Pieces of Happily Ever After by Irene Zutell
Alice’s Hirsh’s life has been turned upside down. Her husband has recently gone from beer gut lawyer named Alex to the svelte boyfriend of a big movie star who calls himself Xander, leaving Alice and her daughter Gabby in the lurch. Alice is basically completely in shock; she always assumed that once she got married and had kids, life would just sort of continue along – she never expected to lose her husband to superstar Rose Marin. Not only that, but Alice’s mother has a fairly advanced case of Alzheimer’s and is about to be kicked out of her not-exactly a nursing home home for cursing. Plus, Alex/Xander has always given their daughter Gabby whatever she wants, so Alice is stuck with being the bad guy to a princess-obsessed child on the verge of being a spoiled brat. Is Alice ever going to be able to pick up the pieces of her life and find her happily ever after?
I have to say, I had a great time reading this book. Alice was a really fantastic character. She is so hurt, and so damaged by what has happened to her, but she also experiences wonderful growth. There were a few things in the book that bothered me: the dropped thread of the Rose Maris-haters club and Trinity (Alice’s mother’s Filipino caregiver)’s inability to use correct pronouns but ability to give an out-of-character exposition about how Americans have and want too much. Even so, I found this book to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience, primarily because of how real Alice was.
“Pieces of Happily Ever After” is one of those books that is both fun and serious, empathetic and hilarious. I would definitely recommend it to fans of women’s fiction.
This is the first pick for the SheKnows.com book club, so we’d love to have some of you come and discuss it with us!