Leaving Sophie Dean
By Alexandra Whitaker
(5 Spot, Paperback, 9780446583947, 352pp.)
Publication Date: March 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Adam and Sophie Dean's good-enough marriage could easily have lasted forever. But Adam succumbs to pressure from his mistress to leave Sophie, and in the course of his carefully prepared farewell speech, Sophie has a revelation: unless she leaves him in the family home in the role of primary caregiver, he'll have a severely diminished role in the lives of their two sons.
So while Adam continues to live in the suburban house he despises-with his two children and his angry mistress, who'd never planned for this turn of events-Sophie sets out alone into an alluring new life nearby, close enough to see her sons every day, but far removed from her former life of domestic drudgery. As she and Adam grow into their new roles, they discover what it actually means to act in their children's best interests, and that the end of a marriage can be a beginning.
Alexandra Whitaker is the daughter of Rodney Whitaker, a.k.a. Trevanian, from whom she learned to write in the course of a happy and fruitful apprenticeship that included collaborating on his last two novels. As a child she lived all over the United States and in Europe, a perpetual 'new girl' and a keen language learner. She has written for children and for film, also short fiction. She lives with her husband and child in Spain and France.
"LEAVING SOPHIE DEAN is a lively, cosmopolitan novel that turns the tale of the "Other Woman" inside out and backwards. Alexandra Whitaker writes with style and aplomb, a sense of fun, and a sense of humanity."
--Elin Hilderbrand, author of Silver Girl
"Alexandra Whitaker takes the tried-and-true story of man leaves wife and kids for other woman and gives it a refreshing twist. LEAVING SOPHIE DEAN succeeds brilliantly as a comedy of manners because of Whitaker's pitch-perfect depictions of human foibles and graceful renderings of awkward situations. But the book works on a much deeper level too: as a meditation on marriage, solitude, personal freedom, and parenting that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining."
-Meg Mitchell Moore, author of The Arrivals and So Far Away
"Alexandra Whitaker's LEAVING SOPHIE DEAN is smart, clever, moving, and surprising at every turn. Funny and wise, this is a tale of modern love about parents who love their children more than they don't-love each other."
--Laura Zigman, author of Animal Husbandry and Piece of Work