What happens when domestic bliss isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, and cracking up isn’t an option?
From the time she was a girl, Bitsy Beberman had her entire future planned. She would marry after college, move to the suburbs, and have babies. At age 43, with everything in place, Bitsy’s life should be one of contentment. Instead, Bitsy’s kids are misbehaving in mortifying ways, her husband repeatedly suffers vague “accidents,” her mother-in-law continues to torment her. Worse, every humiliation is being recorded by her seemingly perfect neighbors and broadcast throughout her seemingly perfect town, reinforcing her fear that her name–Bitsy–aptly describes what her life has become, little bits and nothing significant. A Little Bit Married is the tale of one woman’s struggle to keep the pieces together as her idyllic world falls apart.
“Borden’s second novel (following Lucky Me) features Bitsy Lerner, 43 and a mother of two in the ‘burbs, gets jolted out of her routines when she finds her husband, Alan, on the floor, overdosed on Vicodin. With Alan in rehab, Bitsy, shocked by her family’s debt-ridden finances and crumbling emotional infrastructure, flashes back over her idyllic childhood, ambivalent college art studies and single-mindedness about marrying. In this dark finding-myself comedy, the arrival of housekeeper Bebe (courtesy of Grandma) and a focus outward and artward may save Bitsy’s inner sanctum, sense of self and recalcitrant brood—just in time for Alan’s return.”
“Bitsy came of age in the 1980s and anachronistically set her goals to be a 1950s-style wife and mom. Through sheer will and planning, she achieved it all—businessman husband, perfect suburban home, two accomplished children—until she finds her husband near death from an overdose. He survives, but his memory doesn’t. Managing on her own forces her to see the cracks in the facade that were always there, but she also recaptures the pleasure she derived from art. Bitsy finally grows up, remembers her name is Barbara, finds a job, and has her eyes opened to other people’s troubles as well as her own. A lot happens in the six weeks of her husband’s recovery. When he regains his memory, he also remembers his mistress. Bitsy finds maturity, wisdom, strength, creativity, friends, and, of course, a new romance. Her perfect, planned life was hollow, but what she builds from the wreckage is pretty good. Solutions come awfully quickly, but this is fiction. Enjoy it.”
Julie Berman seems to have it all: a beautiful home in suburban New Jersey, a loving husband, a budding career as a freelance journalist, and two great kids. To the outside world, her life is perfect, but behind the façade, Julie is beginning to suspect that it’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart.
Among her worries is the very strong fear that she is turning into her mother–just as neurotic, just as crazy, and just as consumed by appearances. Then there’s the handsome and quite single editor at the local newspaper who is clearly interested in more than her prose, which wouldn’t be a problem if only he wasn’t so tempting. Add to that her moody, monosyllabic teenage son who may or may not be having sex with a new girlfriend (whom Julie’s not sure she approves of, sex or not) and some unexpected news from her parents, parents who have now begun to name their household appliances based on how well they perform.
But the final blow comes in the form of a phone call from her daughter, who informs Julie that she plans to run off with her boyfriend… who just happens to be her college professor.
Lucky Me is a journey into a year when everything in Julie’s life comes to a head, and when she realizes that there are some things you can’t control, especially the people you love.
Lucky Me is for every woman who has ever felt–despite her most valiant efforts–less than perfect.
“Rant about, rave about … our latest Redbook Club Selection. Each month we share a brief excerpt from a book we love. Our selection for September 2005: Debra Borden’s Lucky Me.” (Redbook Magazine)
“A domestic goddess with a loving family cracks in this funny-yet-sad tribute to moms who keep chaos at bay on a daily basis.”
“Parents are Talking About Lucky Me, by Debra Borden, a story about a suburban mom who seems to have it all but feels her world is falling apart.” (Child Magazine, August 2005)
No doubt about it, the dance of love — whether it’s a sweet two-step, an old-fashioned square dance or a dysfunctional tango — makes for entertaining fiction. Here are stories of women who decide to shake up their lives a bit, perfect easy beach reading.
(Susan Larson, The New Orleans Times)
“A talented new writer explores the challenges of family and parenting, loss, love, and growth, with infectious humor and touching sensitivity.…” (Bordersstores.com)
“From the first look at the cover, I knew Lucky Me would be charming! This is a book that you’ll want to pass along to all of your friends because they’ll recognize themselves in this funny and fully satisfying look at the magic that is family!” (Robin Kall, Host, “Reading With Robin”, WHJJ 920AM, Providence R.I.)