A divinely funny novel from the celebrated author of Single, Carefree, Mellow about the challenges of a good marriage, the delight and heartache of raising children, and the irresistible temptation to wonder about the path not taken.
When Graham Cavanaugh divorced his first wife, it was to marry his girlfriend, Audra, a woman as irrepressible as she is spontaneous and fun. But, Graham learns, life with Audra can also be exhausting, constantly interrupted by chatty phone calls, picky-eater houseguests, and invitations to weddings of people he's never met. Audra firmly believes that through the sheer force of her personality, she can overcome the most socially challenging interactions, shepherding her son through awkward playdates and origami club, and even deciding to establish a friendship with Graham's first wife, Elspeth. Graham isn't sure he understands why Audra longs to be friends with the woman he divorced. After all, former spouses are hard to categorize - are they enemies, old flames, or just people you know really, really well? And as Graham and Audra share dinners, holidays, and late glasses of wine with his first wife, he starts to wonder: how can anyone love two such different women? Did I make the right choice? Is there a right choice?
A hilarious and rueful debut novel of love, marriage, infidelity, and origami, Standard Deviation never deviates from the superb.
"Audra Daltry is a singular creation - a character so funny, so appealing, so sure that she can change the world for her family that she will jump right off the page and take up permanent residence in your heart. Standard Deviation is a marvel." (Kate Atkinson, author of Life After Life )
"Standard Deviation is a winning effort that smartly examines the ties that bind in even the most unlikely of marriages...Heiny's gift for quick-witted dialogue displays the skill of an observational comic.... Provides a consistent flow of humor. With its assortment of quirky characters who stumble through life even as, to all outward appearances, many of them should have it mastered, Standard Deviation bears a certain resemblance to the work of Anne Tyler." ( Shelf Awareness)
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Great entertainment. Smart and funny: Really funny
I'm not sure I got the point.
This story was subtle at best and at worst, seemingly pointless. While I did make it through the book, I found the characters a bit unbelievable, especially an older man who is caught between two wives and somewhat of a player. Meanwhile, the women in the book are depicted as fools--one a stupid chatterbox and the other an ice queen. And the names of the characters are outlandish to the point of it being annoying. What saves this book is the autistic son and ultimately, origami. Maybe that was the point?