Friday, June 19, 2009

Interview with MFA Greensboro Alum Julianna Baggott at "Faster than Kudzu"

June 18, 2009

3Q with Bridget Asher (and a contest!)

I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on THE PRETEND WIFE ever since I was so thoroughly charmed by Bridget Asher’s fierce and funny MY HUSBAND’S SWEETHEARTS last year.

Asher (a pen name of Julianna Baggott) writes the kind of books I like best: fast-paced, hopeful, sometimes funny, sometimes wrenching, and the layers are there if you want them. They are re-readers, meant to be first gobbled up guiltlessly at the beach while sipping a fruity beverage, and then read again for the underbook, which has plenty of fodder for thought (and book club discussions). I’ve already got THE PRETEND WIFE in my beach bag to take to Destin in a couple of weeks.

If YOU want it in YOUR beach back --- in signed first edition form, no less – just leave a comment on this blog entry before MIDNIGHT EST Friday, June 19th, and we will let the cruel and capricious gods of Random choose three winners. Contest rules are here, shamelessly PIRATED from my friend Miriam. Here’s the skinny on the book:

What would life be like with the one who got away? For Gwen Merchant, love has always been doled out in little packets—from her father, a marine biologist who buried himself in work after her mother’s death; and from her husband, Peter, who’s always been respectable and safe. But when an old college boyfriend, the irrepressible Elliot Hull, invites himself back into Gwen’s life, she starts to remember a time when love was an ocean.

What does Elliot want? In fact, he has a rather surprising proposition: he wants Gwen to become his wife. His pretend wife. Just for a few days. To accompany him to his family’s lake house for the weekend so that he can fulfill his dying mother’s last wish. Reluctantly Gwen agrees to play along—with her husband Peter’s full support. It’s just one weekend—what harm could come of it?

But as Gwen is drawn into Elliot’s quirky, wonderful family—his astonishingly wise and open mother, his warm and welcoming sister, and his adorable, precocious niece—she starts questioning everything she’s ever expected from love. And as she begins to uncover a few secrets about her own family, it suddenly looks like a pretend relationship just might turn out to be the most real thing she’s ever known.


JJ: You’ve said that you sometimes feel like a pretend wife yourself. What does that term mean to you and how does the novel relate to your own life?

BA: The Pretend Wife tells the story of a woman who’s been married for three years and then runs into her college boyfriend – the charming and irrepressible Elliot Hull -- who works his way back into her life.

Read the entire interview here:

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