Review: "Pieces of Happily Ever After" by Irene Zutell

Here’s the blurb from the book:

What happens after happily ever after? Alice Hirsch is about to find out. Alice, a former New Yorker, struggles to feel at home in the bizarre world of the San Fernando Valley — all while holding a job and caring for her young daughter and senile mother. When her attorney husband lands a trophy client – box office queen Rose Maris – things begin to look up. Then Alex starts working late – a lot. He crunches his paunch into a six pack and trades his Gap ensembles for Armani everything.

Soon, Alex and Rose’s affair blazes in the tabloids and Alice is plunged into trash-gossip hell. Her life crumbles around her as she navigates her newly single life through suburban L.A. — a place rife with porn stars, psycho soccer moms and nutty neighbors obsessed with creating a winter wonderland despite the scorching desert heat.

Is there a chance to wrest Alex from the Sexiest Woman Alive? And if so, would Alice want him back? And what about George, her college sweetheart? Or Johnny, a walking charm-bomb paparazzo? As Alice inventories the rubble of her life, she desperately searches for her bearings and is forced to ask herself what she really wants from life, love and herself.

For anyone who knows me and my book tastes, I generally stay away from chick-lit. I really like for my books to have a happily ever after, and in my experience with chick-lit, they don’t always end happy. So, I wondered what I’d gotten myself into when I agreed to be a blogger for SheKnows. Pieces of Happily Ever After is the kick off selection for the book club.

As my deadline for review loomed, I rather dreaded picking up the book to settle in and read. I finally told myself that I had to stop procrastinating and to get to reading. I was hooked on page one. I liked the imagery Irene painted of a woman being stalked by paparazzi. Perhaps this project I’ve signed on for won’t be as bad as I thought.

I loved the character of Alice Hirsh. She’s a woman struggling with a failed marriage, adjusting to single motherhood, as well as taking care of her elderly mother. Add in a cast of diverse characters to add to the challenge of her changing life, and a book is born. I’ll admit there were a few times where situations seemed over the top or characters got annoying and I wanted to throw the book against the wall. But for the most part, I was hooked and kept hoping for a happily ever after ending. I mean, how could you not with a title like Pieces of Happily Ever After?

So, I was pleasantly surprised how much I actually enjoyed this chick-lit book. I’m not sure I’m a convert yet, but seeing as I have several more books to read and review in this project of mine called the SheKnows Book Club… who knows what will happen over the course of this year.

Irene is at the SheKnows message boards discussing Pieces of Happily Ever After. If you’d like to know more about the book, talk with the author or just talk with others who have read the book, I encourage you to stop by and check them out.