Cover image for Host family
Host family
Medwed, Mameve.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
309 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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Daisy and Henry have been married for 20 years, and for all that time they have served as host families for international students coming to study at Harvard. So Daisy should have seen it coming when Henry dumps her for the extremely French Giselle.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Cambridge and the outskirts of Harvard life are again the settings of Medwed's (Mail) new novel, a cuttingly funny yet heartwarming tale full of hilarious twists and practical wisdom. Henry and Daisy Lewis, who have been serving as host family to international Harvard students for the past 20 years, find themselves at a crisis in their marriage. It seems that the series of visitors from the Third World has exhausted Henry's patience. In reaction, he becomes a voracious Francophile and falls for their latest exchange student, a French beauty named Giselle. The breakup of the Lewis's marriage coincides with the departure of the couple's cherished son, Sammy, to college (Harvard, of course), but 42-year-old Daisy, a community relations manager for a grocery chain, learns that change can be a good thing when she fatefully meets Truman Wolff, a parasitologist whose studies of "virus-host relationships" seem particularly apt. In this novel of comic connections, Daisy's son and Truman's teenage daughter, Phoebe, fall in love. For a couple of years, the two pairs sustain their respective relationships, though marriage-wary Daisy remains unwilling to spoil a good thing by accepting Truman's proposals. The introduction of another foreign body--this time a handsome young Italian man--threatens this stability when the studly student and Phoebe fall in love, causing Daisy to reject Truman in a fit of allegiance over Sammy's broken heart. But tables continue to turn; characters forgive, forget and move on; and Daisy finally realizes that it's time to go after a love "every bit as identifiable and tenacious as one of Truman's parasites." Medwed balances broadly drawn characters, such as the ludicrously pompous Henry, who sports a beret and calls himself "Henr¡," with Daisy's perspicuous insights on the nature and possibility of lasting romantic commitment, expertly combining here the larger-than-life and the true-to-life. Agent, Lisa Bankoff. 4-city author tour. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Medwed's first novel, Mail, was enjoyed by many, and she does not disappoint with her second, engaging book. Medwed sticks to what she knows best--the lives of the inhabitants of Cambridge, MA. Daisy and Henry Lewis have been married for 20-odd years, and they've annually served as a host family to foreign students going to Harvard for a semester. Everything goes smoothly until Henry becomes obsessed with all things French, immersing himself in French food and culture, donning a beret, and eventually running off with the latest foreign student, the very French Giselle. After Daisy gets over the shock of losing her husband, she begins a relationship with a lovable parasitologist named Truman Wolff, for whom the term "host family" sports an entirely different meaning. This is a charming and pleasant read for which Medwed's fans will most likely be waiting in line. Recommended for public libraries.--Beth Gibbs, P.L. of Charlotte (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.