If Your Marriage Is on the Rocks
We kick off our blog with a short list of five books that might be tonics to marital troubles. If only because they'll make you feel better! Tell us what books you'd gently press on a friend. And feel free to weigh in on these.
1. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
Bored wife falls for dashing bachelor. No less than the classic on the question. So provocative and controversial in its time, that when it was originally published in serial installments in the Russian Messenger, the magazine editor pulled the last chapters and refused to publish any more. Read it as salve. Things couldn't get much worse.
2. On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan
A throwback to the early '60s, on the cusp of the sexual revolution. Reading it now -- sly move by McEwan -- we realize how simple the solution might have been had this young bride and groom postponed their big night for a decade: All they needed was a bit more openness, more talk. It makes you wonder how enlightened minds in the future will see current myopias.
3. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
Back to the 19th century, and our heroine, alas, was born long before her time. She is dreamy, artistic -- a mother of two in the staid, mid-century city of New Orleans. She has sex with a younger man when her husband is out of town, and, suddenly, all her repressed creativity is released. Society will make her pay a high price for it.
4. Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert
Some will say that this story is all too similar to 1 and 3, but, since the characters are French, that would be impossible. Love here is nothing like Anna's harrowing love for Vronsky, nor is it about a woman led to the depths of her own soul. It's Emma, having a good roll in the hay with Rodolphe, and then with Leon -- all of it out of sheer appetite and vanity. In the end, romance doesn't live up to her hyperinflated illusions, nor, for that matter, does her grand exit.
5. Rambling Rose, by Calder Willingham
A rural Georgia household is turned upside down when an attractive, seductive young woman comes from the city to be the family maid. But despite all temptations -- which prove considerable -- the husband remains true to his wife. Who knew virtue could be so entertaining?
-- Marie Arana
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Marie Arana | October 8, 2007 1:41 PM
Posted by: Bella DePaulo | October 9, 2007 5:16 AM
Posted by: Dan | October 9, 2007 10:24 AM
Posted by: Marie Arana | October 9, 2007 5:09 PM
Posted by: Sean McVeigh | October 10, 2007 5:51 AM
Posted by: Ed | October 10, 2007 6:29 AM
Posted by: Booklover | October 10, 2007 9:47 AM
Posted by: DK | October 10, 2007 9:57 AM
Posted by: Mount St Joseph HS | October 10, 2007 12:00 PM
Posted by: Marylandmom | October 10, 2007 12:41 PM
Posted by: Jim | October 10, 2007 1:21 PM
Posted by: J | October 10, 2007 1:48 PM
Posted by: Mary Ann | October 10, 2007 2:45 PM
Posted by: AJ | October 10, 2007 3:41 PM
Posted by: Marie Arana | October 10, 2007 5:43 PM
Posted by: Jason | October 10, 2007 5:48 PM
Posted by: krasni | October 10, 2007 9:03 PM
Posted by: Marie Arana | October 12, 2007 9:03 PM
Posted by: Kate | October 17, 2007 12:20 PM
Posted by: Carol Anne | October 31, 2007 6:38 PM
Posted by: nedvizhimost sdayu tomsk | December 16, 2007 11:04 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.