This slim, wryly witty first novel by Mary Guterson, sister of acclaimed novelist David Guterson, will strike a chord with anyone who has fantasized about rekindling a lost love or revisiting the past to find out what might have been. In darkly comic fashion, it illustrates that sometimes we might already possess just what we're looking for. Discontented Julia is fast approaching middle age and weighed down by her stagnant, 15-year marriage to Jim, her dependable but dull husband. Stuck in a job she hates, convinced that Jim is having an affair with a sexy coworker and unable to connect with her insolent teenage son, Julia takes a brief detour from her troubles by having a tryst with her former boyfriend, Ray. Handsome and magnetic but incapable of fidelity, free-spirited Ray remains the unrequited love of Julia's life the one she's never gotten over despite the years that have passed and the distance that has grown between them.
While their reunion may have been short-lived, the consequences aren't, as Julia makes the unwelcome discovery that she's pregnant. Even more horrifying, she can't be certain whether Ray or Jim is the baby's father. The pregnancy catapults her to an all-new level of depression and inertia, mitigated only by her fantasy that Ray will swoop in and rescue her for a life of happily-ever-after. But reality is very different, and Ray responds with his typical aloofness. More surprising is the reaction of Jim, who comes to enthusiastically embrace the idea of being a father again. The prospect of a new baby becomes a catalyst for the rebirth of their relationship, and Julia begins to see her husband and life choices in a different light. Mary Guterson's quirky, irreverent debut proves to be an honest portrait of the vicissitudes of modern marriage and the seeds of discontent that can be its undoing. We Are All Fine Here succeeds at showing us that no matter how far away we may be, we can often make the choice to go home again. Joni Rendon writes from Hoboken, New Jersey.