Title: My Ex-Life
Author: Stephen McCauley
David Hedges and Julie Fiske live on opposite ends of the country and have very little in common any more, but they’ve both come to a cross roads in their lives and by some twist of fate they may just need to confront their past to help them survive their present.
David lost his trophy boyfriend and quite possibly one of San Francisco’s most reasonably priced rentals all at the hands of his ex and his frenemy; all he wants is to get out of town and clear his head for a bit. Julie Fiske is in the middle of a divorce and is on the brink of losing her beloved historic (albeit decrepit) house-turned-airbnb and custody of her teenaged daughter Mandy. And to top it off she keeps backsliding in her effort to give up “the pot” once and for all! The twist? David is Julie’s ex-husband… the remnant of another era.
When Mandy senses that a blast from the past may be just what her mother needs she secretly invites David to come stay at their makeshift B n’ B he takes her up on her offer and we get to come along for the ride. Will they be able to be what each other needs now when they couldn’t be back then? Do we reach a point in our lives when it is too late to truly start over?
This was my first Stephen McCauley novel but I think I’m now a fan for life! To me, the plot played second fiddle to the effortless way to McCauley’s characters came alive: funny, flawed, sarcastic and unpredictable in all the right ways – Julie, David and Mandy were characters I could really root for.
Was the story (mostly the ending) 100% realistic? No. Do I care? No.
My Ex-Life read like that quirky upbeat indie comedy that you can’t help but love and I, for one, enjoyed this breath of fresh air and book that didn’t take itself too seriously. I’ve seen this book as perfect for fans of Tom Perotta, Maria Semple and Cynthia D’Aprix and I must say, I agree. I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a palate cleanser between anything too serious or too dark and/or anyone who loves people watching 🙂
Thank you to Flatiron books for sending me this advance copy to read and review. While I did receive this advance copy for free, all opinions are my own.