We Are All Fine Here by Mary Guterson

10 years ago, I was working the front desk at the library and this book came through.  I was drawn instantly to the cover.  I laughed at the title.  This was the book for me.  Completely against my usual super structured reading, I took it home and read it and loved it.

Now, on my second reading and as a 30 year old as opposed to a 20 year old, I still love it.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason so many people didn’t find this book funny is that they are just not as horrible people as I am.  Julia does things that I would never do but she thinks about things very similarly to me and I got her humor.

Julia is married to Jim and they have a teenage son, Chad, but she is constantly thinking about Ray, the one that got away.  Julia and Ray had a tumultuous, on-again-off-again relationship that ended when she became pregnant with Jim’s baby.  Ray has the pesky habit of popping up in Julia’s life, usually via drunken phone call, and that is how she ends up going to the wedding of some old friends with him.  Of course, once there it seems just natural that she should sleep with him.  Not long after she has a rare roll in the hay with her own husband.  That’s how Julia ends up pregnant without any idea who the father is.

What’s great about Julia’s story is the way that it meanders through the lives of others.  There are many little side characters who are also experiencing life shattering ordeals, like her neighbor whose husband leaves her for his secretary or her sister-in-law, suddenly getting married after years of being the irresponsible single girl.

I do seriously love this book and there were numerous times when I wanted to call my husband into the room and read him a paragraph that was spot on.

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