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Outtakes from a Marriage: A Novel Paperback – May 12, 2009
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“The prose is sprightly … you’ll keep reading.”
"After years as a struggling actor, Joe Ferraro is starring on a hit TV show - and has a Golden Globe nod. But when his stay-at-home mom wife Julia hears a sexy-voice phone-message congratulations from a woman clearly more than a pal, her life is turned upside down. Leary, wife of actor Denis Leary, mines the laughs with her knowing New York-set story. She insists it's all fiction."
—New York Post
"Memoirist Leary (An Innocent, a Broad) follows in her fiction debut the unraveling of Julia Ferraro after she accidentally discovers a racy message in her Golden Globe–nominee husband's voice mail. As the doubts about her husband, Joe, mount, Julia begins examining other areas of her life with closer scrutiny, and her behavior becomes increasingly erratic as her paranoia grows: she dabbles in Restylane and Botox, attempts to seduce her shrink and plants rumors about her husband on Gawker. In addition to Julia's marital angst, she is also managing a shaky relationship with her entitled, adolescent daughter, Ruby, and is wracked with anxiety over her own lack of a career. Julia is a sharp and self-aware narrator, though there are moments when she seems too much a romantic, particularly for someone with otherwise worldly and wry sensibilities. Leary, the wife of actor Denis Leary, has an eye for the comedy of manners of the rich and idle. As Julia's daughter observes, 'You don't really have to do anything.'Julia responds: 'I know. You have no idea how stressful that is.'"
"[T]he ruefully funny story of the stay-at-home wife of a sexy TV star who inadvertently discovers he's having an affair, and sets out to discover with whom before the Golden Globes.”
—Sarasota Herald Tribune
"A hilarious, moving, and addictive novel."
—Dani Shapiro, author of Black and White
"I loved it. I loved Julia—her strength, her vulnerability, and her realism—and I loved Ann Leary's stingingly sharp observations of marriage and motherhood. I can't even say it works as a stunning first novel, because it is far better than that. Ann is truly a writer with enormous talent and heart."
—Jane Green, author of Second Chance and The Other Woman
"Outtakes from a Marriage is a ruefully funny novel about adultery, family, and the good memories that get people through hard times. Ann Leary is a sharp observer of domestic life and celebrity culture."
“Memo to all men: Read this book. You’ll rejoice in its searing honesty and crackling wit. You’re sure to learn something about marriage, about women, and, above all, about yourself as women see you. And women? You might see this book as a mirror where you discover yourself. You’ll know (I think: I’m only a man) how Ann Leary so often hits the nail on the head. I envy all who haven’t read this book. They’re in for a treat.”
—Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes and Teacher Man
"How does a free spirit turned wife and mother cope with her actor husband's infidelity? According to this debut novel from memoirist Leary (An Innocent, a Broad, 2004), with tears, irreverent humor and, ultimately, a reaffirmed sense of self.
"Julia Ferraro's husband Joe has been nominated for a Golden Globe for best actor in a TV series. Weeks before the ceremony, Julia innocently uses Joe's phone to check her messages and punches in his code by mistake. The raunchy, suggestive message she hears sends her near-perfect world into a tailspin. After struggling for years, Joe is now a household name. Julia and he have two young children, Ruby and Sammy, and share a spacious pre-war apartment on the Upper West Side. It's a far cry from the early days of their courtship and marriage, when Julia was the fun-loving breadwinner and Joe was an "awkward, shy, borderline dork" whom Julia "taught to drive a stick shift and to shoot pool and, really, how to dress." Now she is obsessed with discovering the identity of the young woman with "that fresh, foul purr." A girl who once threw wild parties, Julia now balances Joe's celebrity with gentle barbs and copes with such demands as Sammy's status-driven preschool. (The lampooning of Sammy's Multicultural Montessori School is the funniest part of the book.) As the Golden Globes near, Julia plunges into a maelstrom of insecurities about her marriage, her parenting skills and her weight, and she struggles to steer a course between pushover and avenging First Wife. The outcome is satisfying without being sappy.
"A witty take on marital survival in Manhattan—with heart."
—Kirkus, starred review
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I would not have thought I could relate to a celeb mother but in some small ways I believe most mothers would be able to relate to her. This is probably in part due to Leary's writing style which is simple and not overly focused on the celebrity aspect. Leary writes about many different situations that we as mothers find ourselves in. She is able to weave humor throughout the book. I was actually laughing out loud in parts. This is not a very thought-provoking read but it is fun and light-hearted. Although this novel didn't end the way I wanted it to, I would definitely recommend this book.
Julia discovers a possible affair by listening to Joe's messages. She quickly figures out his password and becomes semi-obsessed with tracking the messages and identifying the southern sultry voice of his probable lover. From that point on, Leary proves to me that Julia is smarter than Joe and no matter how many ways she tries to spin the story, she recognizes the lies and the destruction of her dreams.
The book spanned different issues: motherhood, private schools, cosmetic surgery, and Julia's ambivalence for her own goals. I thoroughly enjoyed the Multi school mothers who cruelly verbalized their judgments on Julia and other mothers and children who did not meet their standards. I also found humor and degradation in the cosmetic surgeon's office. It is very funny and yet I felt every needle and was rather appalled with the surgeon's "selling" of her craft. It seemed scarily realistic!
Leary's female characters were more defined and served a purpose to weave the story together. The reader would always like Catalina, the loyal housekeeper but question her best friends and I certainly became impatient with Ruby, Julia and Joe's daughter. This was a good page turner and Ann Leary created a plausible story rather than a mundane Hollywood tell-all.
I found this book to be funny; really, really funny. It is a barbed-wire humor, sharp and acerbic. Sometimes you laugh and then wonder if laughing at the situation was inappropriate. It also has very poignant moments that make this book very real and gripping. You instantly connect with the characters and want to see them come out on top. It also has you questioning what you would do in such a situation. More than once I mentally chided Julia for her actions and then realized that I would have probably reacted the same way.
It's a quick and easy read, which is amplified by the fact that you will suddenly develop an inability to put the book down the moment you read the first sentence. Highly entertaining, a catalyst for soul searching, and all around enjoyable, Outtake from a Marriage is a must read for, well, everyone.
Armchair Interviews says: Funny and well written.