4 star reviews, Book reviews, Women's Fiction

Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman

4/5 stars

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Frances is a stay-at-home mom who likes to take care of people – she takes care of her whole LA neighborhood – and one day she accidentally catches her neighbor having an affair.  At first, I was like, who cares?  But the writing in this book was so good and I LOVED Frances’s funny, self-deprecating character and there was just so much honesty about competitive moms and bratty kids and drunk husbands, that I couldn’t put it down and before I knew it, I DID CARE.  There was A LOT MORE going on here than I originally thought.  There is a lot of honesty about life in this book, told in a very funny way.  I highly recommend it.

* * * * *

The last few weeks of summer, I really didn’t read that much.  I was so busy with family and friends, getting in beach time and making the most of the last few weeks of summer. Why does summer seem to just go so fast?  It seems like one day I am talking to a friend about all the things we will do this summer – beach days, bonfires at the beach, backyard bbqs, drinking margaritas on the deck while listening to Jimmy Buffett, concerts in the park…and the next thing I know it’s Labor Day weekend and we have done maybe half those things if we are lucky.  But we did have a great summer, for that I am grateful!

If I am totally honest, the other reason that I have not been reading as much as I usually do is that a friend recommended I try watching Harlots and I am totally hooked!  Like obsessed!  It’s kind of a weird show to admit that you love, but there you go.  I am fascinated by a world in which 1 in 5 women were prostitutes, where a mother sells her daughter’s virginity and looks for wealthy “keepers” for her daughters while they turn tricks for her.  I can’t decide if I like Margaret Wells or not.  I despise Lydia Quigley and I love Nancy Birch.  It’s just so good.

In addition to Harlots, my husband and I were obsessed last fall with Ozark and we are once again obsessed.  The new season is not as good as the first, imo.  I liked Laura Linney’s character in the first season so much and I don’t like her now.  Did anyone else think there was a nod to Love Actually when she was talking about her brother and his mental illness and how difficult he was?  I almost thought it was a continuation of Love Actually for a moment!

My girls started their college classes.  They are both attending community college, which we thought was a good transition after homeschooling.  Neither of them really knows what they want to do yet.  Also, I have friends who teach at big universities who have said that community college is so much better for the core classes because there are only 30-40 other students in the core classes at community college, whereas at big universities they are taught in lecture halls with hundreds of students.  So that has been an adjustment for all of us.

We’ve been watching a lot of movies lately.  I am thrilled that the girls still watch movies with us.  We have watched Adrift – which was excellent; Tag – which was hilarious; and, of course, The Book Club.  Our girls watched Blockers together, but said it wasn’t appropriate to watch with parents, they did say it was good, so we want to get that one night.

My husband has also been asking me out on dates, which has been really fun.  The girls have late classes on Tuesday and Thursday and are not home for dinner.  My husband has been calling me in the morning and asking if I want to go get sushi or go to our favorite vegan place or go for a late day hike.  It’s been really fun!!  I feel almost like we are dating again!!

Fall is my favorite season and I am so looking forward to making soups and stews and wearing sweaters.  I am looking forward to crisp air and the leaves changing.  We have several hikes planned.  And I am looking forward to reading a lot more!!