I have mixed feelings about Fleishman is in trouble. I almost loved it, but I really hated the last few pages.
Fortunately, I had been warned that this might be the case by friends who felt the same way, so it wasn’t as much of a disappointment as it might have been.
Brodesser’s bestseller mainly follows Fleishman, whose wife has seemingly inexplicably walked out on him.
While he clearly still loves her, he is also angry about he situation that she has left him in.
In many ways, it is a novel about marital relationships, but also about a certain social strata that the Fleishmans inhabit in New York.
Amid the relationship struggles the couple faces, are the struggles to maintain their social standing among those who consider medicine to be a lesser occupation … certainly lesser than finance.
The aspect of the novel that was the most fun (and the naughtiest) was the experience and reflection of Fleishman on the new world of dating as a single dad. Some experiences are eyebrow-raising, others downright alarming.
It is now wonder that Fleishman is so bewildered about the situation he has found himself trying to navigate.
So, what was there to hate about all this? Nothing, until the final few pages, when the book took an unexpected turn into the territory of a lecture. Suddenly, I was bombarded by complaints about how bad it is to be a mother, and how awful it is to be a woman.
It’s not just that this is far from my experience of motherhood, but I also found it hard to comprehend what there was to hate so much. Perhaps that was the point, and that Brodesser was showing that motherhood can be unmanageable even with support and financial stability.
But really, it just came across in the end as a massive whinge.
It was unnecessarily heavy handed and did not at all align with the rest of the book.
I wouldn’t say that it didn’t mean the book wasn’t worth reading, but perhaps it helps to be warned – enjoy the body of the story without expecting a killer ending.
This book is big on readability, but no so big on sealing the deal.