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Listen to the Marriage

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


A riveting drama of marital therapy

Gretchen and Steve have been married for a long time. Living in San Francisco, recently separated, with two children and demanding jobs, they’ve started going to a marriage counselor. Unfolding over the course of ten months and taking place entirely in the marriage counselor’s office, John Jay Osborn’s Listen to the Marriage is the story of a fractured couple in a moment of crisis, and of the person who tries to get them to see each other again. A searing look at the obstacles we put in our own way, as well as the forces that drive us apart (and those that bring us together), Listen to the Marriage is a poignant exploration of marriage—heartbreaking and tender.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 27, 2018 – In this uneven novel by Osborn (The Paper Chase), Sandy is a marriage counselor tasked with helping Steve and Gretchen through their recent separation. Told entirely through Sandy's point of view, readers witness the disintegration of Gretchen and Steve's relationship as it is told to Sandy during their therapy sessions. Readers learn of both their extramarital affairs, and of the deeper dissatisfaction that has prompted them to be unfaithful. Though the novel's start implies that divorce may be inevitable, as the narrative unfolds, readers are instead given a nuanced portrait of what makes a marriage work. Marriage, Osborn seems to say, is uneventful, and to keep it going is even more uneventful mostly, it takes dedication, self-reflection, and lots and lots of communication. It is an admirable message, but therein lie both the advantages and the limits of the novel's conceit readers are told of the trials, tribulations, and hard-won victories of Steve and Gretchen's marriage, but are not allowed to actually see and experience them. Sandy is a profound but limited narrator, and her own back story and issues are not nearly so interesting as Steve and Gretchen's. At its best, this an emotionally intelligent and deeply felt consideration of the realities of marriage. But it is not consistently at its best.
Listen to the Marriage
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Oct 23, 2018
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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