NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Family, love, success… and the lack of it. That’s the premise of the new novel by New York Times bestselling author Cathi Hanauer.

It’s called “Gone” and the author sat down with WCBS 880 anchor Pat Farnack for this week’s summer Beach Reads segment.

LISTEN: Farnack with Hanauer

PF: We’re talking today to Cathi Hanauer who wrote a book called “Gone” and I have to tell you Cathi we need to hire you here to write teases for us because the first line is really a killer in your press release: “What would you do if you husband left to drive the babysitter home and simply didn’t come back?”

CH: Yeah, that is the premise. That is how the book opens. Eventually you find out where he’s gone. The husband, Eric, is a 46-year-old sculptor who used to be famous and is now kind of washed up. And his wife is 42 and she is a part-time nutritionist and mother who’s been raising her two children.

PF: And she is experiencing some success.

CH: Right. As his career has sort of waned, hers has had to pick up the pace. She also just published a book called “He’s Done This.”

PF: This book is taking place in our world of increasing economic and nutritional turmoil.

CH: I wanted to do a story about marriage and motherhood and mid-life, but I also wanted to set it against this backdrop of nutritional chaos and increasingly bad food. I feel like it was a way to set the book, the love story and the marriage story, against a bigger content. You know, mid-life is a time of just things changing and things disappearing and that’s where the title comes from. You know, it starts with her husband going off and also her daughter is 14, which is a difficult age for girls and they’re starting to grow up and pull away from their mothers and her boy is eight, her son, and he just doesn’t want to be cuddled and smooched like he always did. And then her best friend, after being single for years and years, has met a man and married and had a baby all within about a year’s time. So, I think, that marriage too changes in middle age and we have to figure out, well, how are we going to rejuvenate this or are we going to let it go. These are all the things I’m trying to explore.

PF: Well, very provocative. That’s Cathi Hanauer joining us for the summer Beach Reads series and her novel is “Gone.”

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Next week, Pat will talk with author Susan Fales-Hill about her latest book “Imperfect Bliss”…which she describes as “50 Shades of Grey” meets “Simthsonian Magazine.”

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