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Review: American Housewife

June 2, 2016

American Housewife

American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis is just what it sounds like, a collection of short stories about housewives, but, of course, they’re not your ordinary housewives.  These twelve short stories feature everything from a housewife who threatens a neighbor over the wainscoting in their common area to a woman who’s writing a novel for Tampax to an author who’s a contestant in a reality show.

I have to admit that I was first drawn to this book because of its fabulous cover.  I found it to be a quick read but many of the stories left me scratching my head because I’m just not sure I “got” them.  Critics are raving over this collection but many bloggers have called it uneven and, I’m afraid, I’m going to have to side with the bloggers on this one.  It was a quick read for me, but, overall, it wasn’t satisfying.  Unfortunately, American Housewife was a miss for me.  You might want to give it a try if you enjoy smart short stories.

Review copy provided by Doubleday.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. Diane permalink
    June 2, 2016 6:11 am

    I totally agree with you assessment of this one Kathy–overall disappointing for me.

  2. June 2, 2016 7:25 am

    My thoughts, exactly!

  3. June 2, 2016 7:37 am

    I have this book on my shelf and like you I was drawn to the cover and the critical acclaim.

  4. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    June 2, 2016 7:47 am

    I was one of those “uneven” bloggers! Sorry it didn’t work better for you.

  5. June 2, 2016 9:18 am

    I like the concept of short stories. But, for some reason, I’ve never been interested in reading them. I remember reading a collection of short stories from Larry McMurtry and Dean Koontz many, many years ago. But that was probably the last time. If I do take one on, it obviously won’t be this one!

  6. Patty permalink
    June 2, 2016 10:41 am

    So good to know! I don’t think I enjoy this kind of short story!

  7. June 2, 2016 11:41 am

    I am not a fan of short story collections anyway, but I love that cover, too. However, I think I’ll pass on this one. I do enough head-scratching with some books as it is. LOL. Thanks for sharing.

  8. June 2, 2016 1:52 pm

    I love short story collections and this was highly recommended by another blogger so I got a copy from the library. It was a miss for me too and I didn’t finish it.

  9. bookingmama permalink
    June 2, 2016 3:03 pm

    Darn! I liked the concept of this one! I’m sure I wouldn’t get them either.

  10. June 2, 2016 4:20 pm

    I can not say I am all yay about it

  11. June 2, 2016 5:20 pm

    I’m sorry this one wasn’t better for you, Kathy. Short stories are hit and miss with me, and so I tend to be picky about the ones I will read.

  12. June 2, 2016 7:33 pm

    Thanks for your honest review of this collection, Kathy. I like the cover, too. I’d probably find some of the stories interesting.

  13. June 2, 2016 10:55 pm

    Too smart for readers, huh? I hate books like that and yet they always seem to be the ones that amass awards and accolades. I do like the sound of these stories though – so eclectic! I’m sorry this wasn’t quite your cup of tea honey.

  14. June 3, 2016 2:25 am

    Sorry it did not work for you but i do so love the cover.

  15. June 3, 2016 10:25 am

    This is a new to me book of stories, but sounds like the stories don’t resonate well.

  16. June 3, 2016 3:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing your candid thoughts Kathy. The cover is definitely a draw.

  17. June 3, 2016 8:01 pm

    I love the cover too but after reading your review, I’m not sure this book is for me either.

  18. Judy B permalink
    June 4, 2016 8:47 am

    I too was drawn to the cover, but I won’t be picking this one off the shelf. I am already so far behind in my reading goal, I can’t afford to waste time on one that is just “meh”

  19. June 4, 2016 2:24 pm

    I thought this collection was pretty funny, but yeah, I think some of the stories didn’t totally hold together if you thought about it too hard. But on audio, as a quick read, I thought it was pretty funny.

  20. June 5, 2016 7:53 pm

    the cover is a riot but I’m not into smart short stories. this one I shall take a pass on

  21. June 5, 2016 8:44 pm

    I listened to the audio and it was pretty much a miss for me too 😦

  22. June 6, 2016 8:08 pm

    Oh well, such collections do tend to make one think about what works and what doesn’t and so in the end, you know more about your own reading tastes so, not a total loss, perhaps? This would be a library read if I ever get to it. I do have a few short story collections on my tbr that I probably should get to first.

  23. June 12, 2016 10:47 am

    Short stories often leave me feeling this way–so many times I’ll finish a story and wonder what the heck it was even about. Much more satisfying to read a novel!

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