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The Men I Didn't Marry: A Novel by Janice…

The Men I Didn't Marry: A Novel

by Janice Kaplan, Lynn Schnurnberger

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"The Men I Didn't Marry" tells the story of Hallie Lawrence, a woman in her forties that is dumped by her husband for a younger, prettier woman. He chooses the day they take their youngest child to college as the perfect chance to drop that bomb on her. After a chance encounter which triggers a phone call from a long forgotten ex-boyfriend, she starts to wonder where the men she dated before her husband are now, what they are doing, and what it would be like to see them again. And then she sets about actually seeing them.

Okay, now let's get down to the review. This is definitely chick-lit. And I mean "definitely" as in a dictionary definition of the genre. I can't emphasize this too much: it doesn't get any more chick-lit than this. Seriously. And, it's pretty much "Sex and The City" for women in their forties who have ever been married. It's even based on fashion-oriented professional women living in New York City, for Pete's sake!

Most characters are cardboard people with no depth, while others are rather clichéd (yet clear enough to be painful) depictions of certain social circles. The story is utterly unrealistic, but highly entertaining as well. And I must say, the dialogs are very witty, the narrative voice is strong throughout, and the humor works magnificently. Perfect chick-lit. Besides, the scenes in the Virgin Islands are so real one can almost smell the sea and feel the sun caressing one's skin. Delightful.

If it was meant as a journey of self-discovery for a woman who has been married too long and must find her own voice again, then it utterly failed. If, on the other hand, the authors were going for a fast, enjoyable, easy-to-read comedic adventure, then it most certainly hit the mark. A perfect summer read, but not much more than that. I'm feeling generous today, so I'll give it three stars. ( )
  girlfromshangrila | Sep 6, 2010 |
The Men I Didn't Marry gives you an intimate look at one upper-middle class woman's journey through a marital breakup. The tone is pretty slapstick and the writing occasionally tries too hard to be deep. A fun diversion, full of one-liners and glimpses of affluent living. ( )
  emigre | Sep 27, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Janice Kaplanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Schnurnberger, Lynnmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345491181, Paperback)

The authors of the national bestsellers Mine Are Spectacular! and The Botox Diaries apply their trademark wit and wisdom to another delicious read. Join Hallie Lawrence Pierpont as she’s whisked away on a journey into her past love life that leads to her future.

Hallie’s husband, Bill, doesn’t even wait until they get home from dropping off their youngest daughter at Yale to announce that he’s leaving–for fitness trainer Ashlee (two e’s, perky breasts, and shiny hair to boot). After first succumbing to an Oreo-induced coma, Hallie is determined to get her life back. An unexpected call from an old college boyfriend sets a plan in motion. Whatever happened to all those men she didn’t marry?

First up is Eric, now an international businessman and number 277 on Forbes’s “Richest People in the World” list. He and Hallie used to put a nickel in the piggy bank every time they made love. Now Eric would like to renew the investment. Next she finds Rav Jon Yoma Maharishi–formerly known as Barry. Her onetime backpacking boyfriend has become the spiritual leader at the Heavenly Spirit Retreat Center, and their reunion would be a little smoother if he weren’t in the midst of a three-day silent meditation. Kevin, the sexiest man she ever met, is now a scuba-diving photographer working on Angelina Jolie’s latest movie. When he seduces her into joining him at his beachfront paradise on Virgin Gorda, Hallie can overlook his gaggle of bikini-clad friends, but can a woman survive on a steady diet of sex, sharks, and air tanks?

Back at home with her best friend, Bellini Baxter, Hallie visits an all-night spray-tanning salon and Soho’s legendary Cellulite Exorcist, whose secret weapon looks suspiciously like an Oreck vacuum cleaner. Hallie’s college-age children are protective of their mom but embarrassed to have her back in teenage territory–the world of dating and condoms. Finally, Hallie confronts the great love she swore she’d never see again and resolves an old family secret.

Janice Kaplan and Lynn Schnurnberger tell a heartfelt and hilarious story about moving forward by looking back. By turns poignant and laugh-aloud funny, this is a must read for every woman who’s ever wondered about the men she didn’t marry.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Unceremoniously dumped by her husband, Hallie Lawrence Pierpont embarks on a desperate quest to find new love, rejoining the dating world by searching out her old loves in the hope of discovering her future.

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