“It’s the story of Toby Fleishman, an Upper East Side hepatologist (think liver expert at a prestigious New York hospital) who is in the midst of a bitter divorce after a 14-plus-year marriage to his wife, Rachel, a driven, incredibly successful owner of a high-end talent agency. She runs with a crowd that earns so much more than Toby’s mere quarter-million dollars a year that they basically view him as a pauper. It’s Toby who has sued for divorce.
In one of the comedic, thought-provoking reversals this novel deploys so adroitly, Toby is the primary caregiver for their two children—Hannah, age 11, and Solly, age 9. During the summer weeks when this story unfolds, the couple has the customary child-sharing arrangement: Toby will take these days and Rachel the others. But Rachel suddenly disappears and is nowhere to be found. Toby is left in the role of full-time caregiver just when the possibility of career advancement and his dating life as a 40-something divorced man are taking off. How then to respond to a conflict between responsible parenthood, the demands of career and the allure of the sexually charged online dating scene?
In exploring Toby’s dilemma, Brodesser-Akner doesn’t miss the opportunity to examine the state of contemporary divorce and the weird culture of post-divorce dating.”