Friday, June 13, 2014

Book Review: "I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You" by Courtney Maum

British artist Richard Haddon has finally found success with his first solo show in Paris, although he feels he's lost his edge and is selling out. And while he should be happy to finally be selling his work, the rest of his life is a shambles. His affair with an American journalist has ended, as she's left him to marry a cutlery designer. Richard's despondence over the end of his affair exposed the secret to his wife Anne, a successful French attorney, who is maintaining cordial relations solely for the sake of their young daughter.

But when a painting that Richard made for Anne when she was pregnant and they were deeply in love sells as part of his show, the bottom drops out of their relationship, and he suddenly realizes he is going to lose both his wife and his daughter. And after months of not really caring, he feels the potential of this loss greatly. He knows he must do all that he can to win his wife back, which won't be easy, because he has to first realize what relationships and love are really all about. And at the same time, he's desperate to get some of his professional edge back.

"But can we come back to love after an absence, or does it die from neglect?"

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You is an enjoyably moving and funny story about a man trying to regain control of his life, professionally and personally. It's about realizing that perfection isn't perfect, and isn't possible, but that reality has so much more to offer. And it's also about seeing things in a different light.

Courtney Maum does a great job with this book. Richard and Anne aren't always tremendously likeable, but I really enjoyed their characters and rooted for them to be happy. And while the plot of the book is fairly familiar, Maum throws in some fun twists and supporting characters along the way. Some of the reviews I've read of this book liken it to a mix of Where'd You Go, Bernadette and Beautiful Ruins, but I disagree. I think this is a fun, sweet, fairly straightforward book that should be enjoyed without comparison to anything else.

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