Jill Alexander Essbaum

Anna Benz, an American in her late thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno—a banker—and their three young children in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zürich. Though she leads a comfortable, well-appointed life, Anna is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with the emotionally unavailable Bruno or even with her own thoughts and feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences: German language classes, Jungian analysis, and a series of sexual affairs she enters with an ease that surprises even her.  

But Anna can’t easily extract herself from these affairs. When she wants to end them, she finds it’s difficult. Tensions escalate, and her lies start to spin out of control. Having crossed a moral threshold, Anna will discover where a woman goes when there is no going back.


Maxine's Review

When I read the first line of this novel I knew instantly that our main character is flawed, mostly.  When I read the last line of our novel I realized just how damaged she was.

As Anna wonders through her life noticeably unhappy she tries to snap out of it by trying to connect to her surroundings.  She finally takes up German, finds a therapist and bonds with a fellow ex-pat, giving Anna her first friend in years.  All these are positive steps except she lies to her doctor and skips her German classes to carry on extramarital activities.

As so often happens, the lies and half truths catch up with Anna and she is forced to face her past, realize her present and determine her future.  Can this sad and depressed wife and mother find meaning in her life again?  

Return to The Boutique

hausfrau Ratings 86/100  The book jacket, originality and recommend to a friend all scored high for me.

hausfrau Q & A 

Novel Gathering