** Publication Date 18 June 2019 **
Fleishman is a semi-happily married, forty-something, doctor in hepatology. Somehow being a doctor has fallen out of favor with the wealthy and elite in New York City. His wife, Rachel, is clearly not pleased with his vertical trajectory and feels the need to constantly remind him of that fact. Rachel is in fact the larger breadwinner as a talent agent with her own large firm. Rachel’s obsession with reaching the pinnacle of success, wealth, and social status has worn on poor Fleishman, and now he’s headed for divorce.
Meanwhile, his college buddies Libby and Seth have their own issues to contend with. Libby is a suburban New Jersey housewife who gave up her journalism career to be a stay-at-home mom to a successful attorney. Seth has never married, being more seduced by multiple women and hosting lavish theme parties filled with pot, booze and hookups. The three reunite when Fleishman finds himself alone in his less than satisfactory new apartment. The summer that follows finds Libby keeping track of Fleishman’s hookups and spiral into hedonism, post-separation.
Fleishman is in Trouble is Libby’s story about what happens when two people who love each other dearly in their 20s move forward on different paths as they age. Each one thinks they are doing what is best, but somehow they’ve diverged. Brodesser-Akner has created a gritty, honest story about what it’s like to be that couple. The couple that have the careers and the 2 kids and everything looks great on the outside, but inside it’s a mess. This novel deals with the reality of what it costs to be successful and at the top of that social heap. The effects that it has on your spouse and kids and eventually your own sanity.
Well-written, this page turner kept me engaged through each story. The view from every angle and the eventual end. Filled with a little bit of humor, a little bit of sex and social media, and a lot of “midlife” crises, it is a book worth taking the time to read.