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Time Off From Good Behavior

Time Off From Good Behavior
Susan Sussman
Pocket Books ISBN: 0-671-68516-3

*A Literary Guild Alternate Selection
*A Doubleday Book Club Alternate Selection

“Full of wry wisecracks and savvy shtick…. If you’re in the market for nonstop one-liners and a view of life that’s as homey and reassuring as chicken soup, you don’t have to stand in line for a comic like Jackie Mason. Susan Sussman does it even better. A thoroughly good time…”
—The New York Times Book Review

“Generous, madcap—and heartwarming.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“A Nora Ephron with warmth.”
—Chicago Tribune

“…the characters and dialogue are feisty, whiny and funny…”
—Publishers Weekly

“Sussman’s rich descriptions of the North Side and Jewish neighborhoods make the characters seem to live and breathe kreplach and nova lox.”
—Chicago Sun-Times

“A touching and funny novel; I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
—Harold Kushner

“...the author brings authenticity and a sense of fun to scenes of filmmaking, soup production, and North Shore society. The popularity of Sussman’s first book, The Dieter, guarantees an eager, built-in readership. Smart, sassy, funny, and satisfying.”

“…this novel has its funny moments of desperation, and its moments of. As Sarah tells her own daughter, who is on the verge of a divorce, ‘You show me a woman who hasn’t fantasized getting in the car and leaving home, and I’ll show you a woman who doesn’t drive…. But if you love someone, you get through it.’”
—Wall Street Journal

“How do we handle retirement when our self worth is tied to our occupation? How do spouses react to changing roles in the marriage? How do we cope with the deaths of our longtime friends? Time Off From Good Behavior is a good read that addresses problems we all face.”

“This bright and entertaining novel should strike a chord with everyone with its sharp look at role-swapping, career juggling and generally annoying the hell out of each other.”
—York & County Press

“After so many years of good behavior, a little time off isn’t going to kill our marriage.”

Sarah and Asher Rose have shared a Chicago childhood, twenty-five years of marriage, and are still very much in love. Their kids are grown, and the time has come to enjoy some of life’s luxuries.

Asher sells Rosie’s Soup Company—the business he began on a kitchen stove—for twenty million dollars. He’s ready for a full-time partner for champagne breakfasts and long afternoons of love.

Then Sarah lands the movie job she’s dreamed of ever since she designed wardrobes for her Margaret O’Brien dolls. For Sarah, the chance to go from costuming TV ads with dancing Krispy Korn to creating a forties look for a feature film is the opportunity of a lifetime. How can Asher, a man who’s worked twenty-five hours a day since childhood, object? Suddenly the changes rippling through their lives become waves threatening to set them each adrift.

Ashers not the only one with a phone on auto-dial to Sarah. Her mother, Fanny Feldman, is an actress and a coquette who hasn’t lost her love of the limelight; a seventy-eight-year-old whose health Is fading faster than her blonde hair or her timing. She needs her daughter more than she’ll admit as she trades her latest role—the Grande Dame of the Broken Hip—for more bewildering, frightening ones.

Fanny is too ill to be left alone; and Sarah cant leave her new job. Asher, descended from a long line of men who dropped dead at fifty, is eager to begin the world travels they’ve planned for years. Confused, Asher begins to fear he’s lost his place in the world—and in Sarah’s life.

Desperate to help him, but unable to neglect her other dreams and responsibilities, Sarah carries a small light Into the blackness Asher’s depression. “After so many years of good behavior,” she tells him, “a little time off isn’t going to kill our marriage, but staying together might.” So saying. she sends him off into the world on his own.

From Asher’s bemused view of his travels to Sarah’s solo attempt to juggle her burgeoning career and her indomitable mother, Time Off From Good Behavior is a vibrant novel that resonates with tears, laughter and choices of the heart. Susan Sussman has forged a funny, warm and daring exploration of a delightful couple’s most challenging journey—to discover a new horizon for their love and happiness.