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Marry Me: A Romanceby John Updike
Synopses & Reviews
Marry Me is subtitled “A Romance” because, in the author’s words, “people don’t act like that anymore.” The time is 1962, and the place is a fiefdom of Camelot called Greenwood, Connecticut. Jerry Conant and Sally Mathias are in love and want to get married, though they already are married to others. A diadem of five symmetrical chapters describes the course of their affair as it flickers off and on, and as their spouses react, in a tentative late-summer atmosphere of almost-last chances. For this is, as Jerry observes, “the twilight of the old morality, and there’s just enough to torment us, and not enough to hold us in.”
"Jerry and Sally love each other. They are married to other people. Sound familiar? Maybe so (from Updike's Couples, certainly), but nothing will prepare you for the onslaught of agonized discussions, painful moments, and wrenching partings and unitings. At the end, we're given three possibilities for an outcome: the reader is
put in the same dilemma Jerry has been in throughout the book. All possibilities seem either silly or unacceptably bleak, whether he ends up with wife, lover, or alone (best guess). What we keep thinking about is not the outcome but the anguish of getting there. What Jerry goes through is like a man being asked to run a too-long race, and as he completes it, he falls off the edge of the world. A bleak, believable novel that also becomes a tactile experience because of the shifting colors and textures." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"It is, quite simply, Updike's best novel yet." NEWSWEEK
A deftly satirical portrait of life and love in a suburban town as only Updike can paint it.
From the Paperback edition.
About the Author
John Updike was born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, in 1932. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954 and spent a year in Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award, and the William Dean Howells Medal. In 2007 he received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. John Updike died in January 2009.
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