An Ex to Grind
By Leigh O
Aug 7, 2006 - 11:47:00 AM

Melanie met Dan when she was a college student struggling to pay the bills, and he was a rising football star. They fell in love and married. Dan became a wide receiver for the Giants, and Melanie became a
financial planner, snagging Dan’s rich peers as clients. Thirteen years later, Dan is out of work after a career ending injury, and an embarrassing attempt at sports broadcasting. Melanie is a vice president, anticipating a partnership at her Manhattan based investment firm. Their lives are a reversal of the traditional roles, with her corporate attitude and long hours and his irrational spending and society lifestyle.

When Melanie tires of Dan’s lack of ambition, she divorces him and finds out that times really have changed. As the breadwinner, she must give Dan the apartment, joint custody of their beloved pug, and a whopping hunk of alimony for the next eight years. She can’t get past the unfairness of still supporting her ex, and sees a way out in the cohabitation loophole of the divorce agreement. If Dan lives with another woman for ninety days, he forfeits alimony. Melanie devises an elaborate scheme to get Dan off of her payroll and regain her ‘perfect’ life. Her plan gets her more than she bargained for however, and Melanie could end up paying a much higher cost than alimony.



Jane Heller gives humorous insight into the role reversal of a modern marriage. Melanie’s character was far from a typical heroine, and her unpredictability kept me turning the pages.

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