Outtakes from a Marriage, Ann Leary

Cover ImageFinished 1-1-09, rating 2.5/5, fiction, pub. 2008

Julia has just found out that Joe, her Golden Globe nominated husband of many years, is cheating on her.  She decides not to confront him (she knows he is a good liar) and goes about her daily life taking care of her two kids, teenager Ruby and preschooler Sammy.  She becomes obsessed with checking Joe’s cell messages and listening to the woman’s sexy voice repeatedly, looking for the owner of that voice in Joe’s life.  She surprises him on set and lurks on the celebrity websites spreading lies about her clueless husband.  When the time for confrontation comes the fallout begins with the Golden Globe ceremony as a backdrop.

I was prepared to enjoy it based on the good reviews on other blogs, but I didn’t.  I never connected with Julia and the only time I really liked her was when she interacted with Mr. Mom because she showed some depth.  I understand that this was the point being made, that she lost herself in the marriage, but there was so little spark to the character that I was bored with her botox, hair extensions, and recollections of better times with Joe.  There was no real sense that the story was going anywhere and the end proved that true, in my opinion.

The one thing I thought was fun was Julia’s dad identifying a person’s character by his or her first name.  Neds are thoughtful, Jakes sly, Davids smart, and Jacks funny.  Joes, she learned from her father, are a handful. 

I woudn’t recommend this book, but it has received good reviews elsewhere.