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Still Life with Husband Hardcover – 6 Feb 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (6 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307264912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307264916
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,329,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The main character in this novel is immature, irritating, spoiled, and behaves and talks like a bratty teenager most of the time. She does not grow or change through her increasingly-unlikely circumstances (for someone desperately fighting her husband's pressure to have a baby she seems never to mention or use birth control and then is surprised to have a pregnancy scare). And the ending of this book is unsatisfying in the extreme, the protagonist being tossed around via different circumstances and things that happen TO her, but she never makes a decision or takes any kind of action...and then the book just ends, totally unresolved.

So as much as this book and character are unappealing, I must grudgingly admit how well-written it is (besides the fish poetry and puns). The author avoids chick-lit language and cliche and presents the story in a (usually) pacey, interesting way (a few passages drag like right at the height of the conflict at the end, why on earth do we need to interrupt the action to hear the story of the woman working at the shoe store who had a teen pregnancy?). Her descriptions of the female friendships and sisterhood feel real, even if the protagonist's relationship with her husband is more like a cartoon.

So I would try another book by this author because I feel she has talent, even if I found this particular book unsatisfying.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 34 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An ironic, moving, laugh-out-loud funny take on marriage and fidelity... 31 Aug. 2007
By Cassie W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
STILL LIFE WITH HUSBAND, the debut novel by Milwaukeean Lauren Fox, introduces readers to Emily Ross, 30-year-old freelance writer, assistant editor of a male reproduction journal (her boss, amusingly, is named Dick), and discontented wife. Her husband is Kevin, a sweet, boring technical writer who is desperate to move to the suburbs and have a baby. Emily's not sure she's ready for such a big step -- and when she meets handsome writer David Keller, she starts to think she may never be ready for that kind of life with Kevin. Inevitably, and predictably, Emily and David embark on an illicit affair.

STILL LIFE WITH HUSBAND is a novel about one woman's choices, and the lasting effects those choices have on the people who love her. Emily Ross is, as one of the previous reviewers mentioned, one of the most engaging chick lit heroines since Bridget Jones. The whole novel is written from her first-person perspective, and the voice Fox gives to her is ironic, self-reflective, and incredibly witty. You will respond to Emily in some way -- either positively or negatively, but you WILL respond to her. Look at the other reviews here if you don't believe me! Yes, Emily is selfish and adulterous; but she's also a good, generous friend and smart enough to know that she very well could be screwing up her life. That's precisely what makes her such a believable character -- the balance of darkness and light in her psyche. None of us are purely good or bad, and Emily reflects that utterly human quality brilliantly. A 30-year-old woman whose dream is to write love poems for fish (and yes, there are a couple of poems in the text for your pure reading enjoyment)? I mean, how could you not love her, at least a little bit, despite her disloyalty to her husband?

Emily is backed up by an endearing cast of characters, most notably her best friend Meg and her boss, Dick. A couple of the characters late in the novel seem a little cartoonish, but Fox manages to make even those seem believable. The relationships portrayed in the novel really ring true -- they are sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes euphoric, but always reflecting real life. A couple of the events in the book left me unhappy and wishing for a different result for the characters, but I think that's just a sign of a really talented writer.

What I liked most about the book was its overall light-heartedness and unexpected sense of hope. I can't believe how hard I laughed in many parts of this book! The ending was somewhat frustrating, but it also made perfect, inevitable sense. I hope Lauren Fox has done enough with STILL LIFE WITH HUSBAND to distinguish herself from the multitudes of chick lit writers out there -- she's definitely got something special and wonderfully different to offer.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By LUV MY BABY - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I think anyone married for a long time can relate to this book. I loved it. I HATE to read but if I could find more writers like her, I would be such a book worm. I laughed out loud, I got anxious, I could really feel what she was going through. It is worth the read,
I was on VACATION, and spent a lot of time reading this b/c I just couldn't put it down.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
BookChick.com Recommends Still Life with Husband 12 Jan. 2009
By Daisy Whitney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
By their nature affairs are designed to be dissatisfying. They scratch an itch that can't fully be scratched. That's why they're a tricky proposition in fiction too. How do you write a satisfying ending in an affair novel? Which relationship do you break up and at what cost? Most affair novels opt for an easy way out - no one gets caught or someone gets caught but then she's pregnant by her husband so all is forgiven. Lauren Fox's Still Life with Husband doesn't take the easy way out. Fox uncovers a fresh ending and a new twist to the affair story, one that is uniquely rewarding for the reader, especially because of the fine writing in which it's wrapped.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Written just like having an affair! 30 April 2012
By Erin Motley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I compare the way this book was laid out to be similar to its plot line: the feelings one might have in the stages of an affair.

I was dissatisfied and looking for a book when I picked this up, much like the way Emily felt when she was with her husband and met David. So I began reading, and got caught up in the story: detailed feelings Emily has as she maneuvers her " boring real life " around her "unpredictable sex"-life with David . I got caught up in her mixed emotions as she walks the plank towards an inevitable discovery of the affair and her relationships with her family and friends along the way. The sub plot with her friend Meg is interesting and also kept me consumed with the theme of marriage and how to survive problems along the way. Without spoiling it, Emily finds herself in a predictable but complicating situation at the end. This extra knife in her husband's back, which has irony I did not miss in comparing Meg's problems, made me even more want to find out what happens. The book kept me reading and wanting to know what was going to be the outcome of everyone's situation. (much like one might get caught up in the excitement of an affair).

This comparison continues, unfortunately.... The ending is awful. The future is cheese????!!! I know that in reality, you cannot always have a happy ending, and I am fine with that... But the book's ending left me feeling dissatisfied, and wanting more , and it just left an incomplete feeling in my head. I have never had an affair, but the ending might make one feel the same way.

In any case, i know this is not a higher level , intellectually stimulating novel, nor is it designed to be so, but man...figuratively and literally, It's ending is pretty cheesy. I sort of regret having an affair with this book!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very well-written, good storyline 20 Sept. 2007
By Dizziey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In Lauren Fox's "Still Life with Husband," Emily, a married freelance writer was not satisfied with how her relationship with her husband, Kevin was going. Even though Kevin was stable, predictable, and defintiely reliable, Emily felt that she was not connected to Kevin as she should be and one day, she met David, another writer at a coffee shop. They had a great rapport and from there began Emily's affair with David. A majority of the book focused on Emily's struggle and how she had to juggle her guilt of cheating with another man and at the same time, finding fulfillment and satisfaction with him.

This was a very well-written book as the writing was clear, concise, and very conversational. This was written strictly from Emily's perspective and he author was able to really illustrate Emily's conflicted feelings towards her own infidelity. In addition, I like that the author touched on another sticky issue in a marriage - for instance, Emily's best friend, Meg who had been trying to conceive and her struggles with it. I think this was a better than average novel in this genre. The way the book ended gives me the impression that the author could possibly write a sequel. Highly recommended!
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