In Lea Geller’s novel, THE TROPHY LIFE (LakeUnionPublishing) there’s a new heroine for women to look up to and that’s Agnes Parsons. It happens all too often – a woman/mother’s life is ripped out from under her and she has to recreate herself – to survive. Agnes does it with class and learns some lessons along the way.
A refreshingly honest, laugh-out-loud novel about losing the life you always wanted…and finding the life you were meant to have.
For the last ten years, Agnes Parsons’s biggest challenge has been juggling yoga classes and lunch dates. Her Santa Monica house staff takes care of everything, leaving Agnes to focus on her trophy-wife responsibilities: look perfect, adore her older husband, and wear terribly expensive (if uncomfortable) underwear.
When her husband disappears, leaving Agnes and their infant daughter with no money, no home, and no staff, she is forced to move across the country, where she lands a job teaching at an all-boys boarding school in the Bronx. So long, organic quinoa bowls and sunshine-filled California life. Hello, processed food, pest-infested house, and twelve-year-old-boy humor—all day, every day.
But it’s in this place of second chances (and giant bugs), where Agnes is unexpectedly forced to take care of herself and her daughter, where she finds out the kind of woman she can be. Ultimately, she has to decide if she prefers the woman and mother she has become…or the trophy life she left behind.
Authentic and sharply witty, Trophy Life is proof that granny panties and mom coats might not be the answer to everything; they’re simply comfortable (if slightly unattractive) reminders of what happens when one life ends…and real life begins.
LEA took some time to tell us about her blog and very personal life!
Why do you call your blog “This is the Corner We Pee In?”
One morning, I was searching for a poster that had once hung on our basement wall. When I couldn’t locate the poster, I asked my boys, then three and five, where it was. They replied: ‘Oh, it’s in the corner we pee in.’ When pressed, they revealed that the poster was in the corner they peed in when they were watching TV and didn’t want to get up and go to the bathroom. (The bathroom which was maybe twenty feet away, and from which you could crane your neck and still see the TV.) This wasn’t just any old pee
corner. In this corner lay ALL the wires from the TV and cable boxes. The boys were
peeing on a pile of wires and cables and the (new) carpet underneath. How could I not
write about that?
Toasters on toilets. Outdoor Instant Pots. Bedroom coffee makers. Talk about your
penchant for the unusual placement of appliances. We are currently in the middle of a
kitchen remodel that was supposed to be finished last month. I have to feed seven people
with an army of small appliances, and if we plug all the appliances in at once, the entire
left side of the house shorts out.
Recently, my 16-year-old got frustrated trying to make toast while the hotplate and kettle were running, so he yanked it out of the wall, grabbed a stack of textbooks and piled the toaster on the textbooks…. On the downstairs toilet. I have two crockpots and an instapot, all of which I plug in outside. This works, until it doesn’t – just ask my kids about the “brisket in the rain” incident. My next book will be a kitchen-less cookbook, entitled “No Kitchen No Problem.”
You’ve lived in several time zones, yet you believe that “traveling sucks.” Why?
Where to begin? While I love the idea of travel, and actually enjoy being elsewhere, a few things are also true:
1. I suffer from jet lag like an infant, incapable of making sense of the difference in time.
I manage to get on local time at the airport heading home, just in time to spend a good
week wide awake on home soil. (My husband is convinced this is somehow connected to
my refusal to change my watch to local time. None of me understands how this is
2. I do not have the stomach of an intrepid food traveler. Not much of a foodie, I can still
be tempted (read: shamed) into the occasional food-travel, chasing down some foreign
delicacy and letting my husband take a pic of me eating it. This inevitably results in him
having to Google late night pharmacies so he can buy everything that looks like PeptoBismol while I lie curled on a bathroom floor, sometimes staring up at a bidet.
3. It also turns out that while I like being somewhere else, unless a train is involved, I
hate getting there. My kids throw up in relay form when we get in the car (and the car is
the minivan, and nobody has ever been happy in a minivan for over an hour), and as it
happens, I don’t like to fly. I used to think I only got nervous at takeoff and landing, but
apparently, I’m also anxious at the in between points. (Also, I get one zit for every hour I
spend on a plane, so there’s that.)
4. I am lazy and I married the least lazy human alive. Apparently lying in bed watching
foreign television (or a personal favorite: old American soaps dubbed in a foreign
language which makes me think I spent years studying languages just so I could watch
The Bold and the Beautiful all over the world) does not hold a candle to castle tours,
walking tours, church tours, you get the drift. Also, a limited attention span does not
make for a good member of a group tour. I have about 45 minutes and then I’m ready for
a coffee shop or book shop or shoe shop.
None of this stops me from perusing local real estate, contemplating an expat life, and
working out how we will tell the kids we are moving. I’m nothing if not inconsistent.
Like I said, I’m more than happy to be somewhere else, as long as I don’t have to fly, eat
or sleep through the night.
Yet, this disdain for travel is ironically balanced with a DNA-level ability to pack in
a flash. It helps to have a pogrom (or three) in your DNA. Polish ancestry means one
thing if you’re Jewish: You can pack in a flash, even when there aren’t Cossacks at the
door. True. I can be ready to go in under five minutes. I also keep Canadian dollars in my
wallet – you know, just in case.
I suggest reading THE TROPHY LIFE with a nice fresh strawberry margarita … make it a stiff one.
Lea Geller is a recovering lawyer who lives in New York with her husband and five children. She began her writing career by blogging about her adventures in the trenches of parenting, and got the idea for Trophy Life when her two sons were in middle school.
When Lea’s not writing and eavesdropping on her children, she can be found running, drinking diner coffee, and occasionally teaching middle-school English. She enjoys embarrassing her family by posting pictures of her vegetable garden on Instagram (#IGrewDinner).
Thanks to Suzy Approved Book Tours we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us if something happened in your life that made you have to completely change your direction. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.