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Separation Anxiety Paperback – Jun 2004

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First Sentence
"Mom says starlings are just like people," I tell Jonah as I lean back and rest my elbows on the rough wooden back of the park bench. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Chick lit that makes you think 1 Jun. 2004
By curvynovelsdotinfo - Published on
Format: Paperback
Heroine: Sturdy
Wichita (wi-CHEE-ta) Gray, 28 year old grant writer for a small Chicago art museum, is unsure as to where she wants to be at this stage of her life. But she's pretty certain she doesn't want to be defined by her lifelong friendship with best buddy Jonah LiaKos. Increasingly worried, she decides to "break up" with Jonz (if such a thing can even be done) on the off chance that they are becoming the emotional equivalent of conjoined twins.
But she picked a heck of a time to kick her support system out from under herself. Her teen sister, along with her young Romeo, has decided to camp out in her apartment. Their misery-inducing parents, the same ones from whom Cheetah also ran away as a teen, are haranguing her to bring the girl back. And the return visit home only opens up painful new questions in Cheetah's mind and new holes in her heart.
Toss in a one night stand that should never have happened and perverse angst over someone else snapping up Jonz now that she's tossed him away, Cheetah is in a constant state of frantic soul searching.
Can she survive these growing pains? And will she be able to keep her family and friendships intact, or will they pass out of her life as she forges a new direction for herself?
What worked for me:
Being in Cheetah's head was an exhausting but thought-provoking experience. It was fascinating to relive her youth with her and then see the mature woman connect the dots of her history and reach an epiphany or two. (And unlike some chick lit heroines, I didn't find Cheetah to be annoying. I'd be glad to have a cup of coffee with her. )
Every girl should have a Jonz!
Maybe it was just the train tracks scene, but the story put me somewhat in mind of Stephen King's "Stand by Me".
"Separation Anxiety" had a few predictable plot points, but there were enough unexpected twists and turns to keep me reading. The story also had enough substance to it that I found myself still thinking about it days after I had closed the cover. (In fact, there is a reader's guide at the back of the novel, but it doesn't really give any surprises away so some folks may enjoy looking over the questions as they read.)
Size-wise Cheetah is sturdy like a "corn-fed farm girl", but this isn't an issue in the book.
What didn't work for me:
Since the story is told from Cheetah's point of view we witness the relationship dynamics only through her eyes and therefore don't really achieve intimacy with the other characters except as Cheetah discovers more about them herself. That can make for some frustrating moments for people who like everything to be laid out in third person, with time spent in each of the main characters' heads.
"Separation Anxiety" is a compelling tale of a young woman rearranging her view of the world. Pop this must-read into your beach bag this summer, but don't expect to find breezy fluff between its covers as you while away the hours on the sand.
Warning: there are some coarse words and a few references to sexual scenarios in this book.
If you liked "Separation Anxiety" you might also enjoy "Inappropriate Men", "Coffee and Kung Fu", "What a Girl Wants", "Blushing Pink", "Getting Over It", "Bridget Jones's Diary", "Good in Bed", "Last Chance Saloon", "Jemima J." and "Having It and Eating It".
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
For any girl that's ever had a crush on a guy friend... 2 Jun. 2004
By ADonovan - Published on
Format: Paperback
Even though it probably falls into the genre of "Chick Lit," this book somehow seems more real than all the rest. Separation Anxiety tells the story of Wichita Gray and her friend Jonah, alternating between present day and the characters' childhood adventures. We get to see their struggles to grow up, deal with their families and (later) roommates, and how their friendship progresses. The fun starts when Wichita decides that maybe it is time to move on and leave Jonah behind. You can sympathize with some of her thoughts, and you will laugh or cry at others. I loved this book because I finally felt like I was reading about a character that was pretty similar to myself or could be one of my good friends. Check it out.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Thoughtful and seamless 28 July 2004
By A Lancaster, PA reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
Karen Brichoux's talent as a writer is on display in this finely-crafted novel. Through flashbacks, she fills in the backstory of a wonderful friendship between a man and a woman and the questions it raises for the woman as she seeks to expand her horizons. The flashbacks are seamlessly handled. I never once felt they interrupted the flow of the narrative. Subtle and thoughtful, Separation Anxiety is a trip into childhood and back again.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Clever and entertaining 29 Jun. 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I felt like Witchita could have been a friend, we all have one like her - not really sure what to do with her life, a really good soul at heart, but confused. I've also wondered "how do you break up with a friend?" and I though Karen Brichoux covered this so well. I loved Coffee and Kung Fu, so I was really looking forward to reading Separation Anxiety - and I was not disappointed. I did not mind the back and forth between past and present that some seemed to dislike. I felt it filled in some gaps and fleshed out the characters. I do have to agree with the reviewer who said they'd like to have heard things from Jonz's point of view as well. Overall, I thought it was an awesome book from a very talented author!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Book to Savor! 15 Jun. 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Separation Anxiety is a book to savor. It's a beautiful novel of friendship and love, families and finding your way. Moving seamlessly between past and present, the story unfolds in Karen Brichoux's usual poetic, and often pointed, prose. I loved Coffee & Kung Fu, yet enjoyed Separation Anxiety more. It's a deeper, richer novel. Moving and thought-provoking. I read it in one sitting--rare for me--and hated to have it end!
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