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My Ex-Life : A Novel


Product 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.

That would be Mandy. To quote Barry Manilow, Oh Mandy. While she knows she’s smarter than most of the kids in her school, she can’t figure out why she’s making so many incredibly dumb and increasingly dangerous choices?

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.

In prose filled with hilarious and heartbreakingly accurate one-liners, Stephen McCauley has written a novel that examines how we define home, family, and love. Be prepared to laugh, shed a few tears, and have thoughts of your own ex-life triggered.

Author: Stephen McCauley

Hardcover, 336 Pages, Published June 2018

Reviewed and Recommended by Graeme Aitken:

"Decades ago, in their youth David and Julie were briefly married. They parted after Julie lost a baby and David finally owned up to the fact that he was gay. Now they’re both in their fifties and are reunited when each of them face relationship and real estate dramas. Julie’s second marriage has also ended and her ex-husband wants to sell their family house from under her, ruining her Airbnb business in the process. Meanwhile David is facing eviction from his longterm apartment, his boyfriend has left him for a better prospect, and all this loss had led to a massive weight gain! Friendships between straight women and gay men is something of a McCauley trademark and he’s probably best-known for his novel that explored this subject, The Object of my Affection, which was adapted into a Hollywood film with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd. Real estate is another recurring subject in some of his novels, but the advent of Airbnb provides McCauley with plenty of new material for his witty observations. The parade of guests introduces some memorable secondary characters into the narrative and then there is Sandra, the no-nonsense (and possibly drunk) Airbnb consultant and blogger, who advocates the liberal application of scatter cushions and hand sanitisers to Julie’s home. Yet Sandra also delivers some blunt home truths: ‘To make ends meet, you let a parade of strangers traipse through the house, stealing your ashtrays and leaving everything else filthy...and then you have to tell your friends how much you love having people stay with you.’ Stephen McCauley is not as well-known as he deserves to be amongst gay readers, as all of his novels are witty, well-observed page-turners and this new one - his seventh - will not disappoint."

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