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Gaffney's latest (after The Goodbye Summer) chronicles a 20-year marriage on the verge of imploding. Vivacious, impulsive professional photographer Dash Bateman is the opposite of her worrywart, straitlaced husband, Andrew, a history professor at Mason-Dixon College. After Dash's mother dies and the couple packs off their daughter for her freshman year at college, Dash's crisis of purpose culminates with Dash fleeing her house and husband for an extended stay in the couple's isolated cabin. As they attempt to live without one another, Andrew flirts with a feisty younger colleague and salivates over the chance to be chair of his department (if he can navigate the politics), and Dash finds a substitute mother, daughter and potential love interest. Gaffney tells the story from both Dash's and Andrew's points-of-view, allowing readers to see how the two frustrate and fall in love with one another. The writing is lively, though scenes involving conversations about the nature of love and relationships can turn tedious. The climax teeters on the edge of being over the top, but the denouement is just rosy. It's a lot of fun, and the faults are easily forgiven. (Aug.)
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Not only men have midlife crises. Meet Dash Bateman. She is a free-spirited photographer who recently lost her mother and sent her daughter off to college. After a trivial fight with her history-professor husband, Andrew, over a puppy, Dash takes the dog and leaves. Tired of Andrew's boring faculty parties, his hypochondria, and his obsessive list making, Dash feels trapped in a life she didn't plan. Out at their cabin, Dash explores the possibilities of reinventing herself and her life on her own. But it is the people around her who challenge Dash's desires and dreams. Mrs. Bender acts as a wise, surrogate mother. Dash's best friend, Mo, is recently divorced and is playing the field with gusto. Greta, her young assistant, reminds Dash of her earlier self; and Owen the handsome handyman just might make her forget all about Andrew. Popular women's fiction writer Gaffney doesn't fuss over plot, instead creating a funny, lighthearted, and tender look at what brings people together, what makes a marriage, and what it takes to keep it together. Kubisz, CarolynSee all Product Description