Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pg. 69: Jane Fallon's "Getting Rid of Matthew"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: Jane Fallon's Getting Rid of Matthew.

About the book, from the publisher:
A sparkling, sophisticated, witty story about what happens when he finally leaves his wife for you … and you realize you don’t want him after all.

For once this isn’t a novel about the heroine getting the guy. It’s about getting rid of the guy, and in the process, finding herself.

Helen is nearly forty, and has, for far too long, had an affair with Matthew, a high-powered, much older, attractive, married man who was once, of course, her boss. After years of being disappointed by missed dates, out-of-the-way restaurants where there’s no chance of them being caught, broken promises, and hushed phone calls, at last Helen realizes enough is enough — it’s time to dump Matthew and get on with her life.

This, of course, is the exact moment when Matthew decides to leave his wife for her. He appears on her doorstep, announcing, “I’ve done it! I’ve left her! I’m yours!” and proceeds to move in. Helen then discovers how much she can’t bear him. But she can’t just throw him out — after all, she’s been begging him to do exactly this for years. The only thing to do, she decides, is to convince his wife, Sophie, to take him back.

So after a “chance” meeting in the park, Helen befriends Sophie and hears all about her lying, cheating husband. But then, the unexpected happens — Helen really starts to like Sophie, and thinks she’s way too good for a selfish bore like Matthew. And then there’s the other small problem of Matthew’s handsome, charming son…

Jane Fallon turns the conventional love story on its head in this irresistibly delicious, ironic debut for every woman who has ever realized, “Be careful what you wish for.”

Among the praise for Getting Rid of Matthew:
“Fallon delivers the goods in a believable and scathingly funny voice. She gives Helen and Sophie the human bumps and curves that make them so alive, you’ll find yourself wishing you could ring them for lunch.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Fallon’s conversational and deeply descriptive writing style — and witty dialogue — make the novel thoroughly readable… For those longing for another lighthearted beach read as summer draws to a close, Getting Rid of Matthew is a solid option.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Fallon makes Helen’s twisted mind pathetic, hilarious, and relatable all at once. Her story is a gritty look at the madness of never knowing exactly what you want.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Sparkling and unpredictable, a brilliant first novel.”
Elle (U.K.)

“A clever, sophisticated debut novel, Getting Rid of Matthew … is a juicy caper … painfully funny … [and] satisfying. Along the way, Fallon’s heroine climbs out of her rut and launches a life of her own.”

“Brit TV producer Fallon takes ‘careful what you wish for’ to hilarious heights in her debut novel…The surprising and rewarding treat is a bright, grown-up story of two women who discover friendship and trust in one another.”
Publishers Weekly

“Immensely relatable and gently moving, it will leave you full and smiling like the best of novels do. A dazzling debut.”
—Jamie Lee Curtis
Read an excerpt from Getting Rid of Matthew.

Jane Fallon is an award-winning television producer in England. Several of her hit shows, including This Life and Teachers, air in this country on BBC America.

The Page 69 Test: Getting Rid of Matthew.

--Marshal Zeringue