Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
on 16 August 2014
I absolutely loved Maria Semple's previous novel 'Where Did You Go Bernadette?', which is a skilfully crafted portrait of a marriage on the brink. 'This One Is Mine' deals with similar issues of love and marriage, this time set in LA. Violet is married to David, and although they are very rich indeed, all is not well. New mother Violet sees only sadness in the world until she meets a down and out ex-junkie, Teddy. Meanwhile Sally, David's tall, blonde ballet teacher sister, is desperate to marry well and thinks she has found the perfect man. Unfortunately for Sally, the man isn't as emotionally connected to Sally, or the world, as Sally would wish him to be.
Although the plot of 'This One Is Mine' weaves between backstory and the present at quite a pace, with moments of hilarity and deep insight, I didn't have same kind of affinity with the characters as those in 'Bernadette'. Both of the central love stories in this book seemed weak and unbelievable - and the female lead annoyed me with her inability to deal with her situation.
I believe this novel was written before 'Bernadette', so I hope Semple's next novel will be of the same quality as 'Bernadette'.