Despite the success of his first solo show in Paris and the support of his brilliant French wife and young daughter, 34-year-old British artist Richard Haddon is too busy mourning the loss of his American mistress to appreciate his fortune. But after Richard discovers that a painting he originally made for his wife, Anne, has sold, it shocks him back to reality and he resolves to reinvest wholeheartedly in his family life - just in time for his wife to learn the extent of his affair. Rudderless and remorseful, Richard embarks on a series of misguided attempts to win Anne back while focusing his creative energy on a provocative art piece to prove that he's still the man she once loved.
Starred review. "An honest, staggeringly realized journey... Equally funny and touching, the novel strikes deep, presenting a sincere exploration of love and monogamy. These characters are complex, and their story reflects their confusion and desire... An impressive, smart novel." (Publishers Weekly)
"A gem of a novel about the tangles of love, regret, and hope that might or might not hold a marriage together. Courtney Maum's deft, beguiling debut charms with its wit and glows with compassion." (Maggie Shipstead, author of Seating Arrangements)
"Courtney Maum writes with such honesty and verve about how we struggle to deserve the people we love. Intensely personal and engagingly complex, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You is a moving, complicated, big-hearted novel." (Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang)
"Antic, sexy, satirically deft, and of course funny, this novel is also, on both the personal and political levels, smart about the bottomlessness of our capacities for self-sabotage, and moving about the fierceness of our yearning to make good." (Jim Shepard, author of You Think That's Bad; and Like You'd Understand, Anyway )
"Maum's witty and insightful novel captures a lifetime of falling in and out of love. It's an investigation of marriage which often combines its utter clear-sightedness and its tremendous warmth in the very same sentence. So agile and fully realized." (Ned Beauman, author of The Teleportation Accident)
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Postmortem and resurrection of a marriage
Not feeling enlightened
The first half was a page turner. I was sufficiently entertained.
I would develop the women characters. I would develop the lover Lisa in particular and not throw her away so easily by the stories narrarator. I would take the insights from the very end and disperse them in the second half. The installation "art" was disturbing.
Sounds Like Colin Firth, or is it Hugh Grant?
It made me think, but did not make me have new thoughts.
Dialogue and the main character's thoughts tell the story. This was a useful format to stay in one man's head, albeit an annoying head.