Sunday, January 10, 2016

American Housewife

American Housewife by Helen Ellis 
Knopf Doubleday: 1/12/16
eBook review copy; 208 pages
hardcover ISBN-13: 9780385541039

American Housewife by Helen Ellis is a very highly recommended entertaining collection of 12 short stories.
This one is a winner! Every story is clever, humorous, and capricious - funny and quirky with a dark side. Every story is extremely well written.  The titles often say what the story is about, but perhaps not exactly as you envisioned it. I love this collection!


What I Do All Day: Literally what a perfect woman does all day. "I weep because I am lucky enough to have a drawer just for glitter."

The Wainscoting War:   An increasingly hostile email exchange between neighbors Angela and Gail that begins with the decor in the shared hallway. "
Our hallway looks like a room at the Met that makes schoolchildren cry."

Dumpster Diving with the Stars: A not-so-famous writer agrees to participate as a contestant in a reality TV show.

Southern Lady Code: What Southern ladies mean when they say something. For example: "
Is this too dressy?" is Southern Lady code for: I look fabulous and it would be in your best interest to tell me so. Well, bless your heart...

Hello! Welcome to Book Club:
A book club that is about a bit more than the books welcomes a new, young member. "My Book Club name is Mary Beth. We all have Book Club names at Book Club."

The Fitter: The Fitter has the gift of knowing what bra will give a woman a perfect fit. "
The Fitter is what you call pilgrimage-worthy. He sees you, he sells to you, and you leave with your breasts and your spirits soaring higher than kites. A good bra is fine, but a great bra is life changing."

How to be a Grown-Ass Lady:  A nice, concise guide to help ever woman act like a grown-ass woman. For example: "If you don't like something someone says, say 'That's interesting.' If you like something someone says, say "That's interesting!'"

How to be a Patron of the Arts: Ellis expounds on the 8 steps you need to take. Step 1: Take your husband's money. Step 2: Lose yourself in marriage. Step 3: Make your own mantra. Step 4: Support the literary community. Step 5: Become a gay man's eye candy. Step 6: Buy art. Step 7: Become a muse. Step 8: Develop a signature look.

Dead Doormen:  A portrait of a woman who seems to be perfectly devoted to her husband becomes increasingly more disturbing as you follow her life.

Pageant Protection: An woman who is in an underground railroad, of sorts, that helps young girls escape from pageant mothers is giving instructions to her latest rescue girl. 

"To change you’ll need to do what I say and look like I say and talk like I tell you to talk. No more y’alls. No more mamas. We’re on our way to New York City.
"That’s right, New York City! Lose your accent and no one will know you were a Miss Anything anymore. Don’t and you’ll be on the next bus back to Birmingham. I’m sorry, sweetie, but I’m not going to prison because you can’t quit saying cain’t."

Take It From Cats: How to act like a cat. "If you stand in a kitchen long enough, someone will feed you."

My Novel is Brought to You by the Good People at Tampax: An author's corporate sponsor becomes less understanding and increasingly ruthless when trying to get the author to finish writing the contracted book.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Knopf Doubleday for review purposes.

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