There are lots of memorable lines, but one that especially sticks is when Richard Haddon ponders, “I married my lover who turned into my sister. I want my lover back.” He is determined — in his often bumbling way — to make that happen. One major obstacle he has is his ex-mistress who just keeps reappearing.
The marriage had challenges from the beginning. Haddon is an English artist who meets and marries a French lawyer, Anne-Laure de Bourigeaud, while both are studying in America. Her wealthy family has difficulty wrapping their heads around the marriage and insist on a proper wedding in France. Haddon feels certain the Bourigeauds spent the month before his arrival setting up a pro and con list. He makes it through the first round of questions with flying colors; after all, he’s European and speaks French without too much of an accent.
But after Haddon’s dalliance, the family closes ranks around Anne and truly puts the erring husband through the paces; often in hilarious ways. Haddon’s stock sinks even lower when it’s discovered that a painting he originally made for his wife when they were first married, has sold. It is suspicioned that the ex-mistress, who’s gone off to London to be married, is the buyer of the painting. Haddon embarks on a mission to get the painting back.
The Washington Post reviewer wrote of this book, “Here we have the literary beach read — a book that pleases people who read two books a month and people who read two books a year. Maum is abundantly gifted, funny, openhearted…creating that rare thing: a book for everyone.”
— Lynn Lofton, firstname.lastname@example.org