I’m Fine and Neither Are You – Camille Pagán

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I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagán

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Thomas Allen & Son
Published: April 2019
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fiction, Grief, Marriage, Relationships, Secrets, Drama, Motherhood


REVIEW:

I read this book waiting in the cold for the bus to arrive, on the bus, in the metro, before my class started, while the teacher was giving a lecture, during short breaks between classes, walking from the metro to the bus, on my five-minute walk home, taking the stairs to my apartment, opening the door to my room, jumping on my bed. Basically, I read it everywhere I could, and now that I realize it, there are so many opportunities in daily life to read a book. And it happens oh so naturally.

This was a page turner for me. My first book from this author and one I wasn’t so sure about based on the average rating and the premise of what I believe has been done before over and over: saving one’s marriage. But what makes this book different than the others are 1) the fact that the saving-our-marriage plan the characters put into motion is pushed forward by the death of the protagonist’s dear friend, 2) that both Penelope and Sanjay come up with an interesting list on what will take to save their marriage both must respect, 3) the secrets unearthed by the plan and 4) the self-discovery that occurs in Penelope especially.

Everything felt very realistic to me. The death of the friend is a bit oddly written in the beginning but the more the story progresses, the more it is discussed and I dare say understood, even if such a death should perhaps never make sense. Penelope’s grieving takes time because she also has to deal with her precarious marriage. She is overwhelmed but her dry humour and get-things-done kind of attitude keeps her afloat. I was invested in her and wanted her to succeed. I had no idea whether she actually could manage to save her and Sanjay’s relationship but I sure enjoyed witnessing the multiple attempts. It was entertaining and fun, and yet quite serious as well.

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