For Emilia Greenleaf, life is by turns a comedy of errors and an emotional minefield. Yes, she's a Harvard Law grad who married her soul mate. Yes, they live in elegant comfort on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. But with her one-and-only, Jack, came a stepson — a know-it-all preschooler named William who has become her number one responsibility every Wednesday afternoon. With William, Emilia encounters a number of impossible pursuits — such as the pursuit of cab drivers who speed away when they see William's industrial-strength car seat and the pursuit of lactose-free, strawberry-flavored, patisserie-quality cupcakes, despite the fact that William's allergy is a figment of his over-protective mother's imagination.
As much as Emilia wants to find common ground with William, she becomes completely preoccupied when she loses her newborn daughter. After this, the sight of any child brings her to tears, and Wednesdays with William are almost impossible. When his unceasing questions turn to the baby's death, Emilia is at a total loss. Doesn't anyone understand that self-pity is a full-time job? Ironically, it is only through her blundering attempts to bond with William that she finally heals herself and learns what family really means.
Love and Other Impossible Pursuits was adapted into a film called “The Other Woman” starring Natalie Portman and directed by Don Roos.
Praise for "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits"
"'Love and Other Impossible Pursuits' is a beautiful novel… If you are not moved to tears, then your heart is carved from wood." —Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli
"I had a great time reading 'Love and Other Impossible Pursuits'… The heroine was a great accomplishment… and William (her stepson) is a triumph." —Diane Johnson, author of Le Divorce
"I read this book in one sitting… Ayelet Waldman is that good." —Sherman Alexie, author of Ten Little Indians
"One of the sweetest and smartest and most poignant novels I've read in a long time. It's also very funny." —Chris Bohjalian, author of Midwives and Before You Know Kindness
Reviews of "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits"
'Love and Other Impossible Pursuits'... may also be the first chick-lit novel (it features, after all, a young career woman who falls in love with her boss, shops and worries about her relationships) that in addition to being a romantic, shocking and sometimes painful page-turner does the unthinkable: it actually says something new and interesting about women, families and love." —"Atom Bomb of Desire," The New York Times (read the full review)
"Compelling and artfully drawn." —"Lost and Found," The Washington Post (read the full review)
"Extremely gratifying...[a] wise, entertaining book." —"Love of Her Life Comes With a 5-Year-Old Boy," San Francisco Chronicle (read the full review)
"A terrific adult story." —Publishers Weekly