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Pieces of Happily Ever After Paperback – September 1, 2009
Pierced by the Sun
A gripping tale of murder and redemption by the author of Like Water for Chocolate. Learn More
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“A sassy, sweet tale of love lost and found.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Young Gabby's obsession with fairy tales subtly mirrors Alice's new life as she explores what happens when you have to rescue yourself and make your own happily ever after, hopefully meeting a true Prince Charming along the way.” ―Booklist
“This should give anyone experiencing drama in his or her life comfort to know that happily ever after comes in the moments between the disappointments, sadness and frustration. Pieces of Happily Ever After reminds us we just need to look for them.” ―The Huffington Post
“Zutell's cast of characters are layered and detailed. Even those with bit parts are well-developed. And Zutell doesn't let her characters take the easy road as heroine Alice navigates her way back to happiness and maybe a bit of happily ever after.” ―TheBookChick.com
“[A] very funny debut novel [that] damns Hollywood hotcha culture, reproducing its lower-end pitches perfectly… [It] catches Tinseltown at its worst.” ―Publishers Weekly on They're Not Your Friends
“Hilarious, poignant, and so true to life it's frightening. They're Not Your Friends is a very entertaining Hollywood novel and the perfect summer read.” ―Robin Lynn Williams, author of The Assistants, on They're Not Your Friends
“A hilarious, from-the-heart debut.” ―Melissa Senate, author of See Jane Date and Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? on They're Not Your Friends
Top Customer Reviews
Color me fooled---was hooked from the first page, and kept on until one am, when I told my dear, long-suffering husband (himself also an avid reader) that if I stopped right then, I'd have something to wake up with.
Finished it and had to review it with the most glowing words that I can find...so, buy this one, people-outstanding characters, funny and poignant observations about the nature of life in LA and really everywhere-a true treasure. Most books from the library I enjoy and return, but this one, I'm buying, and I'm buying Ms Zutell's other books too...so that I can keep my appetite for her fine work somewhat in check.
Remember when Julia Roberts met her fairy tale camera man, married him and lived happily ever after? Did you wonder what happened to Vera who was happily married to the guy before America's Sweetheart got her hooks in him? Did you cringe along with me when Julia was spotted wearing an A loe Vera shirt? Do you still want to key her car a little bit? This book gives you a glimpse into what Vera might have been feeling -if Vera was a sarcastic, funny, east coast transplant with compassion, stretch marks, porn filming neighbors, a five-year-old daughter and a mom with Alzheimers. The heroine is brought to life so much that it feels like she could easily be your friend, your neighbor, or a mom you see at drop off at your kid's school. Someone you never took the time to know but should have.
Irene keeps the story moving (which I like because who wants to hear a two page description of a lake?) but takes time to create great visuals like the over-the-top lawn extravaganzas done by her Christmas holiday loving neighbors. I got so swept into the story that I never wanted the book to end and now I have to wait for her to write another one. DAMMIT.
I had read a sample on my Kindle a while back, but ended up buying a $5.00 paperback version(much cheaper than the Kindle version), and I'm glad I didn't spend more money on it. While the storyline intrigued me(I'm a sucker for plots that deal with a family dynamic)and had a good pace, I never felt much depth from the main character, Alice (the other characters lacked depth as well, but I took most issue with the lack of depth in Alice). I wanted so much more from her than what I received. The more I read about Alice, the more I found her to be a rather unlikeable character who went from one situation to the next without really seeing her growth. I found certain things glazed over for the point of plot.
The ectopic pregnancy, for example could have been so much more poignant. I didn't even have the chance to feel for Alice or to find out how Alice was feeling because it was pretty quickly swept under the rug at the light of her husband's possible infidelity.
I also wasn't a big fan of Irene Zutell's writing style. I felt the humor felt rather forced instead of natural, but my main issue was that it felt rather simply written, more juvenile than what I would prefer. I'm not impatient to pick up any of her other novels based upon this one.
Lastly, I felt the daughter, Gabby, to be horrifically annoying. I also didn't feel she fit the characterization of a typical 5-year-old. While I'm sure there are some kids like Gabby, in my experiences, none are as well spoken as or perceptive as Gabby was.Read more ›
I didn't like Gabby, Alice's 5 year old daughter. I have the feeling Zutell tried to present the kid as 'cute' but Gabby came off as unrealistic and bratty. Half the time she's a princess obsessed freak throwing tantrums, the other half she's spouting off criticism of her mother in words more appropriate to a teenager with an attitude problem. "I think our house looks like the Christmas aisle at Target," the little kindergartener sniffs when her mother's holiday decorations don't meet her standards. Excuse me but this kid spends her day waltzing around in cheap costumes and playing 'let's pretend' with a wand and all of a sudden she's a fashion expert?
At first I didn't like Alice's judge mental character. She didn't like another mom because she wore a Winnie the Pooh sweatshirt? Come on...give me a break! Alice was like that with lots of the characters at the beginning and was very annoying. But as the book went along, she got a better attitude, which was a big relief with not liking Gabby's bratty ways combined with Alice and her harsh judgements.
Oh, and I couldn't stand how Trinity, Alice's mother's caretaker, was written as a character. She was Fillipina, not Fillipino as the author constantly wrote wrong. I hate big editing errors like that! I am a Grammar blowhard and that kind of mistake is just lazy. However her character was written embarrassingly stupid. I felt like it was almost prejudice against her in some way even though she was loved as a caretaker.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this for a beach read and for that purpose, it serves well. Half way through reading, I knew what was going to happen and why. Read morePublished on July 7, 2013 by gator90
I loved the character of Alice Hirsh. She's a woman struggling with a failed marriage, adjusting to single motherhood, as well as taking care of her elderly mother. Read morePublished on December 7, 2012 by Romancing the Book
It was a good book, but I was a little weirded out about the women calling her mom "mommy." Also the little girl in the book was so rude and mean, and the mom did nothing, it kinda... Read morePublished on September 27, 2011 by Callie T.
I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would, although there were parts of it I liked very much. Read morePublished on May 27, 2011 by Amazon Customer
Irene Zutell really has a gift for words. If anyone else had told this story I probably would have put it down and walked away. Read morePublished on April 16, 2011 by Patti TheLoveJunkee
I immediately finished the back, and hopped on here to Amazon to see what else she has written. Such a great, fun, heart-wrenching, witty, laugh out loud book!! LOVED IT!Published on February 6, 2011 by Jennifer Lisa Zisk
I found this book more suited for teens than adults.The child in the book is way too mature for a 5 year old not believable at all. Read morePublished on November 10, 2010 by Nancy J. Oakes
This is a good book if you are looking for a fast and mindless read. It's about a woman who recently separated from her unfaithful husband. Read morePublished on August 28, 2010 by Poppyseed
Alice Hirsh is about to find out what happens after "happily ever after".
She was going along happily in her life, raising her daughter, making her house a home,... Read more