Synopses & Reviews
Jenny Block is your average girl next door, a suburban wife and mother for whom married life never felt quite right. She operates from the assumption that most couples who are curious about or engaged in open marriages are in fact more like hernormal people who question whether monogamy is right for them; good people who love their spouses but want variation; capable parents who are not deviant just because they choose to be honest about their desires.
In Open, Block paints a down to earth picture of how an open marriage can work, and specifically why it works for her and her husband. In dissecting other peoples strong reactions to her choice, she explores the question of why cheating is more socially acceptable than open marriage. In part, she concludes, the lack of models for successful functional open marriages is such that the general public is not yet equipped to handle treating it as anything other than abnormal.
Open challenges our notions of what traditional marriage looks like, and presents one womans journey down an uncertain path that ultimately proves that open marriage is a viable option, and one thats in fact better for some couples than conventional marriage.
"In this memoir of her open marriage, Block recounts how she leapt off the 'Disney monorail of monogamous marriage' to pursue her own version of 'happily ever after.' The author chronicles her growing awareness of the 'social conditioning' that, according to her, defines marriage as the exclusive province of sex and intimacy. She writes movingly of how her perfect marriage unraveled due to her husband's low libido and how she and her husband negotiated a nonmonogamous partnership that saved their marriage. While Block is unstintingly honest in her depictions of an open marriage's sexual and emotional entanglements the author and her husband share, swap and pursue other partners she is not entirely convincing when she asserts that she, her husband and her committed girlfriend have the 'perfect' arrangement. Block mentions troubling imbalances in passing while staunchly insisting, 'We have it all... he is my rock and she is my sky.' Readers are likely to be challenged and provoked by this book's insights into the surprising fluidities in fidelity and sexuality, but might find its repetitive, slightly glib delivery better suited for a magazine article than a book-length manifesto. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Block paints a down-to-earth picture of how an open marriage can work, and specifically why it works for her and her husband. "Open" challenges the notions of what traditional marriage looks like, and presents one woman's journey down a different path.
About the Author
Jenny Block writes for Womens Health, The Dallas Morning News, American Way,
ellegirl.com, BeE, bRILLIANT, People Newspapers, Stone, Where,
She also has work in the books It's a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters
(Seal Press, 2006) and Letters to my Teacher
(Adams, 2005), as well as in the forthcoming book, Have I Got a Guy For You: Fix-ups and Blind Dates Coordinated By Our Mothers
(Viking, forthcoming 2007). In addition, her writing has appeared in Chow, Pointe, Virginia Living, Style Weekly, Tango, Richmond Magazine,
and Literary Mama.
The inspiration for Open
stems from the piece, Portrait of an Open Marriage”, which ran in Tango,
and was reprinted by Cosmopolitan Germany
and The Huffington Post.
Jenny was also interviewed about the story on Chick Chat Radio, and for the daily newspaper a.m. New York.
Jenny holds both her Bachelors and her Masters in English from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she taught composition for nearly ten years. She has also taught at the University of Richmond and Strayer University, as well as lectured at academic conferences across the country. Jenny has written numerous academic ancillaries for the Newsweek Education Program, Addison Wesley Longman, and Simon and Schuster.