American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis, 2016
American Housewife is a fun, quick & smart read. Ellis’s collection of short stories is irreverent and witty with some wicked twists on feminine stereotypes. The collection is at once hysterical and bittersweet, and almost all of it rings completely true.
“Hello! Welcome to Book Club” offers a scenario where a book club isn’t just cliquey, but also cult-y. In “Dumpster Diving with the Stars,” a one-time novelist competes against a Playboy Bunny, a famous scientologist couple, and Mario Batali for rebooted fame. “What I Do All Day,” is a hilarious passive aggressive email battle between two slightly unhinged apartment neighbors.
There are a few flash fiction pieces interspersed that pack a big punch in just a couple of pages and help break up the longer stories. Although I enjoyed the wicked housewives theme, the tone and voice was the same across all of the stories and frequent first person narrative was used, making all of the stories seem relatively the same. Otherwise I sped through this book completely entertained. If you’re looking for some fierce females to root for definitely pick this up.