Gone by Cathi Hanauer
Eve’s husband, Eric, is gone. He took the babysitter home after an evening out and simply did not return. Bestselling author Cathi Hanauer brings readers a domestic fiction story in which Eve must find a way to reinvent herself after Eric disappears. In Gone, we get to see two sides of a marriage as both Eve and Eric’s stories are told in alternating chapters.
While Eric has left he has not totally disappeared as his purchases on a credit card tell where he is spending money. Actually he has gone to his mother’s in Arizona, leaving Eve in Massachusetts to deal with the kids and what’s left of their marriage.
Eve has a growing career as a personal nutritionist and has even published a book on nutrition. While Eve’s career has been in an upward swing, Eric’s career as a sculptor is going downhill. Eve has been a full-time mother most of her adult life and has only worked part time. Now with Eric gone, Eve has to find a way to earn more money to keep her family together. Her daughter and son make even more demands on her time and she finds it difficult to fulfill her familial responsibilities as she visits more and more clients. She will be forced to make some difficult decisions when the mortgage must be paid.
It is easy to like Eve a lot as a character. She is after all, something of a superhero. One would expect to dislike Eric since he staged his disappearing act. Instead he comes off as a likable loser but one that the reader wants to root for. If he cannot sculpt anymore, he must find a way to redefine his life. We see him reaching out to his teenager daughter through text messages while attempting to reconnect with his wife, who will not take his calls. As he finally recognizes that he is suffering from depression, he may be able to get the help he needs to be a father and husband again.
Eve’s career adds heightened interest to the story as the reader is allowed to see her interact with her clients, some of whom would make a great novel themselves. Eve can ponder the state of her marriage as she helps clients with serious weight issues.
Most of all, Gone is a novel about love and change, about redefining, in middle age, everything from one’s career, to one’s marriage to one’s role as best friend, parent and spouse. It will keep readers entertained and possibly lead them to examine their own lives. All-in-all, it is a satisfying read.
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