Book Review: My Husband’s Sweethearts

October 21, 2008

My Husband’s Sweethearts, a Novel

by:  Bridget Asher

I read a review of this book in People Magazine.  It was published along with the review of Yesterday’s Weather.  It was a good review and peaked my interest.  I purchased them both, simultaneously.

There’s not an elaborate discussion about why I chose this book, other than the premise of it really intrigued me.  In reading it, that intrigue kept me glued.  I very much enjoyed reading this novel.  I must say… this book has “Screenplay” written all over it!  Personally, I could imagine it as a movie that I would definitely go and see… I hope it makes it way to The Big Screen.  It would be interesting to see who they’d cast for the characters.

This book is simple, yet complex.  It is written at just the right pace, with wonderful little “nuggets” of wisdon and insight into love, death, and family.  Simply, I would recommend this book along with many of the other ones that I’ve reviewed this Fall.  Speaking of Fall, this book is on my Fall Into Reading 2008 Challenge (link is below).

The Review:

Title:  My Husband’s Sweethearts, a novel

Author:  Bridget Asher

Author’s Website: http://www.bridgetasher.com/

Publisher:  Bantam-Dell / Delacorte Press

Publisher’s Website: www.bantamdell.com

Type:  Fiction

ISBN #:978-0-385-34189-9 (Hardcover)

Pages: 271

This book is a story of Lucy, a woman married to Artie, a dying man.  Lucy is an auditor with a well-established career and leading a “successful” life.  We meet Lucy, and her assistant Lindsay, while she is on a business trip.  The reader discovers that her dying husband has been cheating on her during her 4-year marriage to him.  She has been away from Artie for 6 months on trips in order to avoid him due to his “transgressions.”  Artie makes, what I believe to be, the sweetest attempts to win her back.  He does so by sending her flowers, wherever she is at on her business trips, accompanied by small flower cards with numbered reasons as to why he loves her.  These cards span from memories they shared to actual things about her and/or their relationship.

She arrives home, takes up residence in the guest bedroom, and is faced with the fact that Artie has only, at most, one month left to live.  In summary, he gives her his “black book” of sweethearts.  The reason being is that she is bitter that she must endure his death alone… and why should she when he has these other women in his life?  Why aren’t they enduring this as well?  So, back to the guest bedroom she heads, black book in hand.  In a drunken mindset, she makes a few calls, after midnight, to these women and leaves them messages to “schedule their time with Artie” while he is on his deathbed.  Most hang up or ignore the call… but, two women do not: Eleanor and Elspa. 

Elspa is an eccentric young woman, piercings, crazy hair and all.  She left college to stay at Lucy’s home to share Artie’s last days.  Eleanor, a bitter woman who is closer to Artie’s age (early 50’s), also arrives to read him the riot act.  Lucy’s Mother, Joan, is also a presence in Lucy’s home… keeping up the garden and attempting to be there for Lucy.  She brings along her dachshund, Bogie, who is overly endowed and wears homemade “jockstraps” to keep his appendage from scraping on the ground (we love Bogie and Lucy’s Mom).

Lucy makes the managerial decision to have Eleanor orchestrate the visits of all of the sweethearts in the blackbook.  In addition, Elspa is to reach her dream of getting her 3-year old daughter back from her parents.  Joan is to handle Artie’s funeral arrangements, as she is a multiple-time widow and the right person for the job.  Lastly, Lucy’s goal is to reunite Artie with his grown son, John, and for John to learn about is father before his death.

This host of characters is a perfect compliment to Lucy and Artie’s journey of healing and forgiveness during his last days.  What they discover, is that there is a common love shared amongst them all.  How they get to that familial love is for the reader to discover when they pick up this great read.

My Favorite Quotes From the Book:

 “Love isn’t logical,” I insist.  “It’s immune to logic.”

Title of a Chapter: “You Can’t Always Eat Your Way Out of a Problem-but If You Want to Try, Begin with Chocolate”

“He has a depth of attention that comes with his love that is keen and sharp.”

“Everyone should hear their own eulogies-but the notes, aren’t they kind of a love song?  And aren’t the best eulogies a kind of love song?”

“We need to love each other again, with all that love entails-even the hard things, like forgiveness and acceptance.  I don’t think it makes logical sense-that one love can bring back another love-but it’s true.”

“Does my soul look fat in this body?”

On Sher’s “One to Ten Scale:” 

I like the kind of books that keep me up, in bed, at night… that I just can’t close my eyes because I want to keep learning the story.  This story did that for me.  Mainly, I think, because this is a story that I could see really happening to somebody.  And, Lucy is such a great protagonist… a person that I can relate with as to how she deals with things.  When I read a story like this… and it grabs me… not because of anything other than my soul can relate… then, I have to say I really liked the book.  Bridget Asher earns a 9!  I’d share this book with a girlfriend, no qualms about it.

Buy My Husband’s Sweethearts at Amazon.com.

 If you’ve read My Husband’s Sweethearts,

I’d appreciate your feedback via my SurveyMonkey!

The link is on the top right and it will only take a minute!

Thanks!

 

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The Sunday Salon: This Week’s Books & News

October 18, 2008

This Week’s Reads, News & Updates

I am exhausted.  I’ve definitely caught a flu bug, cold, or something.  But, I’ve had a lot on my mind and my “plate,” so I haven’t gotten sufficient rest.  I think I’m cranky (don’t you just hate that when you feel that way?).  For this week’s The Sunday Salon, I just wanted to update my co-bloggers, readers & friends on this past week’s “haps” and share my “stuff.”

  • NEW BLOGSITE:  I’m undergoing a site renovation.  I have been working on a new theme, colors, etc.  It’s coming along nicely.  I’m going to try to “self-host,” but I am totally scared.  I have not the slightest clue as to what I’m doing. Hopefully, the transition will work out okay and I’ll figure out the self-hosting rather quickly.  I just can’t wait to show everybody the new, improved site… and am hopeful that you all enjoy it.
  • THIS WEEK’S BOOKS:  I’m doing some book tours, so I haven’t posted as many reviews as I usually do.  I have reviewed The Lost Diary of Don Juan (post coming October 30th) and am currently finishing up Life After Genius (posting October 29th).  What I can report is that I did enjoy both reads and the forthcoming reviews are favorable.  I was able to post my review of The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks.  My favorite part of this post is that somebody actually wanted to pick up one of his books to “check him out,” and noted so on my post.  She wanted to know my favorite one, if I could only recommend one… it was so hard… like picking out your favorite child.  So, I emailed her.  It was sooo cool!

  • THIS WEEK’S ENTERTAINMENT NEWS & HEADLINES:  I’m pleased to report that each week I will be sharing a sprinkling of entertainment news & current headlines.  I’m focusing on the news that isn’t necessarily “mainstream,” and is fun or quirky.  If you haven’t watched the “Joe The Plumber” video, it’s worth the couple of minutes.  If you caught it on TV, don’t waste the time… but, it’s pretty humorous, the press, that it.  DWTS is coming up tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to writing an update on the show.  The video herein is the most current ABC video feed on DWTS and shows the “countdown clock” as to the next show (fun, huh?).  My brother, Bill, keeps saying… “Cheryl Burrrrrr…..” because of how the announcer says “Cheryl Burke.”  Now the kids always say, when talking about DWTS, “Cheryl Burrrrrr….” 
  • [clearspring_widget title=”Dancing With The Stars on ABC.com” wid=”47df2410700a0b8c” pid=”48f43d5f4dce5a55″ width=”300″ height=”250″ domain=”widgets.abc.com”]

  • CONTESTS:  Well, I’ve written and reminded about Menagerie’s Halloween Haunt.  Entries are due by the 22nd.  I was really hoping for more entries due to the size of the prize…. so, if you or your kids have a story, a post, or a referral on a good scary book…. get your comment posted or email me at anovelmenagerie@aol.com.  I have a Second Chance Drawing for those who post the buttons on their blog post or sidebar, as well.  For all of you who have entered… thanks so much for your participation!  I appreciate it!  My kids are so excited to help me judge the entries!

  • BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH:  A Novel Menagerie and Thursday’s Thoughts are focused on promoting Breast Cancer Awareness.  I’ve prepared a button for your site, if you are interested in spreading the word… mainly to remind the women you know about self-exams and the benefit of mamograms.  Thursday’s Thought’s Contest for the week hasn’t received as many entries as I’d hoped for.  Since the “winning prize” is a donation to charity in the name of the winner, I may extend Thursday’s Thoughts for another week, rather than doing a new MEME/Contest next week.  I’m really keeping my finger’s crossed on spreading the word via posts and buttons (badges).  Thanks to Shana and Yasmin for all of their support on this effort.

Well, it’s time to take this cranky butt to bed.  Yes, that’s where I need to be!  I look forward to posting this week on The Fall Into Reading 2008 Challenge (where I’m at), Lit Flicks Challenge Update, and hopefully Home Girl and My Husband’s Sweethearts.


Fall Into 2008 Challenge: My List

September 22, 2008

The Fall Into Reading 2008 Challenge

is up and running folks!

It starts September 22nd and continues on through December 23rd!

The Challenge:  To publish a list of books that I intend to read in that duration and stick to it!  Easy enough.

My Challenge List:

  • The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck
  • They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We CanDo It
  • The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
  • Faefever (Fever Series #3) by Karen Marie Moning
  • My Husband’s Sweethearts by Bridget Asher
  • NEW:  Dewey
  • NEW:  The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
  • Yesterday’s Weather by Anne Enright

OK… so, hopefully I can keep up the pace and provide good reviews on these books!