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Publisher's Summary

Julia and Joe Ferraro are living the good life in Manhattan now that Joe's finally made it; he's the star of a hit TV show and has just been nominated for a Golden Globe award. After many lean years, they've got a grand Upper West Side apartment and an Amagansett beach house, and their two kids go to elite private schools. Even better, Julia and Joe are still madly in love.

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

Critic Reviews

"The prose is sprightly ... you'll keep reading." (Entertainment Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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  • Patricia
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 01-11-13

Views of a marriage from the inside.

First, the narrator was SUPERB - just perfect. And since the voice in the book is the first person - a New York wife - she felt alive. Just beautifully done. Julia is married to a TV actor and in the very beginning she picks up a strong hint that he is unfaithful. The rest of the book she is dealing with this as things go back and forth from present to past. The "spine" of the story is this possible infidelity issue and everything else hangs on that. She is a totally devoted mother - those sections are so real and true to life - and in great personal doubt - also well done. So how does she deal with this. It completely holds your attention. I highly recommend it. I want to read more by Ann Leary.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

Fantastic narration, good story. I really liked Julia and could relate to her struggles as a mother. Cassandra Campbell is one of my favorites!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Debbie
  • Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States
  • 03-02-14

Pretty Good Listen

I loved The Good House & this wasn't as good as her previous book, but it was a fairly good story. No one knows what really goes on inside a marriage.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Stacy
  • INDIANAPOLIS, IN, United States
  • 03-19-13

not "The Good House", but still good...

After I listened to "The Good House" (which is so so good!) I wanted to hear more from Ann Leary so I listened to "Outtakes from a Marriage: A Novel". It was good.

I actually got a bit stressed out with it and didn't finish it as quickly as I could have, but came back to it. Marriage on the rocks in the celebrity world, but in a very real way that made me a bit sad. It's not really a sad story, but has moments of sadness and regret along with moments of joy and pride and youthful love that most of us can relate to.

The reader was really really good- I'll look for more of her!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Trista
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 03-28-13

an easy listen

Would you listen to Outtakes from a Marriage again? Why?

Well, no. I feel once was enough.

What did you like best about this story?

It's somewhat sad, but I must say if she thought her husband was cheating why didn't she check the phone records???? I'm not giving anything away here. She checks his messages but never calls the number or thinks to check the bill and call log???? That's the only thing I thought was kind of dumb.

Which scene was your favorite?

I don't really have a favorite scene.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

If I reveal what really got to me, I'll give something away. I'd rather not do that.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Disappointment in Details

I loved Ann Leary's "Good House." It had great character development and a good old-fashioned plot line. Human flaws mixed in with everyday-life kind of complications.

I was hoping for the same in "Outtakes."

But the plot, which revolves around a suspicious wife finding that her husband may be having an affair never rings true. There is too much unbelievable low key angst, when most wives would go ballistic. There technology available is never used to find more about the suspicion.

And there are waaaay too many flashbacks to family scene recollections that do nothing but pad the book and do not contribute to the plot at all except top let you know she had a nice family life at one point.

I like Leary's writing. But I didn't get enough out of this book to recommend it. I will try another Leary book in the future. Everybody deserves a stumble now and then, after all.

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Funny and insightful

Have you ever longed for the spotlight of fame ? This book might change your mind. Although it's fiction, Ann Leary makes some not-so-flattering observations on the public scrutiny of celebrity. This is also a touching and intriguing look at a celebrity marriage. Great writing, excellent narration.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Tedious celebrity NYC novel UNLIKE her other books

I'm so glad I read The Good House and The Children before this one. If I had read this first, I never would have read/listened to another book by Leary and would have missed out on two really great books.

While I found this to be a boring read, if you're interested in NYC, Hollywood, celebrity culture, and what it might be like to be married to a TV star, you'll probably like this. For me, all of those things detracted from the story rather than adding to it. Though there wasn't that much of a story in the first place.

The most telling thing that equals "no story"? At one point in the novel, after--what is it, 15 or 20 years of marriage, Julia (main character) seems truly surprised to "realize" she has done nothing during her marriage to Joe--she doesn't work, and the nanny cooks and takes care of the kids. This is actually presented as a surprising realization. I found this ridiculous. Like you don't realize you don't have a job? You don't realize the nanny is watching your kids while you're out doing...what? Apparently Julia has no hobbies. She doesn't really DO much of anything and almost all her mental energy goes to whether her husband is cheating on her or not.

I will say, the writing is good and, always, so is Campbell's audio performance.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Penelope
  • Ellenton, FL, United States
  • 07-23-13

Very drawn out

Would you try another book from Ann Leary and/or Cassandra Campbell?

Absolutely. I had just finished The Good House, which was excellent. I just thought this book had way too many flash backs. The main story was good , but getting through the flashbacks took away from the story, in my opinion.

What was most disappointing about Ann Leary’s story?

The ending to the main storyline. It just left you hanging with no resolve to this large issue.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger and then boredom

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fun and enjoyable listen

If you could sum up Outtakes from a Marriage in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining, literate and wry.

What about Cassandra Campbell’s performance did you like?

The narrator was very natural and made the content even more engaging.

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful