Playing House
Patricia Pearson
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Playing House

Patricia Pearson
280 pages
November 2003
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Imagine being thirty-three years old, just now hitting your stride in your career…and finding yourself pregnant by a man you barely know. This is the situation Frannie Mackenzie finds herself in after barely getting to know Calvin, a would-be jazz musician. While Calvin’s off in Europe on a trip, Frannie takes a test and finds herself in a family way. Not knowing what to do, she flees home to Toronto to her psychologist mother and distant father, finally telling Calvin over the phone that he’s going to be a father.

After moving in to take care of her uptight brother’s house while he and his wife are away, Frannie finds Calvin sitting on her doorstep. Although he’s frightened of starting a family, he’s ready to take on the responsibility and stand by her side. But Frannie couldn’t know that pregnancy, and the subsequent care of an infant, could be so hard. As her midsection balloons, fights rage with Calvin, and Frannie wonders if she’ll ever make it back to New York and the editing job she loved so much.

Playing House by Patricia Pearson is a funny, warm and intelligent novel that explores how lives change when a couple starts a family. By adding in the spunky nature of Frannie and the plot device of having two people who barely know each other having a baby together, Playing House comes across as unique and wholly entertaining. The writing will have you nodding in agreement and laughing at the same time, a truly tremendous feat for a book that falls into the "chick-lit" category. Whether you have been through the ordeal of childbirth and rearing or not, you will certainly find plenty to enjoy in Pearson’s wise novel.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Angela McQuay, 2004

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