Isolde Brilliant used to have a life she recognized. She was working in finance, she had a devoted, if neurotic, husband, and a perfectly acceptable apartment in downtown Manhattan. But once Izzy's wish to become a mother finally comes true, she is laid off from her job, and her old world falls by the wayside. Although she's surprised with motherhood's hidden pleasures-jaunts to the park, bickering with other mothers, and the sense of accomplishment she feels in having made it through her son's first year-her marriage is on shaky ground and she feels lost. She just can't quite get a grip on what to do now that she has all-or most-of the things she's ever wanted.
As Izzy ponders her next move, her best friend announces that she is leaving her husband. Balancing the demands of marriage and motherhood for seven years has made her feel like a nag, a shrew, a...you-know-what, and she's determined that the only way out is too leave. Izzy tries to avoid a similar fate, but as new challenges and temptations arise for her, she begins to wonder if there might be some inescapable grain of truth in her friend's outlandish theory.
Full of the poignancy and hilarity that readers have come to expect from Jennifer Belle, The Seven Year Bitch is a smart and provocative novel about learning how to love what you have, and finding out that it's both the hardest thing you've ever done and not so hard after all.
About the Author:
Jennifer Belle burst onto the literary scene with her critically-acclaimed debut novel Going Down, which was translated into many languages and optioned for the screen, first by Madonna, for whom she wrote the screenplay, and currently by Das Films. Belle was named Best New Novelist by Entertainment Weekly, profiled in New York Magazine and People, and compared to Dorothy Parker, Lorrie Moore, and J.D. Salinger. Her second equally-praised novel, the national bestseller High Maintenance, took on the cutthroat world of Manhattan real estate, and was also optioned for film and television. The Orange Prize for Fiction named her in “Orange Futures” — one of twenty-one young women authors to watch in the twenty-first century. In 2007, Belle published her third novel Little Stalker, another sharp and funny look at life in New York City. Now Jennifer Belle is back with her new novel, The Seven Year Bitch.
Belle is also the author of Animal Stackers, a picture book for children illustrated by David McPhail, and her essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Observer, The Independent Magazine (London), Cosmopolitan, Ms., Harper’s Bazaar, Black Book, Mudfish, and several anthologies. She leads writing workshops in her home in Greenwich Village, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and dog.
Here's What I Think: This book has gotten some very mixed reviews. I honestly think that this is because you either get it or you don't. I will agree that this book is rather over the top - almost a parody of real-life but it is pretty accurate in it's roots. The ever changing path of life, marriage and motherhood can change and transform people into unrecognizable versions of themselves in the long run. And it is how the new version meshes with the ideas of the old version that determines that over all outcome of a woman's life. The book was well written, snarky at times but entertaining nonetheless. I would only caution that this is a NOVEL not a self-help book on marriage or motherhood, so please take it as such.