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Publisher's Summary

A hysterical phone call from his ex-wife upends Henry Archer's well-ordered life - and brings him back into contact with the child he adored: Thalia, now 29, an aspiring actress. Hoping it will lead to better things for her career, Thalia agrees to pose as the girlfriend of a current horror-movie luminary who is down on his romantic luck.

When Thalia and her complicated social life move into the basement of Henry's Upper West Side townhouse, she finds a champion in her long-lost father, and he finds new life - and maybe even new love - in the commotion.

©2009 Elinor Lipman; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks America

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lisa
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 11-09-10

Very enjoyable!

This is a fun book - listening to it is a pleasure. Lipman is at her witty, wry and warm best. I've read all of her books and recommend "The Inn at Lake Divine" to intelligent friends who are looking for a good book to take their minds off of their troubles. I will certainly add "The Family Man" to my list of recommendations and in particular this audio version to my friends who need a "light listen" instead of a "light read." I mean no insult by the word "light." Lipman does tackle serious themes, but she does so with a fresh and gentle approach that doesn't feel preachy or taxing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Christine
  • Chambersburg, Virgin Islands (U.S.)
  • 04-11-12

I totally recommend this book.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, very sweet and entertaining.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Henry because he was so open to change in his life.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I never listened to one of his performances.

Any additional comments?

This isn't the type of book I normally listen to but I am so glad I did. It was awesome.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Cate F.
  • Richmond, VA USA
  • 08-07-09

Funny, well written tale of modern lives

What an enjoyable book by someone who really knows how to write. Why hadn't I heard of Elinor Lipman before my sister told me about her? And Jonathan Davis was spot on as the reader. He captured the subtleties of various New York accents without sounding in the least bit hokey.Definitely recommended.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Fun and Entertaining

This was a fun listen. I liked all the quirky characters. Hope there is a sequel!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dee
  • LA
  • 08-07-17

Great afternoon listen

Any additional comments?

I don't like books that are angsty and full of manipulative people and all the drama therein. That's why this book was a welcome listen. It was just a normal glimpse into the normal lives of some very flawed people with questionable decision-making abilities.

The mother, the daughter, and the second husband/step father were real. Their fears were real. Their challenges were real. The relationships to each other was real.

The narration complimented the material. Jonathan Davis gave the characters depth and shallowness in equal measures. There were even a couple of instances of pure laughter.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you want a departure from melodrama.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Delightful in every way

The perfect entertainment: laugh out loud funny, and smart. Lipman has a great ear and her dialogue is spot on. The narrator has great timing and voices and brings her wit and conversations to life.
I only wish I'd saved it for the flu, because this audio book would cheer anyone up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Beware: Not Mean Streak

What disappointed you about The Family Man?

I listened to J.Davis in new Sandra Brown Mean Streak and went looking for other reads. Nope, this book in chapter 2 made me stop.

What could Elinor Lipman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This was a soap opera listen for me. Other reviewers thought it was very funny, but it was boring for me

What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

He is such a great reader,but he can only perform what is written well. He can be so sexy, but this story was about a man who came out of the closet. Not my interest at all.

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

I stopped at ch. 2. I have hundreds of books to be listen and just did not want to waste my listening time.

Any additional comments?

Audible, please find other good romance reads for J.Davis. Not sure if he has an AKA, under J.F. Harding, but the 2 listens from this man I own seems to be similar.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • John S.
  • Seattle, WA United States
  • 09-07-09

Ugh - I want my credit back!

I don't believe in leaving a review of books I didn't finish, but this one's an exception.
Initially, we meet Henry's ex-wife, whom he hasn't heard from in 25 years, bitching about her long-ago pre-nup being enforced by her stepson: she was to get everything should her third husband (Henry was second) die after their 25th anniversary; he only made it to #24. So, she's now reduced to "penury" as a result (an allowance that would still put her in the top 1% or so of U. S. households). Ugh!
Henry realizes he knows Thalia, her daughter from husband #1 (his step-daughter) as an adult; he can't tell mommy, because she and the daughter are feuding. Henry moans to the reader how he married mommy for "an instant family", and "didn't fight hard enough" for custody of Thalia.
He meets 29 year old Thalia for lunch, where they reminisce about "old times" (she was roughly 7 the last time they met). He again moans about "not trying hard enough". At that point, I realized that I had tried enough to force myself to go on, so I stopped.
I don't mind "chick lit"; I liked "Bridget Jones' Diary"! These cartoon stereotypes of characters were just too much. Henry came across as either having an incredibly empty life (though he's described as successful, rich and handsome), or being incredibly possessive in terms of "getting Thalia back" like ... well ... a possession! He was her stepfather from ages 3 - 7, her mother left him to marry a straight guy, who wanted to adopt Thalia. What claim exactly did that give Henry to "fight harder"? The kid wasn't being abused!

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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