Take My Ex-Husband, Please--But Not Too Far

Barbara Malley, Author Little Brown and Company $18.95 (219p) ISBN 978-0-316-54524-2
Malley's prosaic debut book is made up of extracts from letters and diary notes that focus on everyday domesticity and skewed relationships. In 1939 at age 18, the pregnant author left college to marry Ed Malley, a union which produced four children. Life on the Massachusetts South Shore was full of good times: sailing, flying, raising a family. But the Malleys divorced in 1970 when the author discovered that her husband was unfaithful. She took lovers herself after recovering from a suicide attempt, then went on to become Ed's best friend--``ex-husbands like Ed are hard to find''--involving herself in his love affairs and helping him choose a new wife. While the author is clearly determined to be amusing, there is a desperate edge to her wit in a memoir that concludes with this endearment from the 67-year-old Ed to his ex: ``If I weren't so happily married . . . I'd marry you and double your alimony.'' (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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