysis at that time, I have to admit I missed something that Ms Land Soodak mentioned in passing yet has relevance, like something nutrient dense we often ignore.
This is an honest book. A book that will draw you in, captivate you, and give you the feeling of escape we want from novels, but still be nourished. With thoughtful word choices, and intimate insight into the characters lives, this book interweaves an important theme for people, especially women to grapple with. Meaningful, fun and somehow not heavy, like a perfect, delicious, chocolate soufflé, after a great meal when you didn't overeat.
(Forgive the food metaphors, as a personal trainer and nutritional consultant, it's my nature.)
Henny on the Couch
Most Recent Customer Reviews
(3.5 stars) Kara is managing with her life as mother of two, shop owner of a haircut shop for children, and wife. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Michelle Boytim
Although the main character and I don't have everything in common, I was able to identify with her and enjoy reading about her life. Read morePublished on April 21, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I will agree, that I too, picked up the book and was hooked. Although I was looking for more out of the book as far as inspiration (as suggested on the cover) the book was well... Read morePublished on August 1, 2012 by Love a good book
Just finished Henny on the Couch and I am grateful to author Rebecca Land Soodak for a wonderful story with authentic characters. Read morePublished on June 28, 2012 by Frank G. Say
After suffering from a long winded "reading rut," I was gifted Henny on The Couch, and VOILA! " reading rut" is no more. Read morePublished on March 23, 2012 by Tara Fraser
Henny on the Couch has all of the ingredients of a great novel: intereting from the first page, richly textured and complex characters, multiple time periods and a story arc that... Read morePublished on March 23, 2012 by S. Bennett