Marriage Vacation by Pauline Turner Brooks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“Marriage Vacation” by the fictional Pauline Turner Brooks is from “Younger” on TV Land, one of my favorite shows surrounding the literary industry, but this book was not what I expected from the Millennial imprint as in it’s not up to par.
Background on the show is it’s about Liza, a 40something woman who’s masquerading as a millennial at a publisher because she had trouble reentering the workforce after raising her daughter and going through a divorce. She works with Kelsey, an actual millennial, on the Millennial imprint that produces books targeted for millennials, but they took a chance on “Marriage Vacation” conveniently by their boss’ ex-wife, Pauline Turner Brooks. And now the novel is a best-seller — on the show.
The book is about a woman similar to Pauline who abandoned her Upper East Side life along with her two daughters and publisher husband to save her sanity and found herself in the jungles of Thailand at a retreat. She spends her days helping a local doctor from Australia with her Doctors Without Borders clinic. She becomes besties with the doctor and the doctor’s younger brother as well as bonds with a refugee mother with two girls who’s looking for her husband in the city. So Pauline goes into the city to find the woman’s husband with the doctor’s brother. One thing leads to another as Pauline still tries to deal with her broken marriage.
The story itself is rather boring with the writing maybe a step up from mediocre but not exactly what I would call good though Pauline is a writer with an MFA from Columbia, which is something she struggles with because she abandoned her writing career for housewifery and motherhood. The premise sounded interesting via the TV, and with how the show promoted it, I expected a better constructed story. I liked the emphasis of a mother becoming overwhelmed with sacrificing her dreams for her family. The book does give insight of the Myanmar refugee crisis in Thailand and other useful information, but I had hoped Pauline experienced a more entertaining adventure.
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