Since editing the New York Times best seller The Bitch in the House, Cathi Hanauer has become the unofficial spokeswoman for the contemporary married woman. Now, in Sweet Ruin, she gives us a story of marital crisis and sexual tension featuring a character close to her heart and recognizable to us all. Thirty-seven-year-old Elayna Leopold used to be a New York magazine editor, until she and her young family moved to suburban New Jersey. Two years ago, the death of an infant son sent her into a deep depression, a darkness that begins to lift in the company of a handsome, unattached neighbor. As she fights yearnings that could destroy everything that gives her life shape, a threat to her young daughter's welfare emerges from an unlikely source, throwing Elayna's questionable morality into stark relief and forcing her to make choices she never dreamed she would have to make.
Smart and gripping, Elayna's story raises heart-rendering questions about the challenges of ordinary life (marriage, career, independence, and sexuality) that have no easy answers. Sweet Ruin is a triumph of contemporary fiction from a writer known for her candor and wisdom.
"Given Hanauer's keen perceptions and delicate sensitivity, one cannot help but acutely feel the emotional and moral turmoil engulfing this winsome young wife and mother." (Booklist)
"Excellent characterizations....Dialogue and the spot-on representation of the family dynamic make this book difficult to put down." (Publishers Weekly)
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Best so far this year!