Book Review: American Housewife by Helen Ellis
Author: Helen Ellis
First line: "Is this too dressy?" is Southern Lady code for: I look fabulous and it would be in your best interest to tell me so., from "Southern Lady Code"
Review: When I came across this line -- I fix myself a hot chocolate because it is a gateway drug to reading. -- in the first story, I knew it was love.
Ellis' collection of short stories are brisk, funny, and snarky. They go down dangerously easy and you may, like me, embarrass yourself then with some snirking, snickering, and outright laughter when in public. And like a lovely, boozy Sunday brunch with friends, I have no regrets.
The stories all focus on a certain type of married American woman, Southern and/or upper class and/or wedded to more than just a man. They're all an exaggeration, too, pushed to the point of ludicrousness, and yet, still painfully familiar.
My favorite stories included 'The Wainscoting War', which details the quick unraveling of civility between two neighbors in a posh co-op; 'Dumpster Diving With the Stars', in which an author is a contestant on an antiques-hunting reality show with a Playboy bunny, John Lithgow, Scientologist actors, and Mario Batali. (It is uh-mah-zing.); and 'My Novel Is Brought To You By The Good People At Tampax', which is just what it sounds like, only so dystopian I died of joy.
So, in summary, get this and a wine spritzer (or a bloody Mary!) and settle in for some fun this summer.
Genre: Fiction (Short Stories / Contemporary / Marriage / Housewife )
Publisher/Publication Date: Doubleday (1/12/2016)
Source: My public library