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Review: This One Is Mine

December 17, 2008


Violet Parry is a former television writer married to a music mogul.  Violet used to be so organized and efficient, David dubbed her Ultra-Violet.  Since the birth of their baby something has happened – she has lost her focus, gained weight and seems lost.  David isn’t being very nice or understanding and their relationship seems to be deteriorating when Violet happens upon Teddy, a struggling musician who is nothing but trouble. She tries to start an affair with him, but their relationship ends up being much more complicated than that.

In the meantime, David’s diabetic sister, Sally is on the hunt for a wealthy husband.  She is introduced to Jeremy, who was an uncanny ability to predict the outcome of sporting events and looks to be the next great sportscaster.  After months of finagling, she gets him to ask her to marry him.

David goes on a yoga retreat and realizes that he is not treating Violet well and that he really does love her and wants their marriage to work.  He returns home a new man.  He makes more of an effort with Violet and suggests Sally get married in their home.  Everything that can possibly go wrong at the wedding does.

This One Is Mine by Maria Semple is the story of a family trying to work things out, sometimes with disastrous results.  Are David’s efforts too little, too late?  There is no fairy tale ending, but they do come to a place they can all live with.   I thought this was an enjoyable read that is good, but not great.  Since the characters in the book were so superficial and self-absorbed, it did make me think about what I value in life and about the fact that happiness comes from within.  This book does contain sexual situations and adult language.

Maria Semple is a former television writer, working on shows like Arrested Development and Mad About You.  She is currently at work on her second novel.  Maria was be featured on Blog Talk Radio.  Click here to listen to the show.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2008 8:37 am

    Is this an ARC? What enticed you to read this?

    • December 17, 2008 8:48 am

      This book actually came out on December 4, but I did get it from the publisher. I wanted to choke the characters at times, but also found myself unable to put the book down.

  2. December 17, 2008 10:22 am

    Great review. I just finished this one as well. I went back and forth throughout, being irritated with the characters and utterly compelled to keep reading. You certainly couldn’t relate to them, but I did think Semple’s writing and some of the situations were amusing at times.

  3. December 17, 2008 10:23 am

    Good review! I think you summed it up very well.

  4. December 17, 2008 10:46 am

    Great review – I need to read this one. I’ve stumbled your review!

  5. December 17, 2008 10:47 am

    Thanks for the review. I’ll probably pass this one up for now but will keep it on my radar. I loved the show Mad about You.

  6. December 17, 2008 11:17 am

    That was a good review…I wanted to read this one because I really enjoyed Mad About You.

  7. December 17, 2008 11:58 am

    One more title that is languishing in my TBR pile! I will be listening to blogtalk today, though!

  8. December 17, 2008 12:10 pm

    I am wanting to read this one. I agree that sometime an appreciation can grow from watching superficial people…..even in a fictional story. Thank you

  9. December 17, 2008 1:15 pm

    I loved Mad About You. Sorry it was just good, not great. The storyline sounds interesting.

  10. December 17, 2008 4:18 pm

    Great review, I’m almost done reading this one now and my feelings are so-so. It’s entertaining me but I’m not connecting with it very well.

  11. December 17, 2008 4:44 pm

    I loved Mad About You. But I’m up in the air on this book.

  12. December 17, 2008 6:42 pm

    I just entered the giveaway over at Jo-Jo’s for this one. It sounds like fun (characters you want to strangle, good de-stressor this time of year 🙂 ).

    I loved Mad About You, so that makes me interested in Semple’s writing …

  13. December 17, 2008 7:57 pm

    I haven’t found the time for Talk Radio yet. 😦 Maybe in 2009.

  14. December 17, 2008 7:57 pm

    Oh – SORRY! Great review! Ugh, can’t believe I didn’t say that right off.

  15. December 18, 2008 1:23 am

    books with extra marital affairs make me uneasy.

  16. December 18, 2008 10:58 am

    Since I have this one coming up next on my reading list I just browsed to see what you thought of the story. I see good, but not great. Superficial characters are not usually too interesting but we’ll see. I’ll be back after I’ve read it.

  17. December 18, 2008 11:52 am

    I love your review – you give just enough information, but also enough for us to know if the book is for us or not. I always try to be open and honest in my opinions of a book. Great job Kathy!

    You’ve just been tagged for
    Some Christmas Fun

    🙂 Wendi

  18. December 18, 2008 11:55 am

    Thanks for the visit/comment Kathy – I look forward to seeing your answers! 🙂

  19. December 22, 2008 1:20 pm

    Not sure this one’s for me, but it does sound interesting. Thanks for the review.

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