Fleishman Is in Trouble

Random. Jun. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9780525510871. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780525510888. F
[DEBUT] Dr. Toby Fleishman is newly separated from his wife, Rachel. Their central problem seems to be ambition: she has too much; he has too little. She wants more; he thinks they have enough. Toby’s new situation as a single man is liberating, and he spends an inordinate amount of time using dating apps. For a doctor and someone who has partial custody of two children, he seems to have a lot of free time. He wakes one morning to discover that Rachel has left the children with him unexpectedly. When she doesn’t return at the appointed time, Toby vacillates between concern and rage but doesn’t actually try to find her. Three weeks later, Rachel finally resurfaces with a surprising alternate view of everything that has gone wrong in their marriage. Brodesser-Akner, a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, presents complex and contradictory characters with First World problems—too much money, too much social climbing, too many levels of upkeep in their lives. The resulting story of marriage and divorce is insightful, disturbing, and at times amusing.
VERDICT Readers of general contemporary fiction who don’t object to explicit language will enjoy.

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