I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around (Paperback)
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In Ann Garvin's "eccentric and endearing" (Publishers Weekly) novel, Tig Monahan, a radio therapist, finds out the hard way that nothing is fair in love and war...or family.
Everything is falling apart in psychologist Tig Monahan's life. Her mother's dementia is wearing her out; her boyfriend takes off for Hawaii without her; and her sister inexplicably disappears, leaving her newborn behind.
When a therapy session goes horribly wrong, Tig finds herself unemployed and part of the sandwich generation trying to take care of everyone—and failing miserably. Just when she thinks she can redefine herself on the radio as an arbiter of fairness, she discovers a family secret that nobody saw coming.
It will take everything plus a sense of humor to see her way clear to a better life...but only if she can let go of her past.
About the Author
Ann Garvin is the author of The Dog Year and On Maggie's Watch. She lives in Stoughton WI, and is a professor of sports psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a MFA teacher in New Hampshire.
"Garvin has crafted a poignant and clever anthem for the sandwich generation, and Tig is a flawed, funny, and highly relatable narrator. Her emotional growth is genuine without being forced.... Fans of Carol Cassella, Allison Pearson, and Elisabeth Egan will enjoy this warmhearted and introspective look at what it means to be selfless--and selfish." --Booklist
"Psychologist Tig Monahan is watching her mother, Hallie, slowly lose her mind to Alzheimer's.... Garvin's wit and sensitivity keep her in full control of the emotional subject matter. Pinpoint details and realistic characterizations of Tig's internal strife firmly situate readers in this eccentric, endearing story of a family coming together to face the ravages of Alzheimer's." --Publishers Weekly
"A witty and poignant read about love, life, and family." --Brava Magazine
"I connected with Garvin's spot-on descriptions of Alzheimer's and the oddly soothing routines of a nursing home. On this and many levels, I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around succeeds. Buy it, read it, forgive yourself for your shortcomings." --Isthmus
"Ann Garvin...presents a thought-provoking story that deals with loss and upheaval in a humorous way, making otherwise difficult subject matter not only accessible to readers but entertaining as well." --Shelf Awareness
"There is a good bit of emotional truth in Garvin's description of family relationships, of the different ways people try to deal with the loss of vibrant loved ones to the haze of Alzheimer's disease. Good comedy has to be rooted in truth, and Garvin knows what she is talking about." --Blog Critics
"I was intrigued by the strength of the main character, Tig Monahan, whose life begins to unravel as she comes to terms with her mother's advancing Alzheimer's. Though Tig makes mistake after mistake, she never gives up. As the chapters flew by, I laughed, I cried, I smiled. And when I turned the last page. I found myself feeling proud of Tig and looking up to her unwavering hope and strength of spirit." --First for Women
"On the surface, this is another novel about the challenges of Alzheimer's, but it's also a heart-warming, funny, and gritty story with one kick-ass heroine. I was cheering for quirky psychologist, Tig Monahan, from page one. Even when she appears to give up, none of it breaks her." --Bookbub