I am pleased to welcome Molly Shapiro to Great Thoughts’ Great Authors. Molly’s new book, Point, Click, Love is funny, poignant and on point. I just finished reading it. It is the story of four women dealing with divorce and/or marriage. Each is trying to find happiness and their own identity.
A few quotes from the book to show you why I liked it so much:
Of suburban married life, she writes “Pharmaceutical executives were dull. McMansions fall apart after a few years, and SUVs were bad for the environment. Hadn’t they heard about global warming?”
“But as much as Katie had become a genuine do-it-yourselfer, sex was one area where she definitely needed some help.”
I love this one- “Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar, but rarely is a book club just a book club.”
As a single mom, I end up sharing a lot more with my kids than I would if I were married.
I don’t have a husband who I wake up to every morning, share a cocktail with before dinner, or climb into bed alongside at night. I don’t have that ever-present grown-up to talk to about my day, my work or my concerns. And so I end up telling these things to my kids, careful not to burden them with anything not fit for 8- and 11-year-old ears.
At the breakfast table, I might point out an interesting article in The New York Times, something about the obesity epidemic or Wall Street protests, and they’ll ask me to read them the whole article. In the car on the way home from school, I might tell them about the policy and fundraising e-mails that I wrote that day. While their eyes sometimes glaze over when I speak of Washington gridlock or new environmental regulations, they do perk up when the talk turns to building shelters for stray cats and the enormous amount of sugar in breakfast cereals.
I’ve shared the experience of writing, selling and publishing my debut novel, Point, Click, Love, with my kids as well. I asked their help in naming some of my characters. I told them when I was anxiously waiting for a call back from a potential agent. I confided in them that I hoped this book would be more widely read than my first book of short stories, Eternal City.
My kids and I shop at Target a lot. I remember passing the book section one time, stopping at an end cap that displayed some of Target’s picks.
“I wonder if my book might be here someday,” I said to my daughter Fanny, thinking to myself that there’s absolutely no way my book would ever be chosen from among the thousands of books published each year. But Fanny smiled back at me and said, “Maybe it will, Mama!”
Months later, when I received an e-mail from my editor telling me that I’d been picked as a Target Emerging Author, I couldn’t wait to tell Fanny and her older brother Harry. It didn’t matter that their young minds couldn’t fully grasp the significance of having a large retailer carrying my book in a time of declining book sales—they shrieked with joy nonetheless.
Back in 2005, the writer Ayelet Waldman published a controversial Modern Love column essentially saying that she loved her husband more than her children. Her essay was heartfelt, thought-provoking and spoke honestly about her complicated feelings.
After going through my divorce, after experiencing the collapse of a love that I believed, with all my heart, would last forever, I have to say I feel very differently than Waldman does. While I hope that her marriage is as strong and everlasting as she portrays it, I wonder how she can be so sure. A husband or a wife is not a blood relative. They choose to love you and stay with you through thick and through thin. There’s no accounting for which husbands and wives will suddenly change their mind, fall out of love, or decide they want something different. It literally happens every day.
I dedicated my first book to my greatest love at that time—my husband. Now we are apart and no longer in love. So when it came time to decide on the dedication to my new book, I chose my kids. “For Harry and Fanny,” I wrote. “The loves of my life.”
Ballantine Books provided a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
What are you reading and where are you going?