20 March 2015

Hausfrau by Jil Alexander Essbaum Book Review [And Giveaway]

I love when I read a book that brings me so emotionally connected to the character that I feel like I need to have a "Dr. Phil" type of intervention in order to set them straight. You will be rooting for Anna while you also are screaming at her to change her ways. At least that's how I was. It's sort of like when you're watching a horror movie and you just CANNOT believe they went into the house alone.

What the Book Is About (obtained from Random House' website)

Intimate, intense, and written with the precision of a Swiss Army knife, Jill Alexander Essbaum’s debut novel is an unforgettable story of marriage, fidelity, sex, morality, and most especially self. Navigating the lines between lust and love, guilt and shame, excuses and reasons, Anna Benz is an electrifying heroine whose passions and choices readers will debate with recognition and fury. Her story reveals, with honesty and great beauty, how we create ourselves and how we lose ourselves and the sometimes disastrous choices we make to find ourselves.

What I Thought:

First, this book had excellent writing. The writer was able to create such a vivid scene. I had a bit of trouble with the occasional dutch-german words that were included, but once I got used to them being included in the book, I barely noticed them. I could immediately feel the misery of the main character and I really didn't like her at first. She was cheating on her husband with a variety of men, didn't seem to connect with her children, and she absolutely seemed miserable in the country she was in. After a while though I started feeling sorry for her and felt sympathetic to her despite her flaws. Her husband was obviously cold and even had bouts of violence against her. I even started rooting for her at some point to turn things around and improve her situation in some way - ANY WAY.

Then the ending came around. I absolutely hated the ending and left me feeling sad and miserable after finishing the book. I don't really want to give away what happens, but please be warned, this isn't a pleasant, breezy read. In fact, if you aren't in a great mood, this book won't improve things much for you.
The book delivered a powerful message, though. It was excellently written . The sexual content wasn't a huge part of the book, so if you are concerned about that, I didn't feel like it stood out. One part I really really liked and paid close attention to was that the main character had sessions with her therapist and these sessions were sprinkled throughout the book as real life happens. I loved how this was done - the sort of examination of her present experience and the issues she was having. Oh, if only she could have opened up to the therapist more, maybe it would have saved things.

Anyways, I rated this book four stars on GoodReads. I might have lowered the rating due to the ending but I thought the writer was very good at drawing me in and connecting me to a potentially unlikeable character. I didn't even like the woman at first and then by the end I'm rooting for her. So, how about that for good storytelling?

Make sure you purchase your own copy of this electrifying drama. The book is on sale now too so visit this link to buy your copy.

Best of all I get to giveaway a copy of this book to one lucky reader! All you need to do is leave a comment letting me know what about this book intrigues you. Make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you if you have won.

**I just pulled a random winner and am happy to announce William Kendall won! **

For a bonus entry, follow author @JAEssbaum.
For another bonus entry, follow me on Twitter @BeingTheWriter.

For each bonus entry, make sure you note in the comments you have done it by leaving a comment with your Twitter user name.

Contest open to US only. Email address required to win. Contest ends on 3/29. 

I received compensation in exchange for my honest review.
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  1. A good review, though it doesn't quite sound like the sort of thing I'd go for.

  2. I enjoy reading books about American's living abroad and this book sounds very interesting and my type of read. I'm always looking for new books for the summer and I have to put this one on the list.

  3. Such a coincidence, my classmate is reading this book and is loving it. We are in a psychology graduate program, and it sounds right up my alley! Love your review :) I'm most intrigued by the ending, now I have to know what happens!

    1. Small world! If you think of it, I would love to know what she thought of the ending! :)

  4. This does seem like a book that would hold my interest. It would be super for me to read over the winter when I am in the house more then I want to be.
    twinkle at optonline dot net


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