THE MAN I SHOULD HAVE MARRIED by Pamela Redmond Satran


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The travails of a newly single mother.

It never rains but it pours: Kennedy Smith’s selfish husband, Frank, has decided to become a yoga teacher and give up his lucrative law practice. And he’s dating his high school flame, Sunny the surfer, who’s sporting a big diamond only four months after Kennedy and Frank’s separation. The kids are upset: Amanda, five, refers to her father as a “dickhead”; and her half-sister Maya, fifteen, has decided to search for her biological father, Marco Rivera, even though she’s heard all about his problems with drugs. He and Kennedy split up years ago, and Kennedy would just as soon Maya not try to find him, but the stubborn daughter pooh-poohs her objections. Still, Kennedy has other things to worry about, like taking Frank’s Brooks Brothers suits to the Goodwill. And then? Living in the imaginary suburb of Homewood, outside of New York, just hasn’t prepared her for anything like this. Frank handled all the hard stuff, like highway driving, though Kennedy did sometimes take the Volvo as far as the nearest mall. And then there’s money. Her lifelong friend Jeannie offers her minimum wage in her adorable-thingies boutique, but Kennedy can’t meet her expenses selling tulips and dishcloths. So? Well, a pilgrimage to former haunts in the East Village might turn up Marco—and is it possible that McGlynn’s, the neighborhood bar owned and managed by her former flame, is still there? And are those the brawny biceps of Declan McGlynn as he pulls a pint of Guinness? The studly Irishman is right where she left him, the pub reassuringly ungentrified, still the kind of place where everybody knows your name—sort of like everybody knows the rest of this plot. Has Declan grown up enough to make a commitment? Will Marco bond with the daughter he abandoned? Will Kennedy find the happiness she seeks?

Thin and thinly written tale of second chances.

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7434-6354-4
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Downtown Press/Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2003