Since editing the New York Times bestseller The Bitch in the House, Cathi Hanauer has become the unofficial spokeswoman for the contemporary married woman. Now, in Sweet Ruin, she gives us a story of marital crisis and sexual tension featuring a character close to her heart-and recognizable to us all. Thirty-seven-year-old Elayna Leopold used to be a New York magazine editor, until she and her young family moved to suburban New Jersey. Two years ago, the death of an infant son sent her into a deep depression-a darkness that begins to lift in the company of a handsome, unattached neighbor. As she fights yearnings that could destroy everything that gives her life shape, a threat to her young daughter's welfare emerges from an unlikely source, throwing Elayna's questionable morality into stark relief-and forcing her to make choices she never dreamed she would have to make. Smart and gripping, Elayna's story raises heartrendering questions about the challenges of ordinary life-marriage, career, independence, and sexuality-that have no easy answers. Sweet Ruin is a triumph of contemporary fiction from a writer known for her candor and wisdom.
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"Ellen Archer portrays a 30-something woman who wants more out of life and seeks it in a flirtatious relationship with the young man next door. Elayna Leopold, an editor working at home in New Jersey, is coping with her 6-year-old daughter, her frequently absent husband, and the memory of her infant son who died two years earlier. She also has to deal with her sister and nephew while trying to manage her relationship with her father--who may or may not have molested his daughters. Archer's narration is emotionally detached--except for the children--a style that matches the story perfectly. SWEET RUIN captures the desires of a woman who is seeking more fulfillment in her life. M.B.K. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine"
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