Review: Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 2.5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

Judy never intended to start wearing the dog. But when she stumbled across her son Teddy’s old baby sling during a halfhearted basement cleaning, something in her snapped. So: the dog went into the sling, Judy felt connected to another living being, and she’s repeated the process every day since.

Life hasn’t gone according to Judy’s plan. Her career as a children’s book author offered a glimpse of success before taking an embarrassing nose dive. Teddy, now a teenager, treats her with some combination of mortification and indifference. Her best friend is dying. And her husband, Gary, has become a pot-addled professional “snackologist” who she can’t afford to divorce. On top of it all, she has a painfully ironic job writing articles for a self-help website—a poor fit for someone seemingly incapable of helping herself.

Wickedly funny and surprisingly tender, Separation Anxiety offers a frank portrait of middle-aged limbo, examining the ebb and flow of life’s most important relationships. Tapping into the insecurities and anxieties that most of us keep under wraps, and with a voice that is at once gleefully irreverent and genuinely touching, Laura Zigman has crafted a new classic for anyone taking fumbling steps toward happiness.

Bookbub | Goodreads



My Thoughts:

The premise of Separation Anxiety caught my attention, but the execution fell short of my expectations.  There were weird, quirky characters, which I love. Both Judy and Gary are paralyzed by anxiety.  Neither has had a great deal of success from the standard perspective.  Gary turns to weed for relief.  Judy wallows with no direction.  In addition to her self-doubt and anxiety, she is suffering from some sort of midlife crisis as her only son is exhibiting standard teen behavior and the normal desire to cut the apron strings.

Personally, I struggle with the loss of the job of “mom”. Not that I’m no longer someone’s mother, but they make it known that they don’t need me and don’t want my sage suggestions.  However, I have not succumbed to carrying my dog in a baby sling as a way to get over that feeling of being superfluous.

Yes, I get it….it is supposed to be comedy. Judy is supposed to be quirky and lovable.  She is clinging to the idea that keeping something that needs taking care of makes her needed and worthy, but really, it is just weird.  Maybe it is meant to be poking fun at the “normal” people who cling to their dogs and call them emotional support animals, but it felt offense toward people who truly do suffer from a panic disorder.  It’s one thing to be a “Peter Pan” and not know how to be an adult, and it is another thing to truly suffer from debilitating panic and anxiety.

While I appreciated the humor, I am disappointed in the insulting way that mental health was dealt with.

© Copyright 2020 Book Junkie Reviews. All rights reserved.




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