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BKLYN BookMatch: Novels about Marriage for a Book Club

This list was created by a librarian with the Brooklyn Public Library for a reader. Would you like your own personalized list of reading suggestions? Visit BKLYN BookMatch here: www.bklynlibrary.org/bookmatch

10 items

Girls burn brighter

Rao, Shobha, author. |

Forging a deep friendship with impoverished but passionate fellow weaver Savitha, motherless Poornima begins to reconnect with the beauty of the world before a devastating act of cruelty drives her friend away, compelling her to leave behind everything she knows to search for her friend in the darkest corners of India's underworld and beyond.

The newlyweds : a novel

Freudenberger, Nell. |

The story of a Bengali woman who marries a man from Rochester, NY, after they meet online.

The time traveler's wife

Niffenegger, Audrey. |

Passionately in love, Clare and Henry vow to hold onto each other and their marriage as they struggle with the effects of Chrono-Displacement Disorder, a condition that casts Henry involuntarily into the world of time travel.

The bride test : a novel

Hoang, Helen, author. |

Believing he cannot experience big emotions--like love, or grief-- Khai Diep avoids relationships, until his mother travels to Vietnam and returns with Esme Tran.

The days of abandonment

Ferrante, Elena. |

Once an aspiring writer, Olga traded literary ambition for marriage and motherhood; when Mario dumps her after 15 years, she is utterly unprepared. Though she tells herself that she is a competent woman, nothing like the poverella (poor abandoned wife) that mothers whispered about in her childhood, Olga falls completely apart. Routine chores overwhelm her; she neglects her appearance and forgets her manners; she throws herself at the older musician downstairs; she sees the poverella's ghost. After monthsof self-pity, anger, doubt, fury, desperation and near madness, her acknowledgments of weaknesses in the marriage feel as earned as they are unsurprising.

The vacationers

Straub, Emma, author. |

Celebrating their thirty-fifth anniversary and their daughter's high-school graduation during a two-week vacation in Mallorca, Franny and Jim Post confront old secrets, hurts, and rivalries that reveal sides of themselves they try to conceal.

On beauty

Smith, Zadie. |

Howard Belsey, a Rembrandt scholar who doesn't like Rembrandt, is an Englishman abroad and a long-suffering Professor at Wellington College. He has been married for thirty years to Kiki, an American woman who no longer resembles the sexy activist she once was. Their three children passionately pursue their own paths, and faced with the oppressive enthusiasms of his children, Howard feels that the first two acts of his life are over and he has no clear plans for the finale. Then Jerome, Howard's oldest son, falls for Victoria, the stunning daughter of the right-wing icon Monty Kipps. Increasingly, the two families find themselves thrown together in a beautiful corner of America, enacting a cultural and personal war against the background of real wars that they barely register.

Stoner

Williams, John, 1922-1994. |

Called the "greatest American novel you've never heard of" by The New Yorker, this cult classic recounts the life of a Missouri farm boy-turned-English professor who deals with an unstable wife, an affair, and his own emotions.

Madame Bovary : provincial ways

Flaubert, Gustave, 1821-1880. |

When Emma Rouault marries dull, provincial doctor Charles Bovary, her dreams of an elegant and passionate life crumble. She escapes into sentimental novels but finds her fantasies dashed by the tedium of her days. Motherhood proves to be a burden; religion is only a brief distraction. She spends lavishly and embarks on a series of disappointing affairs. Soon heartbroken and crippled by debts, Emma takes drastic action with tragic consequences for her husband and daughter. When published in 1857, Madame Bovary was embraced by bourgeois women who claimed it spoke to the frustrations of their lives. Lydia Davis's landmark translation gives new life in English to Flaubert's masterwork.

Anna Karenina : a novel in eight parts

Tolstoy, Leo, graf, 1828-1910. |

Acclaimed by many as the world's greatest novel, Anna Karenina provides a vast panorama of contemporary life in Russia and of humanity in general. In it Tolstoy uses his intense imaginative insight to create some of the most memorable characters in literature. Anna is a sophisticated woman who abandons her empty existence as the wife of Karenin and turns to Count Vronsky to fulfil her passionate nature - with tragic consequences. Levin is a reflection of Tolstoy himself, often expressing the author's own views and convictions.