Title: I’m Fine and Neither Are You
Author: Camille Pagán
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publish Date: April 1, 2019
My Rating: 4/5
Honesty is the best policy… except maybe when it comes to marriage in this brilliant novel about the high price of perfection from bestselling author Camille Pagán.
Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.
Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty.
What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?
Penelope is working hard to keep her family together. She’s also beyond stressed with her work and home life. When her best friend dies, Penelope realizes other people’s lives aren’t as perfect as they appear. Penelope and her husband agree to make a list of things they want from the other. Despite the problems and secrets, they work to improve their relationship.
Penelope is faced with some harsh realities when her best friend, who seemed perfect, is gone. Her best friend had a lifestyle blog, and seemed to have a great marriage, the most well behaved child, and a perfectly decorated home. This has a ring of truth in the picture perfect lifestyle that is prevalent in our current culture. Penelope soon learns everything is not as it seems, and she reflects on her own life.
Contemporary women’s fiction. Penelope has a hard time balancing marriage, kids, and work. Something a lot of women can relate to. And I imagine a lot of the target audience for this book has been guilty of saying “I’m fine” rather than be vulnerable to their real thoughts and feelings. An emotional story that touches on some timely topics.