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Publisher's Summary

Elinor Mackey has always done the right things in the right order: college, law school, career, marriage. But now everything's going wrong. After two painful years of trying, Elinor has learned that she can't have children. All the doctors can tell her is that it's probably because of her age. As she turns 40, she withdraws into an interior world of heartbreak.

Elinor's loving husband, Ted, a successful podiatrist, has always done the right thing, too. Then he meets the wrong woman at the wrong time, and does the wrong thing. Ted's lover, Gina, a beautiful and kindhearted nutritionist, always eats the right thing, but is unlucky in love and always falls for the wrong men. Soon Ted has to fight to make everything right again.

Can Elinor and Ted's marriage be saved? The answer is alarmingly fresh and unexpected as New York Times best-selling author Lolly Winston introduces us to characters as memorable as those of Anne Tyler and Nick Hornby, but who are indelibly all her own.

©2006 Lolly Winston; (P)2006 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"Winston skillfully comes into her own with this brave second novel." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Good grief! What a follow-up to Winston's best-selling debut." (Library Journal)
"Sometimes bawdy, sometimes moving, always hilarious...a charming, generous book." (BookPage)
"Winston has a real feel for the push and pull of a marriage in crisis, and delivers it in a brisk, funny, no-nonsense style that still comes off as respectful of the material." (Publishers Weekly)
"Once again, Winston demonstrates a laserlike ability to focus on the inescapable reality of contemporary relationships, tempering her characters' abject pain with appealing good humor." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christine
  • Ramsey, NJ, United States
  • 12-29-06

I really loved it

How I found out about this book was that I read the Julia Robert's production company bought the rights to this and was going to make a film of it starting Julia, so I was intrigued.
I am now very anxious to see the how they adapt this wonderful story to the large screen.
I can see why. All of the characters were very likable and very easy to relate to and you weren't quite sure how it was going to end.
I recommend this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Joan
  • Brighton, MI, USA
  • 09-21-06

Good Listen

This was a good listen and I recommend it. The story moves along at just the right pace and I found myself surpised at the emotions that were described from the male point of view! As the story was narrated, I was able to immerse myself into the feelings of all the characters. My only complaint was that I wasn't thrilled with the ending; I felt it was too abrupt. I wanted to share in the emotions of Gina and Tony as the story ended, but it was left to my imagination!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • 05-28-07

Difficult story

Lolly Winston's first book, Good Grief, is one of the best books I've read, so I was really looking forward to this one. Winston is a great writer and I enjoyed each of her unique characters. But this is a difficult story all the way through, as you cannot imagine how there can be a happy ending. Without giving away too much, it did not leave me satisfied and I was a little depressed when it was over. However, it is still an well-written novel, and the narrator does a wonderful job with the audio version. Just be prepared that this is a heavy story, dealing with the fallout from adultery, divorce, and infertility.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kara
  • Bakersfield, CA, United States
  • 08-04-10

Such an uplifting book!

I loved listening to this and all of the Lolly Winston books. I've listened to all of them at least twice. If you want something to lift your spirits just listen or read on of these great books!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kathryn
  • Tazewell, VA, United States
  • 11-27-07

Excellently written

This book has very believable and likeable characters. In fact, I found that I felt sympathetic to all of the characters, which made it difficult to “root” for any one person. It is well written, and was actually a quite good audiobook. I found myself thinking about it when I was away from my iPod, wondering how it would all turn out. It was brilliant in the way that it covered infertility – having suffered through seven miscarriages myself, I could relate very well to the feelings of the main character as she traversed the painful journal of infertility. This book, while having many light and humorous moments, deals with quite heavy subjects; dealing with the fallout from adultery, divorce, and infertility. All in all, it is a worthwhile read, and one I recommend.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Cutesy and meandering

I bought this audiobook because I've read (and re-read) "Good Grief," Winston's first piercingly funny and adroit novel. I'd hoped that Winston's second effort would be as rewarding, but it simply fell short of the standard she set with "Good Grief." It unfolded slowly, went nowhere remarkable, but quietly offered a gentle trip through audioland.

Although the characters in "HSS" are likable -- almost too likable -- and the prose creative, the plot of this book meanders so much that I found myself distracted by the many secondary characters, and wondering where the story was going.

Since the plot revolves around infertility and the havoc it wreaks in intimate relationships, I'm certain that Winston navigated her book's emotional geography supremely well (as she did so well with mourning and loss in "Good Grief") -- I don't know, since I've never wrestled with the issues that her characters do. However, I felt myself willing the plot to become more than a "chick lit" story, wanting to cheer on the author. Ultimately, as the last "pages" of denoument were read, I found myself wondering why I'd listened to the whole book.

The book's narrator does a terrific job -- that's the good news. Her crisp, wry reading brings alive Winston's prose, and carries the book along.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Phoua
  • Clarksville, TN, United States
  • 09-26-12

Cheese ball story

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The reader did not differentiate enough between the voices. There was no emotion in her voice. The story line didn't help either.

What could Lolly Winston have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The story is so predictable with too many twists and turns trying to stay away from being a cliche but the book was trying too hard. The idea of following a couple through the ups and downs of infertility was a great idea, not a common subject. Where the author went wrong was adding way too many other issues.

How the main character rose and fell in life, love, and career would have been enough. I disliked how the story focused so much on the affair and how cheesy it was that she kept forgiving her loser husband. It is unrealistic that a driven woman would stoop to being some jerk's obligation.

Would you be willing to try another one of Cassandra Campbell’s performances?


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

Annoyance, the story didn't make sense. The main character must have some real issues with her father to let her husband walk all over her self respect. The story didn't make sense at all.

Any additional comments?

The subject of infertility was just a back drop for some cheesy story about some jerk and his whore girlfriend. I think this book does a great deal of injustice to the subject which would have made an interesting read.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful