Still Life with Husband

Lauren Fox, Author
Lauren Fox, Author . Knopf $22.95 (258p) ISBN 978-0-307-26491-6
Reviewed on: 11/06/2006
Release date: 02/01/2007
Paperback - 307 pages - 978-0-307-27737-4
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Yes, it's an affair novel, but file this adroit but placid debut under chick lit for early marrieds—the ones who are not sure they want to be on the baby-house-'burbs track. At 30, Emily Ross is a Milwaukee freelance writer with a part-time job as assistant editor at a medical journal called Male Reproduction and a marriage to "steady, staid" Kevin, a technical writer she met in college. Kevin, "innocent and intolerable," wants a baby and a house. Emily is ambivalent and bored. A few pages in, Emily meets David Keller, a dark, good-looking writer/editor at the local alternative newspaper, and starts an affair. Things, as expected, do not go well, but Fox's voice is steady, moving easily between comedy and drama. Her emotionally literate delineation of character and relationship give the book texture, with Emily's relationship with her best friend, Meg, emerging as the book's most resonant. Fox draws just the right tension out of Emily's mix of honesty and self-delusion, reflection and romance, with an undercurrent of a sort of left-handed hope. For anyone who's lived through a relationship drama, though, Emily will have a decidedly entitled, gee-whiz quality that's hard to take. (Feb. 7)

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