Review: MY EX-LIFE by Stephen McCauley

Janelle Advance Copy, Book Reviews, Contemporary, Flatiron Books, From Publisher, Humor, Literary Fiction Leave a Comment

Thank you so much to Flatiron Books for providing my free copy – all opinions are my own.

Book Description: 

David Hedges’s life is coming apart at the seams. His job helping San Francisco rich kids get into the colleges of their (parents’) choice is exasperating; his younger boyfriend has left him; and the beloved carriage house he rents is being sold. His solace is a Thai takeout joint that delivers 24/7. The last person he expects to hear from is Julie Fiske. It’s been decades since they’ve spoken, and he’s relieved to hear she’s recovered from her brief, misguided first marriage. To him. Julie definitely doesn’t have a problem with marijuana (she’s given it up completely, so it doesn’t matter if she gets stoned almost daily) and the Airbnb she’s running out of her seaside house north of Boston is neither shabby nor illegal. And she has two whole months to come up with the money to buy said house from her second husband before their divorce is finalized. She’d just like David’s help organizing college plans for her 17-year-old daughter. When David flies east, they find themselves living under the same roof (one David needs to repair). David and Julie pick up exactly where they left off thirty years ago―they’re still best friends who can finish each other’s sentences. But there’s one broken bit between them that no amount of home renovations will fix.

My Review: 

This is very much a character driven story with clever and witty dialogue that I absolutely LOVED!

David Hedges and Julie Fiske haven’t seen each other in almost thirty years. Julie is in the middle of a divorce. Living in New England with her teenage daughter Mandy, she loves her old Victorian house, but it is rapidly becoming a money pit. Her current ex-husband, Henry, is threatening to sell the home and take custody of their daughter. On the other side of the country, David, who happens to be Julie’s first ex-husband from long ago, gets dumped and loses his remarkable rent controlled apartment in San Francisco. He is a freelance admissions counselor that helps high school students apply to college, so Mandy finds the opportunity to orchestrate his stay at her mother’s makeshift Airbnb.

I had so much fun reading this book! It has sarcastic, funny, sharp dialogue with extremely likable and authentic characters. McCauley’s characters came alive on the page and I wanted to be real-life friends with Julie, David, and Mandy. It was the perfect read for me between my usual harrowing, dark books. I love McCauley’s comedic writing style and would definitely read another book by him. MY EX-LIFE is about starting over and hitting the “reset button” no matter where you are in life.

My rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Click here to purchase on Amazon. 

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