Emily and Einstein
Author: Linda Francis Lee
Published: March 1, 2011
Genre: chick lit
Audiobook: 9 CDs
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Synopsis (from GoodReads): Emily and her husband Sandy Portman seemed to live a gracious if busy life in an old-world, Upper West Side apartment in the famous Dakota building. But one night on the way to meet Emily, Sandy dies in a tragic accident. The funeral isn't even over before Emily learns she is on the verge of being evicted from their apartment. But worse than the possibility of losing her home, Emily is stunned when she discovers that her marriage was made up of lies. Suddenly Emily is forced on a journey to find out who her husband really was . . . all the while feeling that somehow he isn't really gone. Angry, hurt, and sometimes betrayed by loving memories of the man she lost, Emily finds comfort in a scruffy dog named Einstein. But is Einstein's seemingly odd determination that she save herself enough to make Emily confront her own past? Can he help her find a future—even after she meets a new man?
My Thoughts: After reading so many reviews of this book on other blogs, I had to read (well, listen to) it for myself. After Sandy Portman dies, he is reincarnated as a dog and will only be allowed to rest in peace if he can help her find happiness. It's a cute idea and one that is partially developed over the course of this story. The plot is a unique one and one that I don't think I have ever heard of before. Yes, I've read The Art of Racing In the Rain by Garth Stein, but this book takes you not only inside Einstein (Sandy's perspective), but also Emily. It was very interesting going between their two different viewpoints. While Sandy/Einstein isn't the best person, and someone that I still didn't really like at the end of the book, you do see growth throughout the story. Emily felt a little stagnant to me, but finding things out about her deceased husband and how she deals with the aftermath of his death was fascinating. I'm not sure what my response would have been if I had read Sandy's journals, but Emily is a kind person who doesn't dwell on those negative things about Sandy.
While I did like how Sandy inhabited the body of a dog, I didn't get the whole "old man" part of the story. The old man is the person who places him in the dog's body and tells him what he must do in order to truly die. Instead of it being some magical part of the story, it was something that would appear and then disappear for awhile, making me forget about him. I just wish that there was a little more depth there.
I really liked the narration of this book, with Sandy's chapters being narrated by a man and Emily's by a woman. It made it very enjoyable to read and created two distinct characters in my mind. It was very easy to listen to and I found myself wanting to keep on listening to this story instead of reading my books that were waiting for me!
This is one of the better chick lit books that I have read. It has more substance to it than other novels in this genre and it isn't so much about finding a man as it is about learning who you are and how to be a better person. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys chick lit, even if you aren't a dog person.