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Love Is a Canoeby Ben Schrank
Synopses & Reviews
Peter Herman is something of a folk hero. Marriage Is a Canoe, his legendary, decades-old book on love and relationships, has won the hearts of hopeful romantics and desperate cynics alike. He and his beloved wife lived a relatively peaceful life in upstate New York. But now its 2010, and Peters wife has just died. Completely lost, he passes the time with a woman he admires but doesnt love—and he begins to look back through the pages of his book and question homilies such as:
A good marriage is a canoe—it needs care and isnt meant to hold too much—no more than two adults and a few kids.
Its advice he has famously doled out for decades. But what is it worth?
Then Peter receives a call from Stella Petrovic, an ambitious young editor who wants to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Marriage Is a Canoe with a contest for struggling couples. The prize? An afternoon with Peter and a chance to save their relationship.
The contest ensnares its creator in the largely opaque politics of her publishing house while it introduces the reader to couples in various states of distress, including a shy thirtysomething Brooklynite and her charismatic and entrepreneurial husband, who may just be a bit too charismatic for the good of their marriage. Theres the middle-aged publisher whose imposing manner has managed to impose loneliness on her for longer than she cares to admit. And then there is Peter, who must discover what he meant when he wrote Marriage Is a Canoe if he is going to help the contests winners and find a way to love again.
In Love Is a Canoe, Ben Schrank delivers a smart, funny, romantic, and hugely satisfying novel about the fragility of marriage and the difficulty of repairing the damage when well-intentioned people forget how to be good to each other.
The author of a classic self-help guide to love and relationships, Peter Herman has won the hearts of romantics and cynics alike. But decades have passed since Marriage Is a Canoe was published, and a recently widowed Peter begins to question his own advice. Much to his chagrin, he receives a call from Stella Petrovic, an ambitious young editor in New York City who forces him to reconsider his lifes work, not to mention the full force of his delusions. The books fiftieth anniversary is approaching, and Petrovic has devised a contest to promote the new edition. The prize? The chance for the winning couple—a pair of outwardly happy Brooklynites named Emily and Eli—to save their relationship by spending a weekend with the reclusive author.
Smart, funny, and hugely satisfying, Ben Schrank's Love Is a Canoe is a poignant novel about the fragility of human relationships—and a heartwarming reminder of what it really means to be good to those we love.
About the Author
Ben Schrank is president and publisher of Razorbill, a Penguin imprint that is home to many award-winning and New York Times-bestselling books for children and young adults. Ben is also the author of the novels Consent and Miracle Man. He wrote “Bens Life,” a monthly column for Seventeen magazine, in the 1990s. He grew up in Brooklyn, where he lives with his wife and son.
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