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Review: American Housewife Stories by Helen Ellis

American HousewifeA sharp, funny, delightfully unhinged collection of stories set in the dark world of domesticity, American Housewife features murderous ladies who lunch, celebrity treasure hunters, and the best bra fitter south of the Mason Dixon line.

Meet the women of American Housewife: they wear lipstick, pearls, and sunscreen, even when it’s cloudy. They casserole. They pinwheel. They pump the salad spinner like it’s a CPR dummy. And then they kill a party crasher, carefully stepping around the body to pull cookies out of the oven. These twelve irresistible stories take us from a haunted prewar Manhattan apartment building to the set of a rigged reality television show, from the unique initiation ritual of a book club to the getaway car of a pageant princess on the lam, from the gallery opening of a tinfoil artist to the fitting room of a legendary lingerie shop. Vicious, fresh, and nutty as a poisoned Goo Goo Cluster, American Housewife is an uproarious, pointed commentary on womanhood.

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Domesticity isn’t exactly something I am familiar with. After all, I found being married to be the most stifling and awful time of my entire life. However, something about the cover of this book caught my attention in the library and I couldn’t resist the urge to pick it up. And I’m a glad I did.

Though I wouldn’t dare call this humorous, I did find it to be filled with dark and amusing tales that ranged from entertaining to strange. If I had to choose a favorite, it would have to be The Wainscotting Wars. I, myself, have never heard of wainscotting, but this is actually an interesting tale of two neighbors forced to deal with each others difference of opinion about their shared hallway and how it should be decorated. The entire story takes place via e-mail exchange and the debate about this issue gets pretty heated. In fact, I would dare say it turns damn near deadly as one of the two clearly snaps. A fact that seems to have befallen the last two previous tenants in her building.

This is the kind of book I would recommend if you are looking for something that is quick and entertaining. There’s no heavy plot lines to weigh the short stories down and if you have an appreciation for dark humor like I do, I think you will enjoy this book.




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About Kristine

As an aspiring author, avid bookworm, fitness fanatic and dedicated mother, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I write or post about things I'm passionate about and spend my time trying to make the most of every day. Life may be a tough journey, but I have my ruby red slippers and am content on skipping along this yellow brick road until the end of the line.

One comment on “Review: American Housewife Stories by Helen Ellis

  1. Great review. I’m glad you liked this book. I’m on a waiting list for it, but it’ll be a long time before I get a chance to read it. It seems to be popular.

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