It would only stand to reason that to be married to an actor/comedian, you would have to be just as funny. Ann Leary, wife of Denis Leary, has written a hilarious novel about being married to an actor.
Julia and Joe Ferraro are a married couple living in New York City; he is an actor on a hit NBC show and she is a former writer. They live in a nice apartment with their two children: a fourteen-year old daughter and a four-year old son. Julia is not a stereotypical "glamour wife," even though she tries to be for a while. One night while they are out with friends, Julia checks her voice messages and hears a steamy message for Joe, from a woman with a sultry Southern accent.
Julia sits on the knowledge for a while, not knowing how best to proceed. She surreptitiously listens to the messages on her husband's cell phone and is "rewarded" every few days with a new message from the mystery woman. While all this is going on, Julia is closing up to everyone around her.
Ann Leary writes all this in the most humorous way. Anyone who reads this book will probably find themselves actually chuckling out loud, in appreciation of the hairbrained dilemmas the protagonist finds herself in the midst of. In one scene, Julia is trying to avoid some of the other mothers from her son's preschool. When they corner her and ask why she has failed to return their phone calls, she tells them her cell phone was stolen and that she had her service shut off. The scene continues,
"Wait," said Judy. "I just called you this morning. Who's your service provider? You must have the same shitty service that I do. I don't think they shut off your service yet, because I just called you this morning and heard your voice mail. Whoever stole your phone is probably racking up thousands of dollars in overseas calls...."
Judy opened a pocket on the side of her Chloe bag and removed her cell phone. "Here," she said. She held the phone at arm's length and squinted at the front of it. She pushed a few numbers and then said, "Here, let's call you now. Maybe the guy who stole it will answer it." Judy handed me the phone and I could hear the ringing coming from the earpiece before I got it anywhere near my head. A millisecond later, my phone could be heard loudly ringing from somewhere in the dark fathoms of my oversized bag. It didn't actually ring; it played a ring tone that Ruby had decided to surprise me with several months before. It was the song that broadcast: I like big butts and I cannot lie... Ruby had downloaded it onto my phone as a joke after I complained about my weight one too many times. I pretended I didn't hear the song in my purse and Judy and Vicki pretended with me. When I heard my recorded voice through the earpiece and my bag stopped playing, I slapped the phone shut and said, "You're right. It's still on."
"Right," said Vicki. "Okay."
"I'll have to get that taken care of."
"Outtakes From A Marriage" is an easy and quick read; the writing flows and the individual chapters are not too lengthy. The book also has a "fun factor," in that it mentions a lot of celebrities that are household names, making the reader feel as though they are getting an inside glimpse of the Hollywood/New York City scene. The best part of the story is the end. Julia knows what she has to do for her own sake, and while the author does not come out and explicitly say what Julia will do, she provides a metaphor that lets the reader deduce the conclusion.
"Outtakes From A Marriage" is a recommended read for anyone who is intrigued by celebrities, or has a marriage or children. It is an amusing book with much heart and wit.