Thursday, August 05, 2010

Review: This One is Mine by Maria Semple

First line: David stood at the sink, a pine forest to his left, the Pacific Ocean to his right, and cursed the morning sun.

From the back cover: Violet Parry has a picture-perfect life: a beautiful house, a successful husband, a darling daughter. Violet can speak French, quote Sondheim, and whip up dinner from the vegetables in her garden. She has everything under control - except her own happiness. All it takes is a chance encounter with Teddy Reyes, a roguish small-time bass player with a highly evolved sexuality, to open Violet's eyes to what she's missing and upend her life completely.

Maria Semple writes with comic brilliance in this smart, compassionate, wickedly funny take on our need for more - and the sometimes disastrous choices we make in the name of happiness.

My thoughts: I found this book to be an easy yet thought-provoking read. It is the story of two women, who happen to be sisters-in-law, dissatisfied with their current lives. Both are willing to do something to change that. As we bounce back and forth between the two story lines, we really get to know the characters, not only  the two women, but also some of the other people that they meet along the way. These characters are all eccentric and lost in their own way. It takes a number of difficult and sometimes shocking events to teach them the important lessons in life and where their priorities should lie. The book is full of humor, hooks you from the beginning and will keep you guessing as to what will come next.

About the author: Maria Semple spent her first two years in Spain where her father had gone to write a play, but instead ended up writing the pilot for the TV series Batman. They packed up for Los Angeles, where Maria mainly remembers being driven around the hills in a Mercedes convertible with the latest Stephen Sondheim playing on 8-track. Wanting to expose the children to a change of seasons, her parents moved the family to Aspen in the early seventies. There, Maria became an expert skier, pot-smoker and delinquent. She was sent away to boarding school at Choate Rosemary Hall and loved every minute of it.

College was at Barnard, where Maria had big plans of becoming a novelist or an English teacher. Those dreams got derailed when she sold a movie script to Twentieth Century Fox just after graduation and moved to LA. She got into TV when her friend Darren Star-- whom she'd met on the ski slopes in Aspen years earlier-- gave her a job on Beverly Hills 90210. Thus began a fifteen-year career in television, writing for good shows like Ellen,Saturday Night LiveMad About You and Arrested Development. And bad shows nobody needs to know about.

She had a baby and quit television. When it was time to get back to work, she resisted Hollywood and gave novel-writing a try. THIS ONE IS MINE is the result. Writing it was the most fun work experience of her life.

Maria, her boyfriend and their daughter have since left LA for Seattle where Maria's at work on her second novel.

You can find more information about Maria at her website.

I received a complimentary copy of This One Is Mine by Maria Semple from Gigi, a personal friend of Maria, to review.


Gigi has provided a copy of This One Is Mine for readers of this blog.

  • US  only
  • No PO Boxes please
  • Must include email address to enter
  • Book will be mailed out by Gigi

To enter (required entry):  Leave me a comment letting me know that you want to win This One Is Mine. Please include your e-mail address in your comment, so that I have a way to contact you if you win. No e-mail= no entry!
  • Bonus Entry (+1)  Become a follower of this blog on Google Friend Connect. Please leave me a separate comment letting me know that you follow. Current followers are eligible as well - just leave a separate comment letting me know that you already do! Not a separate entry = no entry!

Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!



  1. Sounds like a great book - I'd love to win! :)

  2. ...also, I'm a follower! :)

  3. I would love to read this.


  4. I am a follower.


  5. Sounds interesting! Thanks for the giveaway! emilyjoymitchell at gmail dot com.

  6. I also follow with GFC. emilyjoymitchell at gmail dot com.

  7. I read and reviewed this one a while ago on my own blog, so no need to enter me in this giveaway. I found this one to be a bit too graphic for my taste.

  8. Would read this book.


  9. I am a GFC follower.


  10. Hi,

    new follower :)

    I'd love to win "This One Is Mine."

  11. This one is still on my wish list! Please enter me and thank you for the opportunity....

    bunnymom1970 at aol dot com

  12. I am already a follower via GFC

    bunnymom1970 at aol dot com

  13. hope this one in mine . . . lol

  14. I would love a copy of this book. At first, it was just the cover that grabbed me but then when I read some pretty good reviews of the book, I wanted it bad. So please, enter me in the giveaway!

  15. Would love to win



Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I love interacting with other book lovers and appreciate any thoughts or feedback! If you read a book after seeing my review, please let me know. Come back and leave me a link to your review so I can read it. Thank you!!!

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