This Is Just Exactly Like You

Drew Perry, Author . Viking $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-670-02154-3

In his turgid debut, author Perry delves into the life of bland suburbanite Jack Lang after his wife, Beth, leaves him and their autistic six-year-old son, Hendrick, for Jack’s best friend, Terry, who has recently separated from girlfriend Rena (who happens to be Beth’s friend). When Rena discovers Beth is living with Terry, she immediately throws herself at Jack, who, having earlier impulsively purchased the house across the street, moves there with Rena and Hendrick, though Rena, bossy and needling from day one, is probably the least plausible therapeutic lay in history. Meanwhile, Hendrick begins to come out of his shell. Every 30 or so pages, Jack and Beth stalwartly refuse to discuss what is wrong between them: throughout their numerous confrontations, the exact reasons and circumstances for their separation are only vaguely sketched, and the reader feels cheated. By never knowing what went wrong, indifference can be the only reaction to their stabs at reconciliation, and if they did clear the air, the novel would have no dramatic necessity. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/11/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-14-311860-2
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-101-19004-3
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