You or Someone Like You
A NovelBook - 2009
Living a quiet life as the wife of a Hollywood producer, Anne Rosenbaum finds herself running an exclusive book club for some of the motion picture industry's elite as she tries to save her marriage after her husband has a crisis of faith and turns back to Jewish Orthodoxy.
“Chandler Burr’s challenging first novel is many things: a glimpse into Hollywood culture, an argument about religious identity, a plea for the necessity of literature. This is a roman that needs no clefs.” —Washington Post
New York Magazine calls You or Someone Like You, “The highbrow humanist name-dropping book of the summer.” The remarkable first novel by Chandler Burr, the New York Times scent critic and author of The Perfect Scent, is funny, smart, and provocative—an extraordinarily ambitious work of fiction that succeeds on many different levels. It is a book David Ebershoff, (author of The 19th Wife) enthusiastically recommends “for anyone who defiantly clings to the belief that a book can change our lives.”
Blackwell North Amer
Anne Rosenbaum leads a life of quiet Los Angeles privilege, the wife of Hollywood executive Howard Rosenbaum and mother of their seventeen-year-old son, Sam. Years ago Anne and Howard met studying literature at Columbia - she, the daughter of a British diplomat from London, he a boy from an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn. Now on sleek blue California evenings, Anne attends halogen-lit movie premieres on the arm of her powerful husband. But her private life is lived in the world of her garden, reading books.
When one of Howard's friends, the head of a studio, asks Anne to make a reading list, she casually agrees - though, as a director reminds her, "no one reads in Hollywood." To her surprise, they begin calling: screenwriters; producers, from their bungalows; and agents, from their plush offices on Wilshire and Beverly. Soon Anne finds herself leading an exclusive book club for the industry elite. Emerging gradually from her seclusion, she guides her readers into the ideas and beauties of Donne, Yeats, Auden, and Mamet, with her brilliant and increasingly bold opinions. But when a crisis of identity unexpectedly turns an anguished Howard back toward the Orthodoxy he left behind as a young man, Anne must set out to save what she values above all else: her husband's love.