A fabulous debut about a long-suffering nearly 40-something woman, Helen, and her affair with a family man named Matthew, who is not so surprisingly her boss. Just at the moment she decides it’s time to dump him and get on with her life, she opens the front door to find Matthew on her doorstep. “I’ve done it” he announces triumphantly. “I’ve left her. I’m yours” he tells her, and proceeds to move in. She is not brave enough to throw him out. She then discovers how much she can’t bear him. Wherein ensues a zany plot that involves figuring out that the best way to get rid of Matthew is to befriend his wife and convince her to take him back. The only problem is that Helen discovers she really likes Sophie, Matthew’s wife, a lot more than she likes Matthew. And on top of that, she has a rather dishy stepson. Light as a feather but about real issues, GETTING RID OF MATTHEW is a deliciously funny novel that proves the peril of getting what you ask for.
My Review (May Contain Spoilers)
I don’t know what it is about Jane Fallon’s books, but I believe that they represent some of the best chick-lit out there. It had been a few years since I read her first book, Got You Back, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw her second novel, Getting Rid of Matthew, at the used book store. It had been on my wish list over at Amazon for quite some time and I just hadn’t gotten around to buying it.
From the first few pages, I loved this book. At first glance, Jane Fallon’s books look like they’d be long and tedious to read, dragging on and on, but this was not the case. Even though the entire book was devoted to Helen trying to convince her married boyfriend (who left his wife, Sophie, to be with Helen) that he should go back to his family, it doesn’t come across as being repetitive or boring.
I loved the whole premise for the book – Helen’s having an affair with Matthew, constantly telling him to leave his wife and be solely with her, but then when he actually does leave his wife, showing up on Helen’s doorstep saying that he’s hers now, she doesn’t want him!
Helen comes across as funny and charming, even though she’s the girl who stole another woman’s husband. I ended up falling in love with her and wanting her to get the best – which was what Matthew was not. Helen befriends Sophie, Matthew’s soon-to-be-ex-wife – first in an attempt to just see who Matthew’s wife was, but then gets to know and like her – and as a reader I really wanted their friendship to last. Helen even falls for Matthew’s son, Leo, a restaurateur who wants to use Helen for PR purposes (even though she’s not really a PR person – a lie she told to make up a different life while befriending Sophie).
Of course, it’s hard for either of these relationships to go public because of Matthew, but in the end all I wanted was for Matthew to be gone – not to have Sophie or Helen – because he didn’t deserve either women.
Jane Fallon has such a knack for writing – she’s funny in both PG-13 and R-rated ways, but then she can warm your heart just like that. She can make you fall for characters you might not have thought you would have liked, and she can really make you dislike another character. Her books may be long, but I was intrigued the whole way and thought the ending was perfect. The reader is left feeling good and loving all the characters, except for Matthew who continues to dig holes for himself.
This was a great read! I can’t wait to see what Jane Fallon releases in the future.