Maria Semple — This One Is Mine; Back Bay Books, March 2010

Maria Semple — This One Is MineI’ve actually been dying to read this book ever since I read Where’d You Go, Bernadette back in the spring and loved everything about it. This One Is Mine is Maria Semple’s first novel, and it follows what is essentially the mid-life crisis of Violet Grace Parry, a former TV writer who lives in a gigantic house on Mulholland Drive in LA with her music producer husband and toddler daughter.

Semple, a former TV writer and producer, worked on shows like Mad About You, Arrested Development, and Ellen, so there is a ring of authenticity to Semple’s descriptions of lavish LA lifestyles. When you find out Violet has retired from TV writing to have a kid in her early 40s—another “can women really have it all?” narrative—you get the feeling that Semple really understands why this character would do such a thing. (Semple gave birth to a daughter in 2003, and hasn’t worked in TV since 2006, according to her IMDB page.) Continue reading