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Domestic Pleasures
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Domestic Pleasures

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  262 ratings  ·  29 reviews
After her ex-husband dies in a plane crash, Martha Gaver is horrified to learn that the executor of Raymond's estate is Charlie, the conservative, insufferable lawyer who represented Raymond in their bitter divorce. Yet soon after they reenter each other's lives, Martha, Charlie, and their teenage children find they have more in common than they imagined as they struggle t ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1991)
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Community Reviews

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This book has been in my "to read" box for a very long time, and what a pleasure to dive into a character driven novel where I can indulge in thoughts and motivations instead of a runaway plot.

Martha Garver's ex-husband dies in a plane crash and she is horrified to learn that the executor of his estate, and the person who will be handling her son's trust fund is none other than Charlie Leveque, the conservative and insufferable attorney who represented her ex-husband Raymond in their bitter div
When Raymond Gaver's plane crashes enroute from LA to NY, Charlie Leveque, his attorney, is the one to tell Raymond's ex-wife Martha. Martha, who remembers hating Charlie for his role in turning her world upside down in the divorce from Raymond.

And now she discovers that he is the executor of the estate and the one to whom she must address financial requests for her son Jack.

Sorting through the detritus of a life abruptly ended brings these characters in close proximity with one another, and the
3.5 stars. Incredibly well written characters. They were so real. It was a total soap opera, no real redeeming message, but I kept turning those pages.
Janet Valentine
One of my all-time favorite books! And it's not really about domesticity, or housekeeping.
Aug 23, 2011 Susann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susann by: Jen D-K
Persephone Books turned me on to Gutcheon with its re-issue of Still Missing, so when Jen recommended this title, I kept an eye out for a copy at Powell's. Gutcheon has a real talent for focusing on the domestic while also evoking a strong sense of time and place. This time and place is New York City in the mid-to-late 1980s, which means - OF COURSE - that our heroine has to have a SoHo loft. (I'm not complaining about Martha's loft, which is a realistic match for her character; I'm just envious ...more
As a Beth Gutcheon fan, I enjoy all her books. This one was good, but not great. Regardless, no one captures the small details of day to day life like this author.
I had a difficult time getting through this book. I read her Leeward Cottage & was inspired to read any other books she wrote, but this story was confusing at best. However, her characters are wonderful & you care about them.
I enjoyed it, an intelligent love story and I thought the teenagers were very good.
Carolyn Agosta
I know this book was published some time ago, but it's new to me and if you can't find it in print, go to your public library! The characters and situations are so real, so engaging. I like that they are people who fight their own shortcomings, that they're flawed and imperfect and that their lives are full and messy and complicated. Things turn on small events like the flu or bad weather, just like in real life. I really enjoyed this and am now going to read Ms. Gutcheon's other books.
(Really 3 1/2 stars) I loved Gutcheon's Leeway Cottage this year so I picked up this older novel of hers from 1991. It's interesting to see her growth as a writer. I'd compare this to a Rosamunde Pilcher or Maeve Binchy, except set in the US.

This novel is a NYC family saga where several different story lines intersect with common characters. It also offers a nice look at (and reflection on) parenting older teens. An enjoyable read.
Anyone in a relationship, trying to understand his or her relationship or undertaking a new one ought to read this one. Unfortunately, many critiques have focused only on the "love story" aspect of this book instead of the intrapersonal relationships the author highlights.

Fast, easy, great read. I would recommend it!
Jeffrey Stalk
About middle-aged people with children falling in love and being torn apart by the complications in their lives. Enjoyable, well-written.
Claire Litton
Dec 02, 2007 Claire Litton rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who needs a dose of weepies
Eminently readable and conversational. It feels like a conversaion with your best friend, although some of the references are dated now (tights and big sweatshirts? poofy hair?). Satisfying, meandering, hadr to put down.
A slight but enjoyable book with some sensitivity to the domestic lives of divorced men & women & teenaged children in NYC. The characters were truly likable ones that I came to care about.
If you've been divorced, you'll relate to the characters in this novel. Domestic Pleasures was a great fun diversion after I finished a violent, but well-written thriller.
Karen Backe
Well-written and insightful story about relationships, romantic and familial, blooming and disintegrating. People are funny.

Sweet and frustrating, just like relationships.
Dec 06, 2009 Jill rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of character books
I hadn't read any books by Gutcheon in a number of years. Her books remind me of Anne Tyler's books - very character driven.
Kristi Huettl
A page turner till the very end. I connected so with the great love that Martha and Charlie shared. Loved this book!
May 14, 2011 Toni rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Toni by: eileen barton
The intertwined lives we lead and true love. DIvorce, dath and true love. Fast read, many characters.
Amy Lamy
Sep 05, 2007 Amy Lamy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: women
One of my all time favorites - an emotional roller coaster type of story that you don't want to put down.
This little gem is the kind of book where you think about the characters even when you are not reading it.
Reading this book is like tuning in to a daily soap opera, but better. Good summer reading.
Irma Myers-Donihoo
One of my Top Ten - love love love this book and re-read it at least once a year!
several interwoven story lines, interesting to read-esp if you have teenagers!!
One of my favorites. I read this a number of years ago then re-read in 2008.
Fun story about three families who lives intersect.
Domestic Pleasures : A Novel by Beth Gutcheon (2001)
a goodread with a happy ending. nice and light
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Beth Gutcheon grew up in western Pennsylvania. She was educated at Harvard where she took an honors BA in English literature. She has spent most of her adult life in New York City, except for sojourns in San Francisco and on the coast of Maine. In 1978, she wrote the narration for a feature-length documentary on the Kirov ballet school, The Children of Theatre Street, which was nominated for an Ac ...more
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