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April 2, 2015



Without a doubt Jill Alexander Essbaum is an author to watch out for in the future.  With Jill’s extraordinary literary talent I hope that Jill Alexander Essbaum will write plenty more novels.

Anna Benz, an American in her late thirties , lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno a banker and their three young children in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zurich. Though she leads a comfortable, well-appointed life, Anna is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with the emotionally unavailable Bruno or even with her own thoughts and feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences German language classes, Jungian analysis, and a series of sexual affairs she enters with an ease that surprises even her.

But Anna can’t easily extract herself from these affairs. When she wants to end them, she find’s it’s difficult. Tension escalates, and her lies start to spin out of control. Having crossed a moral threshold, Anna will discover where a woman goes when there is no going back.

Intimate, intense, and written with the precision of a Swiss Army knife, Jill Alexander Essabum’s debut novel is an unforgettable story of marriage, fidelity, sex, morality, and most especially self. Navigating the lines between lust and love, guilt and shame, excuses and reasons, Anna Benz is an electrifying heroine whose passion and choices readers will debate with recognition and fury. Her story reveals, with honesty and great beauty, how we create ourselves and how we lose ourselves and the sometimes disastrous choices we make to find ourselves.

Hausfrau is heavily inspired by Jill’s own experiences living as a housewife in Zurich. On her experiences she says  The despair, the grief, the angst, the frustration of a marriage that is well on its way to implosion, the shuddering loveliness of the woods in Kanton Zurich, the inability to get my usual antidepressants in Switzerland. (not approved for use over there – and don’t laugh, I’m quite sure this was a factor), my fear of failure ( I could only speak aloud when I was sure I would say the right words-and I never spoke English. because that would be a cop out, I think) and maybe at least two dozen other awfulnesses ( I wont indulge my wistfulness) constellated – black holed? into a dire imperative survive. So, I did.  Hausfrau was part of  her survival.

From → book review

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