Wednesday, July 4, 2018

REVIEW of The Intermission by Elyssa Friedland

Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: July 3rd 2018 by Berkley Books

Have you ever had a secret so gut-wrenching you couldn't share it with anyone, not even the person who shares your bed? Told from the alternating perspectives of a husband and wife who both have something to hide, this incisive novel pulls back the curtain on a seemingly-happy marriage, posing the question: how much do we really know--and how much should we want to know--about the people we love the most?

After six years of marriage, the unshakeable confidence Cass felt on her wedding day is decidedly gone. Jonathan, on the other hand, is still smitten with Cass. It's true that the personality quirks he once found charming in his wife--her complexity, her high standards, her refusal to clean the dishes--are beginning to grate. But for him, these are minor challenges in an otherwise healthy relationship. So it comes as a complete shock to Jonathan when Cass suddenly requests a marital 'intermission': a six-month separation during which they'll figure out if the comfortable life they've built together is, in fact, the one they both want.

After Cass and Jonathan devise an absurd and jet lag-inducing plan to swap custody of their beloved dog every thirty days, they decide that (aside from their monthly canine exchange) the intermission will be a time for self-reflection--and not a time for talking. But, as the months pass, Cass and Jonathan begin to see that the very worst of their problems are rooted in just these kinds of calculated silences--and in a delicate web of blistering secrets they may never be ready to share.

My Thoughts…

I like the idea of this book.   The idea that marriage can get hum-drum boring is not a new idea.   I am happily married and there are times that we have to shake it up some.   That is what Cass wants to do.   She needs to make sure that she is happy with her life before starting a family and committing to the rest of her life with Jonathan.   Do I agree with her way?  Nope, not even a little but I respect that she doesn’t want to start a family and then tear it apart if she is that unhappy that she cannot stay with her husband.  

The book is divided into three parts with alternating chapters between Cass and Jonathan.   There were quite a bit of repetitive thoughts, a lot of talking about what might happen, what could happen, what should happen but yet not much happen.  I struggle to connect with anyone in the story.  Cass seemed to want the separation but then didn’t want Jonathan to find any happiness without her.    Jonathan was a pushover.   He couldn’t make Cass stay but yet gave in to every request she made without pushing for what he wanted.   

The premise of the story was interesting and the ending was predictable.  I couldn’t not finish the book once I started reading because I had to know if Cass and Jonathan actually ended up together but it was slow reading for me.

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