Em’s Awful Good Fortune by Marcie Maxfield

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Okay, this book was an absolute delight! I got to experience the life of an expat, but through the lens of how it affects a marriage and the individuals involved.

I felt like Em was sitting down with a cup of coffee and telling me the stories of her life. It was a conversation weaving fun moments with ones of heartbreak. Em’s experiences as the wife of someone who chooses to live outside the US for extended periods of time for work was so interesting. I’ve traveled to China, and I found those parts of the story something I connected to, and laughed at, as I had some of those experiences. Other locations though were completely new for me, and I loved learning more about them! I loved the entire story, and I highly recommend it!

Where to Find This Book:

Amazon ~ Goodreads

Part dysfunctional marriage, part global romp, this is not your typical expat story. Em’s Awful Good Fortune is a deeply personal, marriage-coming-apart-at-the-seams look at the struggle between a woman’s desire for partnership and her need for identity. Fueled by twin demons, love and rage, Em stomps her way around the world, coming to terms with the fantasy of having it all: husband, kids, and a career. Em is not just married; it’s more like being handcuffed to her husband’s international career. Her life reads like a fantasy, bouncing between Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Seoul. But the good fortune is all her husband’s; Em is just the tag-along wife.

Marcie Maxfield’s compelling, non-linear story explores the expatriate lifestyle through the lens of a crumbling marriage, while at the same time tracing the lasting impact of sexual assault and post-traumatic stress disorder. Em’s journey exposes the dark corners of this seemingly privileged world: loneliness, depression, infidelity, and loss of career. As she begins to value her needs before those of her husband’s career, she stops letting herself be dragged along for the ride—and ultimately emerges triumphant.

Just the Facts:

Em’s Awful Good Fortune by Marcie Maxfield
Genre: General Fiction
Pub Date: August 3, 2021

Maxfield’s voice is fierce, authentic and personal. Em’s Awful Good Fortune is her debut novel. Her play Girls Together Always won the Encore! Producer’s Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Marcie is a  teen mentor for WriteGirl, an LA organization that empowers youth through creative writing. 


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I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

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