Love and Other Impossible Pursuits

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits

Book - 2006
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With wry candor and tender humor, acclaimed novelist Ayelet Waldman has crafted a strikingly beautiful novel for our time, tackling the absurdities of modern life and reminding us why we love some people no matter what. For Emilia Greenleaf, life is by turns a comedy of errors and an emotional minefield. Yes, she's a Harvard Law grad who married her soul mate. Yes, they live in elegant comfort on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. But with her one-and-only, Jack, came a stepson--a know-it-all preschooler named William who has become her number one responsibility every Wednesday afternoon. With William, Emilia encounters a number of impossible pursuits--such as the pursuit of cab drivers who speed away when they see William's industrial-strength car seat and the pursuit of lactose-free, strawberry-flavored, patisserie-quality cupcakes, despite the fact that William's allergy is a figment of his over-protective mother's imagination. As much as Emilia wants to find common ground with William, she becomes completely preoccupied when she loses her newborn daughter. After this, the sight of any child brings her to tears, and Wednesdays with William are almost impossible. When his unceasing questions turn to the baby's death, Emilia is at a total loss. Doesn't anyone understand that self-pity is a full-time job? Ironically, it is only through her blundering attempts to bond with William that she finally heals herself and learns what family really means.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385515306
Branch Call Number: FIC
Characteristics: 340 p. ; 25 cm

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jeanner222 Oct 12, 2012

Being a stepmom is difficult; being a stepmom after losing a child is nearly impossible. Such is the premise of Waldman’s wonderful and brutally honest novel.

Emilia Greenleaf is not the perfect stepmom. She is filled with grief for the loss of her baby, Isabel, and everyone expects her to go on as though nothing ever happened. Well, she can’t. She never could abide her stepson, William, who is five years old and a know-it-all. And she really cannot stand William’s mother, Carolyn, who clearly hates Emilia for wrecking her marriage.

On top of everything, Emilia is honest about her feelings. She thinks that William’s so-called lactose intolerance is bullsh*t, and she says so. She thinks that her husband, Jack, ought to recognize and punish his son’s bad behavior, and she says so. And she is very alone for being so open with her feelings. Of course, her honesty is about to cost her everything.

How can she save her marriage? How can she be a better stepmom? How can she heal after the loss of her infant? She’ll need a little help from her nemesis, William. And she’ll realize that she really does love that boy, more than anyone will ever know.

I loved the honesty of Emilia. Her character is a real person with real feelings. She is not ugly or unlikable; she is merely truthful.

Feb 08, 2011

Returned 2/8 downtown Olathe

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