Item description for The Housewife Blues by Warren Adler...
A handsome advertising executive sweeps Jenny, a "nice" girl from the Midwest, off her feet while visiting and they are soon married. Afterwards, he spirits her away to the super-charged world of New York City. A control freak, he warns her to beware of strangers and avoid making friends. But she cannot repress her small town upbringing and instinctive innocence, eventually forming relationships with many of the quirky tenants in their brownstone building and entering into their complicated and sometimes tragic lives.
Jenny's journey of self-discovery from naivet through disenchantment to eventual wisdom is wonderfully wrought and builds to an astonishing climax.
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City mouse/country mouse comedy Jun 1, 2005
Jenny, traditional small-town Hoosier girl, meets Larry, Manhattan go-getter adman. He wants a loving helpmate, she wants a man to nurture. It's a match made in old-fashioned heaven.
As wickedly funny, if not as wicked, as his earlier "The War of the Roses," Adler's "The Housewife Blues" is a classically choreographed comedy of manners. The story, seen primarily through Jenny's eyes, takes place in the small New York apartment building where she spends her days.
Larry, a shark of the new school, warns Jenny against her neighborly inclinations. But Jenny can't help but take an interest in the attractive couple upstairs, inviting them to a down-home dinner which makes Larry writhe in embarrassment and does not elicit a return invitation. And she can't turn a blind eye to the glum couple whose teenage son secretly visits the gay couple in the basement.
Being home all day it's only natural she would accept a package for the brittle career-woman with the clandestine weekend lover or look after the gay couple's errant cat, or offer tea and cookies to the teenager when he loses his keys.
Quickly enmeshed in their lives, Jenny keeps more of her activities from Larry while worrying over his big career move. Appalled and touched to discover that hard-nosed New Yorkers, given half a drop of encouragement, are a lot less reticent about their private affairs than the staid folks back home, she lends a squeamish ear and a generous heart.
Then, at a painfully funny dinner party, Jenny learns more than she wants to know about her Larry. Her coming-of-age is fraught with struggles to keep her comfortable illusions while rationalizing her own secret life.
Adler's style is straightforward and understated, his humor and observation no less sharp for being laconically delivered. Jenny is a delightful character whose plunge into life is wholeheartedly based on optimistic homilies like "People are people everywhere." And if Larry is little more than a cut-out, he seems the sort of handsome mistake a young, naively ambitious girl could make.