This Is My Life

This Is My Life coverThis Is My Life
Meg Wolitzer
Riverhead Books, reprint edition (March 25, 2014), 326 pages
Kindle edition $7.99 ($4.99 when I bought it), Amazon paperback $8.38

I bought this book by mistake. I meant to click on the description of the book, but I clicked on the Buy Now button instead. Since I had returned a Kindle book just the day before I decided to keep it.

This an early novel by Meg Wolitzer. It was originally entitled This is Your Life, but the movie directed by Nora Ephron was released as This is My Life. When the book was reissued in 2014 Wolitzer decided to use the movie title, partly in appreciation of her friendship with Ephron, who died in 2012.

The story revolves around Dottie Engels, a popular comedian, and her two daughters. We see Dottie’s career peak and decline. We see the daughters becoming involved with men for whom they don’t much care and having sex more to pass the time than anything else. We see Dottie lending her name to a line of clothing when comedy is no longer paying the bills and we see her becoming involved with a man with whom she shares the habit of overeating.

If nothing else Wolitzer does a nice job of bringing the book full circle at the end. But this book was published in 1988 and the author has matured immensely as a novelist over the decades. It was probably worth the $4.99 that I paid. I’m not sure it’s worth $7.99. I would recommend that instead you spend an additional four dollars and buy The Interestings.

You’ll be glad you did.

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