Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Romance Novel: The Pretend Wife Author: Bridget Asher

“But you know how every once in a while, you’ll come across someone and you feel at ease with him. A lot of the time it’s someone you know you’ll never see again -- a person in line with you in customs, in a waiting room at an insurance office, a waitress -- and in one unguarded moment, one of you admits in some way that the world is full of shit, and the other agrees.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

This is one of many reasons why I don’t feel at home here where I live now. Because when I lived in New Mexico, and when I lived in California and when I lived in Rhode Island, this happened a lot. Now if someone starts talking to me I count the sentences until god, jesus or church are mentioned. It’s never been more than five. Seriously. These days the only times I get moments like this where I’m in agreement with someone about how the world is full of shit, is online. Thanks Bill Gates, etal for cyber space.

“If you believe that some people are lucky, you have to believe that others are doomed.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

I don’t believe either of those. Things happen. Random things. Good things and bad things. One control I have is to stay aware and alert. That way if a door opens that I can walk through and make something happen that I want to happen, I don’t miss the opportunity.

“If you let fear make your decisions for you, fear will make good decisions -- but only for it’s own sake, not for yours.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

Fear-based decisions keep me from making changes necessary to my continued growth and happiness.

“…complicated things often prefer to masquerade as simple things at first.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

Like writing a novel. You have an idea. You enjoy writing. You are told by others that they enjoy reading what you write. So you decide to write a novel. Simple, right? Except, no. Not simple. Turning points and protagonist anomalies and publishing world in chaos and the sheer amount of time spent writing makes it complicated. Not simple.

Delightful author voice alert:
“There was a lull then, and I let it lull there, lullingly.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher
This is not a lone instance of sentences that make you laugh inside. The book is full of them.

“…memory cannot exist without something to refer to. You remember something because it hooks to some earlier experience.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

I remember the joys of the sun shining because I used to experience it nine days out of ten when I lived in other parts of the country.

“He would never have been able to comprehend how to divvy up love and dispense it in the correct dosages. He would have poured it on, if I’d let him -- too much, too much, too much.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

Well that’s different than most people where it’s more like -- not enough, not enough, not enough.

(BTW the character arcs away from not appreciating this love.)

“Being friends with women has always been hard for me. I’ve never been good at negotiating the sudden undertow of conversations, how a conversation among women can become so unwieldy, how in such quiet tones, there’s so much freight being walloped around. Women have super human strength in refined dialogue and I always fell for the sucker punches.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

I love this insight into her character and the vivid way she words it.

I’ve always been challenged in the women friends department. I’m also guilty of envy when I’m exposed to women who have been friends for years. My problem comes more along the lines of differing values and interests and having moved around a lot.

“A marriage is a conversation that’s supposed to last a lifetime.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

I can see that happening.

“What you want is for someone to recognize a loss -- to simply say he’s sorry. Nothing more.” The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

It sounds so easy. But it’s not. It’s very hard to express sympathy and leave it at that. We don’t want people to be unhappy or sad. So our instinct is to fix them. It makes me angry when someone doesn’t let me feel my feelings or worse - invalidates them. I try really hard to overcome the instinct to fix someone else. Hell, I can’t even fix myself. Who am I to try and fix you?

Bridget Asher is also Juliana Baggot. Recently Lucy March let her takeover her blog to talk about Asher’s  new book, The Provence Cure For the Brokenhearted. To read what she had to say go here:

In The Pretend Wife, she makes a weather reference that is new to me; a gustnado. According to wikipedia; “A gustnado is a specific type of short-lived, low-level rotating cloud that can form in a severe thunderstorm.” If you like weather phenomenon, check them out. Fascinating but scary.

She also refers to a philosopher; Heidegger. Here’s a famous Martin Heidegger quote: “Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one. “

Musical reference to The Smiths. Here they are doing There Is a Light That Never Goes Out

I like all y’all but I still don’t want to die from being hit by a double-decker bus even if we die together. Forgive me for that, okay?


  1. The book sounds lovely. Only problem is, I'm stuck on Heidegger. Not his philosphy, but the Philosopher's Song by Monty Python. You know, "Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar who could think you under the table..." Here: .

    Oh, and ditto on the double-decker bus thing.

  2. I had forgotten about that song. "And Socrates himself was permanently pissed." There has never been anything like Monty Python.

  3. Holy crap, there have GOT to be some freethinking atheists near-by we can wrangle over in your direction!

  4. We need to send some Aussies over there for you, or you could move here? I don't know a single person here who goes to church or is even interested in it.
    I have the women friends trouble too, my friends have always been men and every now and then i'll come across another woman who is like me.