Violet Parry and Sally Parry have little in common, except that Violet is married to David Parry and Sally is his sister. The two are at odds through most of the story, each misunderstanding the other and resenting aspects about each other.
Violet seemingly has it all. A gorgeous house in the hills above LA; a full-time nanny; and money enough to buy almost everything she desires. So why is she so unhappy, disgruntled, and vulnerable to Teddy Reyes, the somewhat seedy musician who gives her a bit of attention? Is it, perhaps, because her husband is so focused on giving her everything that he doesn’t really notice her? Or that he only wants her to listen to him, but fails to reciprocate?
What woman wouldn’t feel neglected, since women mostly want to be understood? However, for whatever reasons, Violet is unable or unwilling to express her needs.
Then we have Sally, whose story alternates with Violet’s…She just wants a lot of the same things that Violet already has. A rich husband and enough money, since she’s plagued by credit card debt. She is also diabetic, a bit neurotic, and extremely demanding, but hey, what guy wouldn’t want her? She manipulates constantly to achieve her goals.
David, caught in the middle, seems totally clueless and feels misunderstood and unappreciated. Then, for whatever reason, he seems to get a clue and does an about-face, even though he has discovered his wife’s affair. For someone so successful, he seems to have few people skills. Or maybe it’s just women he doesn’t get.
What I most enjoyed about This One Is Mine: A Novel were the rich details that painted the LA lifestyle in such a way that I could visualize it. I could picture the homes, the clothes, and especially the characters. I liked that none of the characters were picture-perfect. Violet was still a tad overweight from the pregnancy; Sally was thin and could have been attractive, but her personality rendered her tense and almost fake; and Teddy—well, he is portrayed as someone scuzzy and a little bit unclean, which is how I viewed his character.
I also liked the part in which Violet and Sally actually begin to talk to one another and clear up some major misunderstandings they have.
I didn’t really buy David’s turnabout, and found it a bit unbelievable, but it did bring the story to a tidy conclusion.
This is a book for those who enjoy LA stories, or stories about what is going on behind the perfect façade that cloaks the rich and famous. I would give it a 4.5, deducting a bit for how the story ended.