The One That Got Away

Leigh Himes. Hachette Books, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-0-316-30573-0
Himes’s debut novel begins with harried working wife and mother Abbey, who hits her heads and loses consciousness while wishing for a different life. The fall happens as Abbey returns a too-expensive red Marc Jacobs bag to a Nordstroms in Philadelphia, and she imagines herself on the road not taken, the wife of a wealthy, handsome man who once asked her out. This dream husband is Alex, a Philadelphia blue blood running for Congress, whereas her real husband is Jimmy, whose business failures she resents. In the dream, Abbey, sans “droopy skin or love handles” and now with breast implants, tries to get up to speed and help her husband’s campaign and wonders what happened to her ambition and depth, and why she would have ceded control of her family to her mother-in-law. Himes’s portrait of an outsider trying to fit into a narrow new role works well; Abbey is reminiscent of the snarky Jill Weber character on Bravo’s Odd Mom Out. Less successful is the novel’s deliberate pacing and the ease with which Abbey betrays her original marriage vows. Agent: Theresa Park, Park Literary Group. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2016
Release date: 05/31/2016
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Hardcover - 978-1-4789-0949-1
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-316-30572-3
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-316-30570-9
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