Cover Image: Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This story explores the highs and lows of marriage, family, and human connection. Every relationship contains multitudes, ranging from despair, to boredom, to elation, to peace, to anger, and every other  emotion. Everyone in this book is trying to take their weird and make it fit into a world that has little space for it. Recommended for reader of Eleanor Oliophant Is Completely Fine.
Was this review helpful?
I loved the absurdity of this story. Blazed through the book in a few days. It was so funny and so realistic at the same time.
Was this review helpful?
I tried really hard to like this book. I just could not connect with the characters at all.. this was one of my most highly anticipated reads this year and I was so let down. 
This book May have not been for me, but maybe it’s a book someone else would enjoy!
Was this review helpful?
Totally felt autobiographical at times.  The struggle in this book is real.  I could feel in come through the pages in almost every character, yet the book also felt light and was humorous at times.  You could absolutely see how the characters got to these really deep and in most cases, sad places in their lives.  Yet, they had so much to live for and so much support, they just needed to set outside themselves to see it.  I wanted the book to be a bit lighter than it was, just because of how gloomy everything is right now in the world.  But, I did enjoy this read and possible glimpse into Ms. Zigman's life.
Was this review helpful?
Separation Anxiety is a book about Judy, a wife and mother who is trying to get her life together. She is a former author suffering from writer's block, her best friend is dying, her son is struggling at school, and her and her husband are separated, but cannot afford to live apart or get a divorce. If it sounds depressing, it's because it is. Judy starts wearing her dog in a baby carrier and taking her everywhere with her. Let's be real, I definitely was drawn to the book because of the cute cover with Judy and her dog. 

While this book is very well-written and the characters are well-developed, I really struggled with it. I really wanted to like it, but just found it too depressing. It might be because I didn't find myself relating to the main character (fortunately!) or because I really needed something lighter and fluffier to read right now with all that is going on in the world (COVID-19). This is probably a story better suited for someone who relates more to Judy and is maybe in a more similar life stage! Thank you to HarperCollins Publishers for an advanced copy to review via NetGalley!
Was this review helpful?
I was looking forward to reading Separation Anxiety because it has been a long time since Laura Zigman has published a new book.  I enjoyed Animal Husbandry when it was released over 20 years ago.  I really wanted to enjoy her latest novel but I just couldn’t get into it after only two chapters.  The two main characters were too over the top even for chick lit.  On a positive note I loved the cover design.
Was this review helpful?
2.5 stars. This book was very average and had a lot of gaps that were never filled. The premise of the book is a couple that is separated, but due to financial issues, they still live under the same roof. I never got invested in their marriage or why they were separated. Was the author trying to comment on mental health? Obviously both have anxiety. The main character wears a dog in a sling and the author tells you several times that the husband has anxiety issues, but you never really see them. Is she just supposed to be quirky? She’s an artist (writer)  and I love the moments where she says there’s a bird on her head when she’s done something outlandish. But it just never comes together for me. It could have been more if the gaps were filled in. The puppet people? That was weird and a bad choice for the story. And the poop storyline was also weird and didn’t make sense to the story. The best part was the real ness of the relationship with her best friend and her grief. Overall this felt incomplete. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Dog in a Sling and Other Fixes for Mid-Life

Probably best known for her hit debut novel 1989′s Animal Husbandry (which was made into the only rom-com I’ve never seen, the 2001 Someone Like You starring Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman), Laura Zigman is finally back after close to 15 years since her last book (2004′s Piece of Work) with a I-think-it’s-fair-to-say autobiographical protagonist in Separation Anxiety. Character and author are years since a successful book after a career working in publishing, married with a son, and sadly recently deceased parents and a cancer diagnosis. Separation Anxiety is a satisfying read with a good story that’s sad, funny, and tender. Welcome back, Zigman, you’ve been missed.

Wendy Ward
http://wendyrward.tumblr.com/
Was this review helpful?
Oh boy, am I seem so normal when compared to Judy Vogel the narrator in this story. Her husband was an aspiring musician way back when he opened for Aerospace. She had a children’s book leap into the best seller lists and then made into an animated movie. But now, she’s just barely coping with life. Her son is now in a 7th grade Montessori school, she’s writing spiffy little positive pieces for an online wellness website. She’s taken to carrying their family dog in a baby sling wherever she goes. She and her husband are separated, but can’t afford separate living arrangements, so he sleeps and smokes his medicinal marijuana in the snoring room in the basement. She’s forced into hosting the people puppets stay performing at her son’s school and she can’t figure out where she belongs. Eventually she discovers an extended family that includes the people puppets and even her middle school crush and she’s happy. May it continue to be a happy life for her.
Was this review helpful?
This book is fused with humor, loss, and grief. The inside flap says a “Hilarious novel...” but it’s a bit more than that funny when it needs to be but articulate. What comes through is the compassion and journey of a women navigating her way through all of this, with her dog Charolette in a sling along for the ride .
Was this review helpful?
A just-okay read. Nice level of wittiness, but in the end, I did not find the characters to be relatable at all, which is very important to me when reading. I'd recommend this as a beach read or a quick distraction.
Was this review helpful?
Sometimes you don't mesh with a book, its story, and its characters. This was such a book for me. Judy and Gary are stagnant in their lives and marriage. The story is presented in what is supposed to be a humorous manner, but this falls flat for me. Overall I found the book depressing and most of the situations and characters felt unrealistic or like caricatures.
Was this review helpful?
A fun read. Witty and Funny. Some twists and turns, not the ending I was expecting! This book reminds you that marriage, life  and family don't always turn out the way you expect but they always turn out the way they are supposed to. You get attached to the characters even some you were expecting to dislike.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed the wit and humor but did not connect to the story. The characters felt too over-the-top and the plot felt forced.
Was this review helpful?
DNF at 20%. I couldn't get into the manic writing style and couldn't make sense of where it was going.
Was this review helpful?
There are moments where I think this book really hit the mark and others where it seemed to miss it completely. None of the characters were compelling enough to make me really care what happened to them one way or another.
Was this review helpful?
Super endearing. I enjoyed the topics this covered and liked the characters. Some scenes seemed over the top or unrealistic. But overall, this was a fun yet serious at times story.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Harper Collins and NetGalley for a gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 

The premise of this book sounded really good! I expected it to be laugh out loud funny like Class Mom but unfortunately, I don't think I smiled even once. Yes it is quirky but to me it's just a sad story. There are a lot of mentions on mental illness but I think the execution missed the mark. I also didn't connect with any of the characters and found myself skimming to finish. It's an easy read but the book just wasn't for me.
Was this review helpful?
The premise of Separation Anxiety caught my attention, but the execution fell short of my expectations.  There were weird, quirky characters, which I love. Both Judy and Gary are paralyzed by anxiety.  Neither has had a great deal of success from the standard perspective.  Gary turns to weed for relief.  Judy wallows with no direction.  In addition to her self-doubt and anxiety, she is suffering from some sort of midlife crisis as her only son is exhibiting standard teen behavior and the normal desire to cut the apron strings.

Personally, I struggle with the loss of the job of “mom”. Not that I’m no longer someone’s mother, but they make it known that they don’t need me and don’t want my sage suggestions.  However, I have not succumbed to carrying my dog in a baby sling as a way to get over that feeling of being superfluous.

Yes, I get it….it is supposed to be comedy. Judy is supposed to be quirky and lovable.  She is clinging to the idea that keeping something that needs taking care of makes her needed and worthy, but really, it is just weird.  Maybe it is meant to be poking fun at the “normal” people who cling to their dogs and call them emotional support animals, but it felt offense toward people who truly do suffer from a panic disorder.  It’s one thing to be a “Peter Pan” and not know how to be an adult, and it is another thing to truly suffer from debilitating panic and anxiety.

While I appreciated the humor, I just couldn’t get beyond the insulting way that mental health was dealt with.

2.5-3 stars
Was this review helpful?
Readers looking for a light hearted romp won't find it here but what they will find is a deeply felt story of a woman trying to cope when the world keeps throwing screwballs at her.  Judy's parents both died within two years, her son Teddy has hit the teen years, her husband Gary has a serious anxiety disorder, her friend Glenn is dying of cancer, and she's struggling with being the higher earner (although not that much more) in a gig economy job that almost mocks the success she once had as a writer.  Oh and she and Gary are living a separated life in the same house. When she finds the sling someone gave her to carry baby Teddy, she begins to wear it with their dog Charlotte inside- this calms her in a way nothing else does.  That's the start of her journey, which includes some marvelous scenes at Teddy's school, her trip to a creative guide's weekend house, a crowd at the dog park, and Puppet People.  I suspect I'm not the only one who recognizes a little bit of herself in Judy (yes, women over 50 are often made to feel invisible) and who will feel for her as she careens between emotions.  There are laughs, such as when Judy and Gary escape from events, but there is also a serious story here and moments of great tenderness.  I've been a Zigman fan since Animal Husbandry (I actually have read all of her novels) so I was thrilled to get an ARC of this from the publisher.  She's got a direct style and is a terrific storyteller.  Highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?