Or so Julia thinks, until the fateful evening when she accidentally hears a voice mail on Joe's phone - a message left by a sultry-sounding woman who clearly isn't just a friend.
Suddenly, Julia is in a tailspin, compulsively checking Joe's messages, stalking him in cyberspace, and showing up unannounced on his sets, wondering all along if she should confront him. Julia's search forces her to consider the possibility that in the long process of helping Joe become something, she has become a bit of a "nothing", as her daughter once described her to her class on career day. A big husband-stalking nothing.
When Julia and Joe first met, she was an edgy East Village girl who wrote music reviews for the Village Voice and threw famed parties in a gritty downtown loft with her friends. Joe was a shy, awkward drama student who followed her around like a lovesick spaniel. After he won her heart, Julia helped Joe evolve into a roguishly handsome charmer who became increasingly obsessed with his looks and his career. Julia, meanwhile, settled into doting motherhood and a new life of comfy clothes and parenting associations.
Now, faced with the looming awards show and the possibility of a destroyed marriage, Julia embarks on an accelerated self-improvement routine.
A unique take on the perennially popular issue of women trying not to lose themselves in matrimony and motherhood, Outtakes from a Marriage is expertly and humorously set against the Manhattan preschool mafia, the Hollywood machine, and the ticking clock of a waiting red carpet.
©2008 Ann Leary; (P)2008 Random House Audio
"The prose is sprightly ... you'll keep reading." (Entertainment Weekly)
This is the second Ann Leary book I've listened to, the first being The Children. I enjoy her writing style. The narrator was the perfect choice to voice Julia. Although Julia could've dug way deeper than simply snooping on her husband's voice messages, I forgave that one glaringly obvious flaw. The ending, though, felt rushed, and incomplete. All that build-up, then... blue ears.
I loved Ann Leary’s Book (The Good House) and reading her earlier books. Joe is a TV star and living in Manhattan and he has been nominated for a Golden Globe award. All is well with their marriage, financial, and two kids in private school. Until she listens to his voice mail one night by accident and hears some southern belle leaving some pretty up close and personal sexy messages.
Julia does not confront him in the beginning and continues to listen to his messages. She immediately starts going to a shrink, gets hair extensions, Botox, sunless tanning spray, and begins shopping to ensure she looks great for the Golden Globe awards ceremony.
She feels useless as she has given up on her writing to be a wife and mother. Julie becomes obsessed with finding out the person behind the voice. Prior to her marriage she was a wild child and has changed so much. To try and keep an affair from coming out she writes all this bogus stuff on cyberspace about Joe being gay and keeping all the other mom’s at her son’s preschool at bay.
She confronts Joe and he makes up an excuse, but is her really telling her the truth? A humorous read about marriage, family and how women sometimes get lost in their duties of being a perfect wife and mother. The audio was excellent and Cassandra Campbell did an excellent job as always of the performer – look forward to reading more from this author!
I really enjoyed this book, until its abrupt ending. It was very well written and completely relateable, with well drawn characters and amusing dialogue. I was looking forward to hearing how the main character was going to resolve her dilemma, when the book unexpectedly drew to a close. I guess that's why the book is called "out-takes" - I get it now. Very disappointing!
The reader did a great job with some very mundane, simple material. I kept waiting for a plot, but it never did appear. Entertaining at it's core, but needs more of a story.
Entertaining, literate and wry.
The narrator was very natural and made the content even more engaging.
The book is a lighthearted romp through the lives of Julia and her tv star husband Joe. He is nominated for a Golden Globe and Julia is ecstatic until she starts to believe that Joe is having an affair. Is he or isn't he, and what exactly is the price of fame on home and hearth? No pretensions here; this is light reading. But the author writes so well, she makes the content infectious.
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