Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Book Review: This One Is Mine by Maria Semple

BIG THANKS to Miriam and Hachette for my review copy!

"This One Is Mine" by Maria Semple

Published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette book group

Rating: 4 stars

"This One Is Mine" completely took me by surprise and I mean that in a good way. Violet Parry has the successful husband, the adorable baby girl, a luxurious mansion in Los Angeles and staff who can cater to her every whim. Beyond the facade of a privileged lifestyle, Violet feels completely alone. Her husband David is a music producer who works all of time and doesn't understand her needs. She longs for a connection and is almost desperate for attention and love, when along comes Teddy Reyes, a scruffy bass player, who is wrong for her in every way. It is clear there is chemistry between them and so they begin a really unconventional affair. Then there is complicated and neurotic Sally, David's younger sister, who has her heart set on socially awkward Jeremy. These characters are all eccentric and lost in their own little way. It takes a number of difficult and often hilarious (but only for the reader) events to teach them the important lessons in life and where their priorities should lie. This book is so much more than a desperate housewife seeking an affair and a single woman seeking companionship. This is one of those dark comedies that forces you to read in between the lines and extract deeper meaning. The plot takes some strange turns but the ending seemed perfect and almost poetic to me.

This book is incredibly compelling in a quiet way. I enjoyed Semple's zany humor and vulgar language aside, it was an enjoyable read. Semple has such a vivid imagination enabling me to easily envision the characters’ peculiarities and find something relatable about each one of them. This is one of those off-beat books that is unexpected and can elicit laughter from even the most subtle humor. I loved how unique this book was and though some may find it too unconventional, it worked for me.

Check out the live interview with Maria Semple on Blog Talk Radio which took place on December 17th!


Anonymous said...

Great review. I was lucky enough to call in for Maria's interview and it was great fun.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great read for the New Year. I'll put it on my list.