Friday, August 4, 2017

Review: Lift And Separate by Marilyn Simon Rothstein

We've all heard the statistics that 50% of marriages end in divorce and even though that number has never actually been true, its widespread acceptance in pop culture makes us unsurprised when we hear that someone we know is getting a divorce. In actual fact, the statistic is quite complicated and is quite low for people who have been married for a long time (roughly 35 years or more). Perhaps it is this that makes us more surprised when a long time marriage fails ccoupled with the idea that the couple has presumably been through so much and weathered it together. So it makes sense that only something huge like infidelity will drive them apart. This is the case in Marilyn Simon Rothstein's surprisingly humorous and empowering novel of a woman whose husband leaves her after 33 years of marriage.

Marcy and Harvey Hammer have been married for a long time. They have three grown children. Marcy has always tried to be a good, conscientious wife, helping her beloved Harvey with Bountiful Bosom, the family lingerie company, volunteering, and working part time at a local arts charity. She has put everyone else in her life first, only carving things out for herself last. But this is how she likes it; at least this is how she thinks she likes it until Harvey calls home one day and announces that he's leaving her. Eventually he admits that he's been having an affair with a 22 year old Argentinian bra fitting model and suddenly Marcy is living a cliche. As her marriage is falling to pieces, she also has to deal with her own oldest daughter's affair with a married man and her aging mother's devastating fall and sudden illness. She can hardly decide how she's going to handle Harvey and his infidelity when it's all she can do to handle the other curveballs that life is throwing her. While she works through her feelings about her husband and faces the other crises in her life, she meets Candy, a new friend juggling many of the same disasters that Marcy is but whose much appreciated connection to Marcy might be threatened.

The reader can't help but feel sorry for Marcy. She's invested everything in being a wife and mother and all of a sudden she is no longer the first and isn't needed daily as the second. Her search for who she is besides these two things drives much of the novel.  It is incredibly realistic in Marcy's waffling back and forth on whether or not she can take Harvey back, whether she can forgive him, and most importantly, if she wants to do either of those things and that is sometimes frustrating but always forgivable.  Often conflicted about her needs and wants in her new reality, Marcy is a funny and sarcastic character.  She manages to maintain a charity of spirit towards her husband, even when she is most hurting, that is lovely but not too self-effacing to be believed. The secondary characters around her are entertaining, quirky, and realistic and add a satisfying depth to the story. The plot clips along at a good pace and the writing is smooth. There is a lot of humor here but there's also a thoughtfulness and a poignancy about the end of a long marriage that takes the novel beyond the superficial. It is a fast and appealing read as the reader roots for Marcy, wonders just what decision she'll ultimately make about Harvey, and no matter what her choice, watches her become the fully rounded and fulfilled woman she should be. Recommended fun.

For more information about Marilyn Simon Rothstein and the book, like her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. Check out the book's Goodreads page, follow the rest of the blog tour, or look at the amazon reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book.

Thanks to Lisa from TLC Book Tours and the author for sending me a copy of this book to review.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't have the same experience as Marcy but I was married for 17 years before getting a divorce, and no matter the reason it is a huge change. I think Marcy and I would have a lot in common. I'm looking forward to reading this one!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.


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