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Leaving Sophie Dean Paperback – March 26, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"LEAVING SOPHIE DEAN is a lively, cosmopolitan novel that turns the tale of the "Other Woman" inside out and backwards. Alexandra Whitaker writes with style and aplomb, a sense of fun, and a sense of humanity."―-Elin Hilderbrand, author of Silver Girl

"Alexandra Whitaker takes the tried-and-true story of man leaves wife and kids for other woman and gives it a refreshing twist. LEAVING SOPHIE DEAN succeeds brilliantly as a comedy of manners because of Whitaker's pitch-perfect depictions of human foibles and graceful renderings of awkward situations. But the book works on a much deeper level too: as a meditation on marriage, solitude, personal freedom, and parenting that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining."―Meg Mitchell Moore, author of The Arrivals and So Far Away

"Alexandra Whitaker's LEAVING SOPHIE DEAN is smart, clever, moving, and surprising at every turn. Funny and wise, this is a tale of modern love about parents who love their children more than they don't-love each other."―-Laura Zigman, author of Animal Husbandry and Piece of Work

About the Author

Alexandra Whitaker is the daughter of Rodney Whitaker, a.k.a. Trevanian, from whom she learned to write in the course of a happy and fruitful apprenticeship that included collaborating on his last two novels. As a child she lived all over the United States and in Europe, a perpetual 'new girl' and a keen language learner. She has written for children and for film, also short fiction. She lives with her husband and child in Spain and France.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: 5 Spot; Original edition (March 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446583944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446583947
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,358,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This is simply a great book. Everyone is up to something here, and nothing is simple, yet it's wickedly funny and the keenest insight I've ever read about parents and families and how we go about trying to get what we need in this life. So contemporary and knowing, Ms. Whitaker is a master of conveying how people behave, what they think, what they say and what is not said. There is magic in this woman's writing, yes you'll be superbly entertained- but Leaving Sophie Dean will make you look at the world differently, and maybe even change your life. It's that good.
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Format: Paperback
I very much enjoyed Leaving Sophie Dean. It had been a while since I'd read women's fiction set in a neighborhood that I know so well. The characters live in the South End, Back Bay and Jamaica Plain areas of Boston, and Alexandra Whitaker captures the places so well that they are another character in the story.

If you're looking for fun and witty women's fiction, consider how these elements work together: A good-enough marriage that breaks apart when the young mistress lays down an ultimatum - in response to her best friend's dare/taunt. The best friend is a formerly childhood friend who has her own issues with the glamorous, successful, aggressive mistress. The mistress is a little predictable, but her dilemma is certainly novel and makes for great comedy. Sophie Dean blossoms as a character and, in the best tradition of women's fiction, she keeps us laughing as she reclaims her identity and her life. It helps that Sophie's husband remains likable throughout the novel.

If you're looking for a fun, romantic comedic escape, I highly recommend Leaving Sophie Dean.

ISBN-10: 0446583944 - Paperback $13.99
Publisher: 5 Spot; Original edition (March 26, 2012), 352 pages.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher.
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Format: Paperback
Just as that flippant finger-flick aimed at the miniature family home on the cover is nicely belied by the graceful, looping script of the title,what might sound at first like a cliched sit.com. set-up (see blurbs)quite quickly turns to so much else, to do with how families live. The title alone can be taken three ways. The first covers a simple matter of packing a bag; the second, with "leaving" applied to Sophie, refers to a potentially comic but far more complex reversal; and the third has to do with dropping the wifely identity Sophie has assumed on leaving Sophie Szabo, her single self.
I wondered about Tolstoy's dictum that "All happy families are alike, each unhappy family unhappy in its own way" while reading this book. It takes a serio-comic, searching long look at a common phenomenon of OUR times (not Tolstoy's), and considers a new design for living more happily, but there is nothing weighty about its delivery. The writing style is delightful and original, with the kind of humour that catches you, as it were, suddenly in mid-sip. I especially liked the scenes with the children, so tenderly funny and true, and I'll never forget the heart-stopping one towards the end.
Ms. Whitaker has provided some excellent pointers at the back for reading groups, covering just the things we like to know about a writer at work, plus some good discussion questions. I mean to introduce the book to my group, and to make them laugh and admire in advance I have two tasters to read out: a great metaphor about a "meticulous nomad" on p. 10, and a lovely poetic one at the bottom of p. 211. Check 'em out!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was a change of pace for me from my normal choices. Was interesting in a "all combinations of people and arrangements make successful families" kind of way. Definitely overemphasized that decided point of view. Pushing that idea may have been the entire point of the book. I did appreciate the heroines novel approach to her separation, divorce situation. The father's role depiction was quite difficult to swallow!
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Format: Paperback
Leaving Sophie Dean

This novel deals wth the break up of a marriage and the chicklit style bright blue cover misleads by suggesting that it might treat that subject with the pleasant, feelgood superficiality of that genre. In fact the book is much more interesting than that. It offers a quirky oblique look at marriage in the 21st Century and the roles within it of men and women and in particular their roles in connection with the raising of children.

When stay-at-home mother Sophie Dean (good name!) discovers that her husband is about to leave her and their 2 small children for his glamourous, single work colleague she decides to take matters into her own hands and leaves him living with the children whilst she performs the role of live out Mum as opposed to the more usual live out Dad.The novel than charts closely the experience of the 3 main characters in coming to terms with and then moving on from this new scenario.

I found the narrative unusually gripping. I could not go to sleep at night until I had finished "one more
chapter " so anxious was I to find out how the situation was going to work itself out.

I was particularly struck by the development of the relationships of the 3 main characters with the children of the marriage which were described with an unusually clear sighted lack of sentimentality.

This novel provides a very thoughful and subtle analysis of marriLeaving Sophie Deanage and its place in the modern world. Highly recommended
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