‘I’m Fine and Neither Are You’ by Camille Pagan

 

‘I’m Fine and Neither Are You’ by Camille Pagan (2019) – 254 pages

This is probably the first time I ever selected a book of fiction to read based solely on its clever title. This is not a wise strategy.

I would call ‘I’m Fine and Neither Are You’ an example of Mom Lit, the family version of Chick Lit.

Penny is a Mom who is trying to do it all, raise two kids while working a full time job while her husband Sanjay is a stay-at-home Dad supposedly writing a book and taking care of the house and family. Besides that, Penny does face a severe crisis in that her best friend Jenny, also a young wife and mother, dies of prescribed opioid poisoning.

We never do find out the city where all this takes place in because I suppose Penny is Every Mom, and place is not important to the story.

Sanjay is a rather hapless Dad as most Dads tend to be. While his wife Penny is working a fulltime professional job and doing most of the work taking care of the children, Sanjay contemplates writing his book and practices with the makeshift band he is part of.

Penny realizes that her marriage is terribly lopsided so she comes up with a fix-our-marriage project which involves each making a to-do list for the other.

I suppose part of my problem with this novel is my own attitude because I find this family situation rather trite and over-familiar, yet what could be more crucial and tremendously important than bringing up children? Perhaps I should not be writing this novel off as women’s fiction.

However, despite her best friend’s death, Penny in ‘I’m Fine and Neither Are You’ is so relentlessly upbeat that she shares all the tropes of Chick Lit.

By the end of ‘I’m Fine and Neither are You’, everyone – her husband, her female boss, her male co-worker, her deceased friend’s husband, her father, and herself – all behave perfectly. That is simplistic and unrealistic.

 

Grade:   C+

 

3 responses to this post.

  1. Sounds ghastly!

    I can understand why you might have been confused by the cover: so-called women’s fiction of this inane variety is usually signalled by the pseudo-handwriting font suggestive of intimate revelations, but in this case they’ve only got the author’s name in it.

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    Reply

    • Hi Lisa,
      Usually I do more research – read a couple reviews, etc. – before committing to a novel, but this time the title struck me as clever so I went for it. This is not literature; this is Mom Lit. I suppose there is a shortage of real literature written by mothers because what full-time mother has time to write a novel?

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      Reply

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