Cover Image: Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety

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Member Reviews

Separation Anxiety is a book about a mother and wife who is going through a particularly hard time in her life. Her only child is now a teenager, her and her husband are living together but in different parts of the house, and her writing career is not what it used to be. 

As a mother of two teenagers, I could relate to many of Judy's emotions relating to her son's childhood and his current stage of life. I think most moms are sentimental and a bit sad when thinking of their children's early years. 

Zigman's writing is smooth and very readable. 

At times, the story felt a little too out of sorts and not believable. For example, the headmaster at the Montessori school was crazy. The other dog owners at the dog park went wild when they saw Judy "wearing" Charlotte and called it animal abuse. I am not sure if Zigman wrote parts of the book to be so outlandish and was intentional about this or not.
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Judy's life is in shambles. Her career has stalled, she's separated from her husband, their finances are strained, her son is growing up and away from her, and her best friend has terminal cancer. 
So she starts wearing the family dog to cope.
In a baby harness. 
In public. 

This book is quirky and hilarious, while also very honest and raw. There is a lot of vulnerability here, and the path these characters take is both insightful and redeeming, Separation Anxiety really is about the journey, and the one in this book is wonderfully balanced with growth and humor. It's definitely a worthwhile and entertaining read.

Many thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for the advance copy.
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Judy Vogel wrote a highly successful children’s book that became a children’s television series, but she hasn’t been able to write another book.  Her current job is writing 300-400 word articles for a wellness site, producing a few articles a day.  Not only does Judy have writer’s block, but she also feels totally disconnected from everyone she knows.  She is separated from her husband Gary, but they can’t afford to live in separate residences because Gary works as a part-time snackologist and spends large amounts of time smoking pot.  So Gary lives in their basement, and Judy and their teen-aged son Teddy live upstairs.  While working on de-cluttering their storage area, Judy comes across a baby sling left from when her son was born.  On impulse, she slips the sling over her head and puts Charlotte, the family’s Sheltie in the sling.  For the first time in years, Judy feels a connection to another living being.  Meanwhile, their son attends a Montessori school that is also in crisis.

At age 50, Judy feels invisible:  not only is her marriage falling apart and her son doesn’t need her anymore, her best friend and editor is dying of cancer and she is crushingly lonely.  Wearing the dog in a sling at least attracts some (mostly) harmless attention.  While depression is a main theme, there is also commentary on marriage, parenting, and progressive education.  There is just enough humor to keep the story from wallowing in sadness.  It also points out the magic of dogs.
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I received an ARC of this book for an honest review. I met the author last October at Day of Dialogue for librarians at the Cambridge library. She was smart, funny and engaging and I found this book to be no different. Look-I get the criticism. It’s written by a suburban mom for other suburban moms of a certain age and social class. Ridiculous “gurus” on social media, crazy parents and over zealous schools, the urge to buy organic groceries all made sense to me. I felt a kinship with the main character and her feelings of being invisible and no longer needed by her family and society. Maybe I’ll try wearing my dog too.
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Quirky cute some funny scenes some emotional scenes.The idea of wearing your dog to control anxiety had me hysterical,Dealing with husbands mid life crisis balancing family and survival issues,A well written book that I really enjoyed.#netgalley#harpercollins
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Many thanks to NetGalley, Harper Collins, and Laura Zigman for the opportunity to read her new book.  I read Animal Husbandry years ago and remember loving it.  This was a solid read for me - kind of a lighter-hearted view of real anxieties and issues.

Judy is 50 years old.  She has lost both her parents and her best friend is dying from cancer. She wrote a best-selling children's book years ago that was turned into a series, but her attempts at writing since then have fallen flat.  Her teenage son, Teddy, is pulling away from her.  Her husband, Gary, suffers with his own debilitating anxiety issues that have caused him to not be able to fully engage in a satisfying job.  The couple sleep in separate areas now and consider themselves separated but can't afford a divorce.  As Judy was going through boxes in an effort to tidy up, she found an unused baby sling she received as a gift when Teddy was born.  Missing comfort, she ends up putting their dog in the sling and carrying her around.

Lots of real life issues here as we age, change and try to be happy.  Would make an interesting book club read with the right group of friends and wine!
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I really enjoyed this book. I chose it for my popsugar 2020 challenge for book with a great first line. As someone that battle anxiety and actually got a dog to help.with my depression, this was not what I was expecting... But I was pleasantly surprised and thought the character development was appropriate and made you really connect with the Judy.
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Really hoping this book makes it socially acceptable to start wearing pets as a form of anxiety treatment. Honestly, I’d be a much less anxious person if my dog could be strapped to me everywhere I go. I really enjoyed the frankness of this book, and I think it’s one that will appeal to people at most stages of life.
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In honesty, I didn't know what to think when I heard about this book... I just knew I wanted to read it.  Judy, once beloved author/ mother/ wife.... feels like everything's gone.  Her nearly-teen son no longer comes to her for everything (or really anything...), she has resorted to writing blurbs for an on-line wellness magazine, and her husband has turned into a toking "snackologist".  Who wouldn't be a bit depressed?  Some people would take up a hobby, join a club, go to therapy.... or start wearing the family dog everywhere.
             I found the beginning of the book to be good, but a bit choppy.  It found a good flow about a quarter into the book.  The characters were really interesting here.  The mains- Judy and Gary- are really well fleshed out and interesting.  I loved seeing them interact now... but also the flashbacks and little pieces of who they were.  It was just magical!  That said, I felt like some of the side characters were a little static.  We could have done more with the puppet people, and with the people at the school.  
         Judy is hard not to love.  Messy, deranged, clingy and confused.... she's still real and honest with herself if not everyone else.  Even when she is completely off the wall and rediculous, she's incredibly loveable.  I was rooting for her the entire time, and I was completely invested in everything that was happening.  For me, this was definitely a four star book.  It's a great read, engaging and sweet.  It gave me feels!  
       On the adult content scale, there's some language, drinking, substance abuse and moments of bullying and vandelism.  None of it is too over the top and I would still let my niece read this one.  Let's give it a three!
        I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review.  My thanks!
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Thanks to NetGalley and Ecco for making an advance copy of this title available for an honest review.

Heartbreakingly hilarious. With every rock of support, every bond of joy, every string of self esteem slipping away from her, Judy turns to the only source of comfort left, her dog. Her now teen-aged son is drawing away from her. Her best friend is dying of cancer. The separation, sort of, from her still loved husband is fraught with stress. Her writing career has tanked. Her financial situation is increasingly dire. While finding comfort in the family pet is completely understandable, Judy takes things a bit far and eventually can't be without Charlotte's furry security wrapped to her body, perplexing those around her. She realizes that it's a bit odd, but any attempts toward normality go horribly awry in poignant and amusing fashion. I cheered for this self-acknowledged misfit every step of her stumbling way.
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I found this book to be humorous at times and very relatable. I can see recommending this book for book clubs because I think that the discussions would be very interesting. I would recommended this book to anyone looking for a touching family drama.
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Judy and Gary have hit a difficult time in their marriage and are only still living together because they can't afford to live apart, JUdy has suffered a great deal of loss in a short amount of time, the death of her parents, her marriage, her best friend's illness. To try and cope, she starts wearing the dog in a baby sling around her neck. A touching novel about a family just trying to hold it together.
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About 20 years ago, I read Animal Husbandry by Laura Zigman and loved it. I have reread that book and watched the movie adaptation renamed “Someone Like You” many times. When I saw that this new release was coming out, I didn’t hesitate to request an advanced copy.

Judy is a 50 year old wife, mother and friend. Her career as an author showed initial success and then the floor dropped from under her. Her parents became ill and passed away, her relationship with her husband is more than strained and she feels so alone. That feeling is so intense that she decides to wear the family dog in a baby sling around her body.

Quirky and fun, this was an entertaining read. However, the realness of Judy and her struggles doesn’t go unnoticed. She is easy to relate to and someone you want to help at the same time.

I had a great time reading this and couldn’t put it down.
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I loved this book.  It is a quick read with a quirky character.
I relate to her and her situations.
I would recommend this as a book club book.
It would be an interesting topic.
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I DNF'd this book. I could not finish this book because the character seemed very condescending. I also did not enjoy the writing style.
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Actual rating: 3.5 stars

This was an unusual book for me to read. I'm not married, nor am I middle-aged or have a child. I have nothing in common with this book, but the description made me want to give it a try. I have anxiety, and I can definitely relate to some of the characters' behaviors. The book was definitely funny at times, mostly because of the ridiculous things that happened, but also because they were relatable for me. The writing was great, too, and although some of the storylines were very odd or seemingly random (People Puppets?? What??), I still enjoyed this novel enough to give it 3.5 stars.  Maybe it's because I had nothing in common with the main character, but I was at times a little bored.
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Although the book is well written, it took me a while to warm up to the main character and her quirks, maybe because the neuroses and anxieties hit too close to home. By the time I finished reading, she had won me over.
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This is first book I read by Laura Zigman, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When I saw this cover, I did think this would be more humorous, but this was definitely a much more serious novel then expected.

Judy is fifty, a children’s book writer who hasn’t come up with a good idea in years, separated from her husband (but they still live together) and a mother. When the book start starts she is cleaning out her basement when she finds an old baby sling, and this sets up her carrying her dog in that sling for the remainder of this book.

While a lot of the supporting characters brought in that humorous element to this book, Judy’s character is quite serious. She is having her mid-life crisis. Every decision seems critical for her, and potentially will be life changing.

I so loved this book and how Zigman portrayed your typical American mom. She wants to do right, but it just seems it just doesn’t ever happen. She feels very relatable, even with the dog strapped to her all the time. She is a woman who is just trying to get through the day, provide for her family, and also have the love from that family she provides for.

This was a surprising read, which I believe will make great book club discussions, with a few added laughs. I highly recommend this one.

Thank you NetGalley and Ecco for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Judy is using the family pet dog as a comfort animal and is carrying it around with her everywhere she goes in a baby sling.  She and her husband are separated but living in the same house.  The husband has panic issues which makes it hard for him to pursue his creativity in music.  Judy had written a very popular childrens book in the past, but now has writer's block since her past two books were not received well.  Both Judy's parents have died recently, and now her best friend is dying.

This book was, I think, supposed to be an insight into mental illness and may have been trying for humorous and witty.  For me it missed the mark.  The story was very sad, but the characters seemed unbelievable to me and didn't win my heart.  I really felt sorry for the child though.  

Thanks to Harper Collins Publishers through Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This has been one of my favorite books of the year, so humorous but relatable. How does one cope while a husband is going through s mid life crisis, while you are responsible for keeping your family financially afloat? It's all too much and she copies by keeping her dog attached to her with a sling. And that's just the beginning. A must read.
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