Even twenty years into marriage, Helen Ellis’s husband still makes her heart pitter patter. The New York Times bestselling author paints a portrait of true romance for our times in these surprising, sexy, and hilariously frank essays about love, marriage, and her last first kiss.
"Ellis is one of our greatest living humorists, in the same league as Sedaris and Irby...A fascinating portrait of middle-aged love.” —Ann Napolitano, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Edward
Welcome to the Coral Lounge, a room in Helen Ellis’s New York City apartment painted such an exuberant shade that a Peeping Tom left a sticky note asking for the color. It is in the Coral Lounge where all the parties happen: A game called “What’s in the box?” makes its uproarious debut, the Puzzle Posse pounces on a 500-piece jigsaw of a beheaded priest, and guests don blindfolds for a raucous bridal shower.
When the pandemic shuts down the city, the Coral Lounge becomes a place of refuge, where Helen and her husband binge-watch Joan Collins’s Dynasty, dote on two spoiled cats, and where Helen discovers that even twenty years into marriage, her husband still makes her heart pitter patter.
About the Author
HELEN ELLIS is the author of Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light, Southern Lady Code, American Housewife and Eating the Cheshire Cat. Raised in Alabama, she lives with her husband in New York City. She is a poker player and a plant lady. You can find her on Twitter @WhatIDoAllDay and Instagram @HelenEllisAuthor.
"Hilarious, off-the-wall....Perfect comic timing.....Ellis manages to keep things fresh even when she returns to subjects she's written about before....Ellis has some serious points to make, but...comedy is what drives Coral Lounge....Charming." —Heller McAlpin, NPR
"Nothing is off limits for this transplanted Southerner—long-ago wedding day disasters, experiments with off-brand Viagra, the obituary of the boy who shared her first kiss—and she shares her colorful life honestly and hilariously." —Nora Krug and Becky Meloan, The Washington Post
"Ellis is unapologetic in describing the kind of couple she and Lex are not....[She] isn't afraid to go against the norms....Her stories [are] filled with everyday life—the habits, the problems, the solutions—something so many of us can relate to....Read this book; it is hilarious. You will laugh hysterically. She's like a David Sedaris, but a Southern woman. My favorite type of David Sedaris." —Jenna Bush Hager, The TODAY Show
"Now this is something new: open, honest, funny essays from a wife who is still in love with her husband after 20 years of marriage. (Yes, it's possible.)....But don't worry: She is hilarious, not sanctimonious about it! These essays are Ellis at her writerly best." —Zibby Owens, Good Morning America
"It's not usually relationships that are going well that end in a book of funny stories, but Helen Ellis manages to pull it off with these essays about her and her husband of 20 years (who she's very much still in love with) as they navigate the pandemic lockdown in New York City. Everything from discussing an email that was sent to their cat sitter to their adventures trying out Viagra is pure gold." —Laura Hanrahan, Cosmopolitan
"Whether it’s instructions for the pet sitter, a report on the joys of Viagra, or a deep dive into spousal snoring, Ellis has made herself, her Mr., and their two cats into irresistible characters. Their domestic adventures have a timeless quality that makes them not only funny but somehow soothing—and even more so when read with a background of ticking sprinklers." —Oprah Daily
“Few writers delight me like Helen Ellis does….When reading her essays… I inevitably end up texting my best friends the lines that make me literally LOL.” —CJ Lotz, Garden and Gun
"Ellis excels at drawing humor out of ordinary life events in the same way a doctor can draw poison from a snakebite. She finds the funny in situations that otherwise are not....'May I Hold Your Grudge for You?' an examination of her animosity toward a variety of enemies and loyalty to friends...exemplifies her appeal. She’s charming and friendly on the surface, but deeply human just the same....In Kiss Me in The Coral Lounge, Helen Ellis delivers more of her usual wit and wry observation in a succinct collection of essays reflecting the turmoil of recent history. It’s a collection for fans of her work, and anyone looking to find humor in the mundane." —Ian Macallan, The Chicago Review of Books
"Ellis is one of our greatest living humorists, in the same league as Sedaris and Irby, and Kiss Me in the Coral Lounge is her best book. These hilarious and poignant essays are a fascinating portrait of middle-aged love, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.” —Ann Napolitano, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Edward
"Helen Ellis may live in New York City now, but her Southern bona fides hold true… She displays the gift for gab and superior storytelling skills… Epic tales of hilarity involving a colorful cast of family and friends.” —Atlanta Journal Constitution
“Laughing out loud is something I’ve continued to do every time I read something by Helen [Ellis], from her…social media feeds to…her books of essays…and her latest, Kiss Me in the Coral Lounge, in which she turns her gimlet eye toward marriage.” —Amanda Heckert, Garden and Gun
"Helen Ellis’ collection of humorous essays, Kiss Me in the Coral Lounge, celebrates life with her loving husband as they navigate the COVID-19 lockdown in New York City. The hilarious essay "An Email To Our Cat Sitter" is worth the price of the book alone. Give this one to your favorite couple celebrating an anniversary." —AuburnPub.com
"Helen Ellis is back with a funny and unabashedly romantic collection of essays about love, marriage and her last first kiss. The Coral Lounge is a room in Ellis's New York City apartment where all the parties happen. When the pandemic shuts down the city, the Coral Lounge becomes a place of refuge, where Helen and her husband binge-watch TV shows, dote on their cats and where Ellis discovers that even twenty years into marriage, her husband still makes her heart pitter patter. In these surprising, sexy and hilariously frank essays she explains why." —PureWow
"Ellis serves up irreverent essays about married life in all its less-than-glamorous glory. The author finds humor in the mundane, the semi-ridiculous...and the sweet....Ellis’s writing is...assured, charming, and laced with an understated humor that nearly always hits its mark....This delights." —Publishers Weekly