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Buy State of the Union: A Marriage in Ten Parts by Nick Hornby from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
Book DetailsISBN: 9780241987797
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Book Review: State of the Union: A Marriage in Ten Parts by Nick Hornby - Reviewed by CloggieA (08 Sep 2019)
5 stars State of the Union is the eighth novel by award-winning British author and Bafta winner, Nick Hornby. Tom and Louise are having marital therapy. The state of their marriage is the result of a number of things including, but not limited to, “a spot of infidelity”. Tom is an unemployed music critic; Louise is a gerontologist; they meet at the pub across the road from the counsellor’s rooms before each session.
Over an ale (Tom) or a white wine (Louise), they talk about what they will or won’t be discussing with their therapist, Kenyon; they examine their marriage and wonder if therapy can repair the damage; they talk about what went on in the previous session; and, as they watch them exit the rooms and sometimes enter the pub, they speculate on the lives of the couple whose session precedes theirs. Each of the ten chapters covers one such encounter at the pub.
Some readers may find this little book difficult to read. The problem won’t be the issues raised, although they can be thought-provoking. Rather, it’s that the reader will often be laughing so much that tears fill the eyes, and make it hard to focus on the print. Thus the standard warning about reading the book in the Quiet Carriage on Public Transport, where other commuters may be disturbed by readers rolling on the floor laughing. Those with continence issues should also consider themselves forewarned.
But for all that humour, there's wisdom and insight too. Much of the conversation between Tom and Louise will instantly strike a chord with married couples of a certain vintage. Tom manages to tie himself into several conversational knots. Brexit somehow gets in there, as does the possible gender bias of the counsellor, the offending lover, a fake cast, online dating, crosswords, sex, Rupert Murdoch and imaginary future partners. Apparently it's now a TV series: it would definitely translate well to the screen, so that is worth researching. A very entertaining read. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Penguin Random House.
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