- Title: Monsters: A Love Story
- Author: Liz Kay
- Genre: Fiction
- Pages: 368
- Published: June 2016 – G.P. Putnam’s Sons
- Source: Publisher
Description: Stacey Lane feels like a monster. Tommy DeMarco might be one.
Since her husband died eight months ago, Stacey’s been a certified mess—a poet who can’t write anymore, a good mother who feels like she’s failing her kids. She’s been trying to redefine herself, to find new boundaries.
Tommy has no respect for boundaries. A surprisingly well-read A-list Hollywood star, Tommy’s fallen in love with Stacey’s novel-in-verse, a feminist reimagining of Frankenstein, no less. His passion for the book, and eventually its author, will set their lives on a collision course. They’ll make a movie, make each other crazy, and make love—but only in secret.
As Stacey travels between her humdrum life in the suburbs of Omaha and the glamorous but fleeting escape Tommy offers in Hollywood, what begins as a distracting affair starts to pick up weight. It’s a weight that unbalances Stacey’s already unsteady life, but offers new depth to Tommy’s.
Navigating desire, love, grief, and parenthood, and brimming with award-winning poet Liz Kay’s keen emotional insight and wry humor, Monsters: A Love Story is a witty portrait of a relationship gone off the rails, and two people who are made for each other—even if they’re not so sure they see it that way. (publisher)
My take: So the synopsis tells you all about the novel. I’ll just say that reading it was like watching a traffic accident in slow motion – very uncomfortable. At the same time it was a surprisingly addictive read. I didn’t want to stop reading! It’s funny, shocking, frustrating, sad – and I liked it.
Stacey is not a very likable character and yet I really felt for her. She’s vulnerable yet strong – at least that’s the image she tries to put out there. Tommy has a mercurial temperament and I never trusted him. I wanted to but couldn’t. Put them both in the Hollywood setting, add alcohol and you’ve got a hot mess. They both have kids so that adds another layer to their relationship.
Liz Kay’s novel kept me reading when I really should have been doing other things. I love when that happens. Recommended to fans of novels about dysfunctional relationships.
About the author:
Liz Kay is a founding editor of Spark Wheel Press and the journal burntdistrict. She holds an MFA from the University of Nebraska and was the recipient of both an Academy of American Poets Prize and the Wendy Fort Foundation Prize for exemplary work in poetry. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and three sons. This is her debut novel.
Praise for MONSTERS: A LOVE STORY
“Witty and so nimbly-worded, Liz Kay’s Monsters: A Love Story had me at hello. From the near-madcap improbability of the novel’s premise, to the punchy repartee and ping pong banter between Stacey and Tommy, it’s impossible to resist the book’s charms. But don’t be fooled. This is more than a feel-good read.” – Jill Alexander Essbaum, New York Times-bestselling author of Hausfrau
“Magical.” —Lucy Sykes, author of The Knockoff
“Stacey is a feminist poet in Hollywood – you got to love her for that alone. But you also love her because she’s sharp, tough, and honest. The novel’s wry insights into messy relationships put me in mind of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. and Emma Straub’s The Vacationers.” —Timothy Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola
“Smart, witty, hilarious, raunchy, irresistible.” —Catherine Texier, author of Victorine
“Reads like a seduction. I couldn’t stop.” —Amy Hassinger, author of The Priest’s Madonna