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Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Ex-library book. The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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Pieces of Happily Ever After Paperback – September 1, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Journalist Zutell debuts with a sassy, sweet tale of love lost and found. When Hollywood entertainment lawyer Alex Hirsh starts hitting the gym and sporting Armani, his wife, Alice, chalks it up to a midlife crisis. But soon Alex—now the execrable Xander—is all over the tabloids, caught canoodling with his newest client, man-eating actress Rose Maris. Cue Alice's tears, rage, breakdown, followed by a bumpy and comic road to happiness, right? Yes and no: the novel walks a familiar path, but there are plenty of details to keep the story feeling fresh. Alice is entertainingly judgmental, and the new friends she makes as a divorcée are winning: there's Nancy, who wears horrible Hallmarky sweatshirts but curses a blue streak, and Ruth, a former porn star desperate to protect her son from her past. Naturally, there's a love interest for Alice, but the real love story is the one between Alice and her precocious six-year-old daughter. And it's their sweet, complicated relationship that lifts this tale above the slew of competing family dramas. (Sept.)
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“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


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312540094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312540098
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,118,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jennifer Kohn Murtha on October 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I picked this up at the library, thinking that it would be a nice chick lit book, or a beach read, or a guilty pleasure. Started it last evening, because had read all of other "good" books, and saved this one for when there was nothing else to read. Hah!
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.
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Format: Paperback
It's a novel but it should be a movie. It's beautiful. It's funny. It's deeply moving (I cried - twice) and it's got edge. Irene Zutell, the author, is a friend of mine and I went into reading it with slight trepidation because I always have that feeling like what if I don't like it? How will I tell my friend the truth? Well no worries there, I was completely taken aback by my love for this book. Seriously, I want to make out with it. Truth be told I'm still in a little post good book haze where moments and feelings come back to me while doing other things -which is so rare for me when I read.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book rather quickly and I enjoyed it for the most part. I don't think it is a book I'll be impatient to pick up again, nor do I feel the need to recommend it to others.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sometimes just a piece of Happily Ever After is the best we can expect. Sure, we all hope for more, but are we really all that disappointed when we don't get it? An entertaining book that I will pass along to my sister, who will pass it along....etc. If you are considering buying this book, consider no longer. Just buy it. It's worth the price & the time it takes you to read it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I liked the idea of this book- husband takes off with celebrity leaving wife and daughter to cope with the fall-out. I can't even say that the book was bad, because it wasn't. But I can't say it was good, either. It was a good story with a good plot and it just wasn't anything spectacular.

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.
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