Book Review #34: Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee

21 May

Emily and Einstein is a story of a woman who only discovers her marriage had disintegrated after her husband’s death in a tragic car accident, and how she recovers from the death of her husband and mourns the marriage she thought she had.  But the single most important fact about this book is left out on the book jacket (at least on my copy): Emily’s husband Sandy, after dying, is reincarnated in the dog Einstein who Emily subsequently adopts.

The book is told from the alternating perspectives of Einstein/Sandy, and Emily. At first, I was put off by Sandy’s reincarnation in the dog because introspective books flirting with the spiritual realm really are’t my thing. But his perspective was important: Emily knew so little about the actual state of her marriage, that you needed Sandy/Einstein’s input to figure out what had gone wrong, and why.

Sandy was insufferable! Even as a dog. The book jacket makes it sound like Sandy, through Einstein the dog, helps Emily recover to repent for his awful actions and because he loves her. But that’s not why. Sandy pushes Emily to live the life he wanted to live – run a marathon where he could not, stay thin so he still finds her attractive, etc. Everything Sandy pushes Emily to do is in his own self interest , with the ultimate purpose of trying to get her to spend more time with his dog form. I would feel better about Sandy/Einstein’s role in Emily’s recovery if he was something other than self motivated.

Emily annoyed me too; the author takes great pains to present Emily as calm, cool, collected, independent, successful in her career, idealistic but still family oriented – everything the “modern woman” is supposed to be. But Emily just seemed naive; for someone so successful in her career, she had no idea how to play the politics in her office. And her complete ignorance to the slow decline of her marriage was hard to swallow – there must have been some indication something was wrong.

Overall, this wasn’t my favorite. But it has a strong self improvement, feel good, slightly spiritual flavor to it which I think others might enjoy.  But for me, the characters were sort of unlikeable. I wasn’t really rooting for anyone, which is never a good sign.

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One Response to “Book Review #34: Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. HelloKatieO’s #CBR4 Review #34: Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee « Cannonball Read IV - May 26, 2012

    […] For more… Share this:ShareTwitterFacebookEmailDiggStumbleUpon Posted by HelloKatieO in 1 star – a book you didn't like and tagged CBR4, dogs, grief, hellokatieo, linda francis lee, pets […]

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