- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (December 1, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1503940306
- ISBN-13: 978-1503940307
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 346 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #513,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lift and Separate: A Novel Paperback – December 1, 2016
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Winner of the Women's Fiction Writers Association Star Award for Outstanding Debut
“Lift And Separate is a laugh-out-loud, heartwarming story that begs to be a blockbuster starring Nicholson and Keaton and shares the vulnerability, wisdom, and brilliance of Nora Ephron's Heartburn.” —Jennifer Belle, bestselling author of High Maintenance
“Lift and Separate takes us on a funny but moving journey through heartbreak, hilarity, betrayal, and healing. Marcy Hammer is a hammer indeed! Rooting for her all the way, one is exhilarated by the journey Marilyn Simon Rothstein gives her without ever burning a single bra! Hip-hip hurrah!” —Lanie Robertson, writer of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, the Tony Award–winning play for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play and Best Sound Design of a Play
About the Author
Marilyn Simon Rothstein is the author of Lift and Separate, winner of the Star Award presented by the Women’s Fiction Writers Association for Outstanding Debut. Husbands and Other Sharp Objects is her second novel.
Marilyn grew up in New York City, earned a degree in journalism from New York University, began her writing career at Seventeen magazine, married a man she met in an elevator, and owned an advertising agency for more than twenty-five years. Marilyn received an MA in liberal studies from Wesleyan University and an MA in Judaic studies from the University of Connecticut. She enjoys speaking at book festivals and community events.
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"Three days after my husband left me, I stood in the master bathroom with my best friend Dana. 'I would throw out his toothbrush," I said, "but I don't know which is his and which is mine.'" So begins the witty, humorous, and intriguing take on the "illegal" separation of Marcy and Harley Hammer. (page 1)
After 33 years of marriage, Harvey decides he isn't coming home and has some things to think about. The fact that he tells his wife this over the phone is more vexing to Marcy as is the missing wardrobe on his side. This shows he planned this without telling her ahead of time. Despite all this, Marcy still wants her marriage and husband...her life back. While many tout that she is more than able to "lift [herself] up and create a whole new life," Marcy likes the way things are. Three grown and successful children, a large house in Connecticut, and a husband who owns his own business: Bountiful Bosom, a brassiere and lingerie company. Who else's husband could look at another woman and suggest the perfect bra and size? Oh and a man who decided to redecorate the bathroom with tile that replicates the Sistine Chapel.
While many believe that Harvey will come back, and Marcy is hoping he will, it doesn't stop her from thinking about all kinds of different scenarios about why he suddenly left. Until he shows up and explains. An affair. She was 22. A lingerie model. Saw her for 4 months and am not currently seeing her. Okay, Marcy can take the high road and he can come back home. Until something else arises and she kicks him out, for good. All the way back to the Presidential Suite at the ritzy hotel.
She has made her decision and once he is gone, Marcy begins to lift herself out of her misery, separate herself from the parts of her life she didn't like and slowly starts building a new life. She realizes she hates the house she is living in. In fact she never liked it to begin with. She is thinking of selling it. She gets promoted to a full time position where she has been helping out part time and loves her job. She makes a new friend when her injured mother has to be in the hospital for a period of time; albeit there are some complications which arise.
Marcy begins to find the good even on the rough days. She learns to set limits, learns what she likes, who she is, and what she wants to change. She accepts her "illegal" separation (no one has filed papers yet) and that life doesn't have to end at almost 60 or after ending a marriage of 33 years. That, quite possibly, the best may be yet to come...
Ms Rothstein has taken the tough issues around the end of a long term marriage and turned them into a truly wonderful novel. By using humor, interesting and well written characters, and a lighthearted, serious, and enjoyable plot line, the author has written a captivating novel that is hard to put down.
I appreciate that Rothstein was able to balance humor and seriousness. The scenario of a long-standing marriage in jeopardy is not a funny one and Rothstein never tries to make light of it. Instead, the humor comes from Marcy's insight and reactions. Not only does this lighten the mood, but it adds great depth to Marcy. I found her to be a believable and sympathetic character, and one that I rooted for.
Around Marcy is a colorful cast of characters. Rothstein hits the sweet spot for the size of her supporting cast. Every character plays an integral role in Marcy's life and they help to propel the plot forward. Each person was distinct and fleshed out, with the exception of Harvey. But, honestly, this book isn't about Harvey. He's obviously important to the situation, but what is going through his mind isn't important to the story.
Once I was able to devote time to this book, I was hooked. The plot moves smoothly and swiftly and Marcy's experiences were authentic and believable. There were many times when I really wasn't sure what decision Marcy would make and, even if I didn't agree with what she chose, I could still believe that she would choose it.
This was an entertaining novel with more depth than I expected. It is one that I would recommend to anyone wanting something humorous and deceptively un-fluffy.