How I Got Him Back Summary
by Valerie Sayers

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How I Got Him Back

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Mary Faith Rapple is doing quite well, thank you, rearing her four-year-old, Jesse, alone and studying math and physics in the hopes of winning an engineering scholarship and getting out of Due East. She would be doing even better if she could be sure that Stephen Dugan would really leave his wife to marry her when she turned twenty-one. Stephen seems distracted these days, almost too distracted to notice that his wife, Marygail, a self-centered clotheshorse, has suddenly planned to convert to Catholicism in what looks like an effort to please him. Meanwhile, across town, Becky Perdue is still reeling from her husband’s announcement that he is leaving her and taking their four kids. Before she can ask herself if she can get him back, Becky discovers that she must first decide whether she wants him back, and if so, why.

These three women cannot help but bump up against one another as they consider their predicaments. Their encounters are aided by several unwitting agents of change: Tim Rooney, a former philosophy professor whose nervous breakdown became complete when he urinated in the front row of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Christmas Day, and Father Berkeley, whose own hidden agenda makes him more than willing to get involved in Becky Perdue’s troubles. Told in a lively variety of first-person and third-person narrations, HOW I GOT HIM BACK is an entertaining tale of how love and duty often lead to the least expected path.