Product Description The author of Family: The Ties That Bind . . . and Gag! turns her eye on the institution of marriage, charting her own wedded bliss from "Living on Love" to the stage of "Get a (Mid) Life." 500,000 first printing. $350,000 ad/promo. From Publishers Weekly Costarring Erma and Bill, the author's ( Motherhood ) 12th book tops her previous hits as it traces the couple's lives since they wed in 1949. Told in Bombeck's comic, no-nonsense style, the story combines suspense, pathos and high humor as the years bring the inevitable moments of "for better and for worse." One of the funniest, and most sobering episodes occurs during the 1960s when the couple's children turn into hippies and at the same time Betty Friedan announces, in Brombeck's paraphrase, that "The roles for which our mothers had groomed us--taking care of a husband and family--were wrong." Not long after that, Bombeck (who early in her marriage had responded to her husband's singsong "Ring-around-the-collar" with a withering "So why don't you wash your crummy neck") got a job as a "housewife-columnist" at a suburban weekly newspaper earning "three bucks a column." Though she has managed to combine a spectacular career with a successful family life, Bombeck makes clear that having it all means giving one's all. 500,000 first printing; $350,000 ad/promo . Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Kirkus Reviews Bombeck (When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home, 1991, etc.) is in top form here, detonating snappy one- liners throughout this account of her 40-plus years of marriage. And there are some unusually serious moments as well: the death, at age 33, of a close friend--the first intimation for Bombeck and her husband that life is finite and for real; a late-life and much- wanted pregnancy that ended in miscarriage; the pathos of reversing roles as the author cared for her aging, ailing mother; Bombeck's breast cancer and mastectomy. The author married Bill Bombeck in the 50's. They had three children, and family life was both satisfying and something of a letdown: ``I hid my dreams in the back of my mind. It was the only safe place in the house.'' The dreams were of writing, and a lecture in the 60's by Betty Friedan galvanized Bombeck to ask her local newspaper if she could write a column. Syndication followed, then bestselling books, and, suddenly, the equilibrium of the Bombeck marriage shifted, as Bill, a teacher, held down the home front and Erma jetted off to talk shows, book tours, and speeches. How did the couple survive such a shift? Bill, in his 50s, found something (marathon running) to excel at independent of his wife, while Erma found that ``when the applause died down....I had someone real to go home to.'' The trials of raising teenagers; of grown kids coming home to freeload in order to afford a fancy car; of offspring delaying marriage and childbearing into their 30's, much to the exasperation of prospective-Grandma Bombeck (``If it doesn't happen soon, my grandchild and I will be in diapers together'')--all are described with the author's trademark wit. A few jokes misfire, a few phrases are repetitious. Overall, though, this is as light as a feather--and could float to the top of the lists. (First printing of 500,000) -- Copyright Â©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.