So I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum to review thanks to 20SB and Penguin Publishing House. Disclaimer, I was compensated for this review, but I always need to keep it real when reviewing the books I read. ANYWHO, below is a quick synopsis of the book you can find on the author's website here.
Anna Benz, an American in her late thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno—a banker—and their three young children in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zürich. Though she leads a comfortable, well-appointed life, Anna is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with the emotionally unavailable Bruno or even with her own thoughts and feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences: German language classes, Jungian analysis, and a series of sexual affairs she enters with an ease that surprises even her.
But Anna can’t easily extract herself from these affairs. When she wants to end them, she finds it’s difficult. Tensions escalate, and her lies start to spin out of control. Having crossed a moral threshold, Anna will discover where a woman goes when there is no going back.
Intimate, intense, and written with the precision of a Swiss Army knife, Jill Alexander Essbaum’s debut novel is an unforgettable story of marriage, fidelity, sex, morality, and most especially self. Navigating the lines between lust and love, guilt and shame, excuses and reasons, Anna Benz is an electrifying heroine whose passions and choices readers will debate with recognition and fury. Her story reveals, with honesty and great beauty, how we create ourselves and how we lose ourselves and the sometimes disastrous choices we make to find ourselves.
It took me a little while to get through this book, although it was interesting how the author wrote the book by skipping throughout periods of time when she was with her psychologist, her past lover and the present. At times it got a little confusing since this would happen abruptly and right in the middle of the page, but I feel like it also spoke to Anna's character. Her mind was all over the place and unfocused...she really didn't know what she wanted and she was ambivalent toward seemingly everything aside from her children. The whole book revolved around Anna and her struggle with herself and lack of feeling, in not only her relationship with Bruno but her life as a whole. I must say I've never been so frustrated with a character, but I related to her in the effect that she dug herself into such a deep hole instead of just being honest with herself and everyone around her to solve the problem. The book was ultimately about Anna's journey coming into consciousness, yet I felt her character remained so stagnant throughout the whole book until she finally had no choice but to finally wake up. Although I didn't care for the plot of the story too much, the overall message and moral of it is one to take to heart.
Enter the giveaway for a free copy of Hausfrau courtesy of Penguin Publishing House! The book's release was officially yesterday, March 17th. Good luck!!!
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