Author: Kwitney, Alisa
Publisher: Avon Trade
Year Published: 2003
I first heard about this book through Neil Gaiman’s blog, so I thought I’d pick it up. I had read some stuff by Kwitney in the Vertigo world – including her Destiny arc – so I thought I’d check out her latest novel. Not having read her first, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Does She or Doesn’t She is about a scatterbrained housewife and mom named Delilah, who is a fledgling soap opera writer on the side. Her attorney husband has a great six figure salary, which pays the bills but leaves Delilah feeling lonely and craving passion most of the time. To cope, she dreams of herself having exotic encounters with her attractive plumber.
Each chapter starts off with a steamy fantasy between Delilah and her imaginary lover, Ford. Some of her fantasies are entertaining – even I had to laugh at her take on Dracula – and I’m not much of a romance literature fan. At a point, Delilah is interrupted and brought back into the real world, where the chapter’s events begin. As the book progresses, she learns her husband may have a secret life she never knew about and that someone may be trying to kill her.
I thought the book started out really well – as a social commentary of the life of a contemporary woman caught up in a troubled marriage and struggling to be the best parent she can. The transitions from her fantasy life to her mundane marital life highlighted how easy it is to grow apart from those you once felt close.
Unfortunately, about halfway through, it seemed to digress, taking a sharp turn into a bizarre detective storyline that seemed less than realistic – from sex crazed, blundering FBI agents, to super-snotty, psycho neighbors, to an accidental screenplay that gets accepted because it includes confidential details from her husband’s case, to a main character that forgets that someone might be trying to kill her and she should be more cautious. It’s almost like the ending was pieced together from a number of other stories.
This isn’t a bad book, but it could have been much better if it didn’t require its readers to suspend their disbelief throughout all events in the second half. It’s definitely in the chic literature genre, if you couldn’t tell from the cover, so if you like those kinds of books, you’ll probably enjoy this book more than I did.