Monday, March 09, 2015

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum

How often have you thought to yourself, “If only I had(n’t)…”  It’s the second-guessing game.  The consequences of choices abound in Courtney Maum’s I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You.

Richard Haddon, a Brit living in Paris with his French wife, is an installation artist.  He set aside developing experimental, avant garde works to concentrate on more mainstream, sellable art.  Although the brisk sales of his customer-friendly paintings are gratifying, Richard feels disconnected from his usual creative process and the satisfaction it brings.  Just at the right (or wrong) time, the luscious American Lisa happens along, rekindling in Richard the artistic and passionate fires he though were gone.

What of his beautiful, successful wife Anne-Laure and their daughter Camille? Richard is able to compartmentalize his family life from that with his mistress, until his wife finds the letters Lisa wrote.  These ardent missives make the depths of his passion and need for Lisa very obvious to the shocked Anne-Laure.  After a huge blow up during a vacation at her parents’ home, Anne-Laure tells Richard she needs time to consider her options and decide what’s best for Camille.  Richard—temporarily, he hopes—moves out of the family’s flat.  As his wife takes her time evaluating their situation and her choices, Richard rediscovers his love of provocative installation and performance art.  And he waits for Anne-Laure to decide about their life together.

For other tragi-comic novels featuring thoroughly developed characters struggling with life’s complexities, try Attachment by Isabel Fonseca and Cathie Pelletier’s One-Way Bridge.

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