The title of “Lift and Separate” is a double entendre. The images of bras on the novel’s cover reference the business of the protagonist’s husband, brassiere company Bountiful Bosom, but the title also refers to how the protagonist, a woman in her late 50s, must deal with crises by lifting herself up and moving on.
Although chick-lit is not a genre I generally read or enjoy, I found myself turning the pages of this book, feeling interested in the story and connected to the characters. Both seemed realistic and familiar, so I could relate. I’m only slightly younger than the protagonist, and the story was one I’ve seen a number of my friends navigate.
At its core, it is the cliched tale of man who, after more than 30 years of marriage, cheats on his unsuspecting wife. However, in the hands of adept author Marilyn Simon Rothstein, who is speaking at the Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center on Nov. 7, this debut novel also explores female friendships and bosom buddies (pun intended), parent-child relationships, and the pressures faced by the sandwich generation.
While some might critique this book for focusing on First World problems and the woes of privileged, middle-class women, given the demographics of most book clubs, this will make for a provocative read with interesting follow-up discussions.
A literary classic this is not, but if you’re looking for a well-written and entertaining read with fairly complex characters, a story you can relate to, and a fine balance of poignancy and wit, “Lift and Separate” is worth your time.