Fleishman Is in Trouble

Sorry, Taffy, but this just isn’t a very good novel. Well-written, yes, but in desperate need of an editor to help you with the narrative arc and various and sundry other details. I got bored but persevered, and it did get better around page 300 when the story shifts to tell what happens from Rachel’s perspective, instead of Toby, but my god that’s a huge request to hang with you on this story for 300 pages before things click. Basic premise is a divorced couple in the throes of early separation. Rachel is the powerful business owner who mostly supports the family in style while her husband Toby is a doctor (liver specialist) whose $250k per year salary doesn’t give them much in Manhattan. Most of the story focuses on Toby, and I suppose that’s because it’s oddly being told from the perspective of Libby, Toby’s old friend from his year abroad in Israel, who inserts herself early on (p 13) mentioning “He thought about calling me”, otherwise you would have thought this was told from omniscient narrator. It’s all weirdly hung together, like an ill-fitting suit that the tailor couldn’t have been bothered to fix because she was getting adulation at every step. Definitely not worth the non-stop praise it’s been getting.

I had to come back to add a postscript about her epigraph, since I liked the one in The Wolves so much. “Summon your witnesses”– Aeschylus. Taffy, simply adding this nod to the ancient Greeks does not elevate the hot mess of your novel. Should’ve gone with something much more pop-culture related, like maybe a Maury Povich quote.