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A bright girl who memorized poetry but accounted herself as less than attractive, Pearlie was smitten by something as simple as Holland holding her hand. After he was drafted, a government official persuaded her to go to California and work in an airplane factory, where she could gather evidence of any unpatriotic behavior. Holland, like many soldiers craving the normalcy of civilian life, has a desperate need that she marry him. So they do marry and settle down in the barely integrated community of Ocean Beach. This moment of putative revelation - Pearlie's first direct acknowledgment that the Cooks are African-American - fits neatly into the novel's general scheme.

Again and again, as the ensuing story plays out, Greer toys with the reader's presumed preconceptions as his characters make reliably mistaken surmises about one another. One of the preconceptions that's central to his theme is the idea that the American s were sunnily innocent years, an idea with great purchase on the conservative imagination. For Pearlie, the pressing facts about are the Korean war, the pre-civil rights racial dispensation, the fears of nuclear war, the execution of the Rosenbergs and the persecution of homosexuals.

The Story of a Marriage

Against this backdrop, her interest in silences, misunderstandings and people's many-sidedness acquires a historical dimension: Pearlie has a taste for aphoristic musings. But Greer's plotting doesn't always live up to Pearlie's commentary. A side-story involving a spirited white girl who's secretly engaged to a prejudiced soda-jerk is tacked on to the main plot in a way that's both implausible and underexplained.

Pearlie's sympathy for Buzz blooms remarkably quickly, and there's an excess of busily symbolic detail. If the characters watch a movie, overhear a TV show or read the words printed on a paper bag, what they come across will be eerily reflective of their predicament. Most of all, Greer's first big narrative bombshell doesn't detonate with the force that he seems to be hoping for. This story attacked me emotionally. It stirred anger and astonishment toward the audacity of these characters and that is a proven sign in m What do we really know about the people we love?

It stirred anger and astonishment toward the audacity of these characters and that is a proven sign in my opinion of a good writer. If you've got me up in arms about people who are just a figment of the imagination, you've done your job. But maybe that's not why I was so bothered by this book. I believe the true reason lies within the fact that although this is fiction, it's a story about people we know.. People we've heard about..

'The Story of a Marriage' by Andrew Sean Greer - Los Angeles Times

Rumors or maybe all of our worst fears, to wake up next to a person whom you've known all your life only to realize, how well do I know this stranger? And what secrets of mine do they really know about me? And is this really love or have they known love before me? Is love a feeling, joyful that you can't live without? Or is love the life that you sacrifice and live in each day. These are the questions surrounding the triangle of Holland, Pearlie and Buzz. Pearlie thought this was her life. This was her marriage until one day a man she never even knew existed, Buzz, walks up to her door and causes her to question everything she thought she knew.

Think I just gave you a spoiler? You can never guess this tale.

'The Story of a Marriage' by Andrew Sean Greer

Without spoiling, I'll say these three statements 1 to entice you in and 2 to get them off my chest. Pearlie was a damn fool! Buzz had some damn nerve! Holland, he silently saw it all, why didn't he give a damn? I'm giving it 3 stars because it was good, I'll give it that but I can't give 5 to a book that pissed me off. I came I saw I conquered. View all 28 comments.

A crooked heart

It's always an incomparable pleasure to discover a great novel: Greer's book is such a novel, and its aching beauty somehow gets even more compelling, and poignant, as it is illuminated by the knowledge the reader has that he's experiencing a very privileged moment just reading those pages. It is, apparently at least, a very simple story, about a married couple, and a third person who might disrupt this marriage - but as usu It's always an incomparable pleasure to discover a great novel: It is, apparently at least, a very simple story, about a married couple, and a third person who might disrupt this marriage - but as usual with great books, what seems simple is actually extremely complex and subtle, because truth always is.

It's a novel about love, about family, about a house, about race, about a neighborhood, about a past era, about war, about the mysteries of the human soul: That's one of things that makes this novel stand out: It is written with exquisite grace, and such depth and understanding of the heart that it's hard not to be moved and thankful for such beautiful prose.

Tender and heartbreaking, Greer's book captures like few others the atmosphere of a specific time as well as the delicate intricacies of lives bound by love. In its own quiet, poetic, discreet way, The Story of Marriage book is a masterpiece. One can only dream of the beautiful movie it could become in the hands of the right director and screenwriter. Apr 16, Teresa Lukey rated it really liked it Shelves: I'm not sure where to start with reviewing this book.

I didn't realize that it was going to be about the struggles of being homosexual in the 's. Not that it wasn't interesting to learn that people were prosecuted and jailed for homosexual acts-I had no idea. The story is narrated by Pearlie Cook, who is married to Holland, described as a beautiful man. Prior to her marriage to Holland, his aunts tell her not to marry him because he has a weak heart.

Of course, she doesn't listen to them and I'm not sure where to start with reviewing this book. Of course, she doesn't listen to them and marries Holland anyway. She painstakingly does everything she can to create the most soothing home environment possible, for his heart, including snipping articles that may be upsetting from the paper before he has a chance to read it. Several years into the marriage a long, lost friend from the war, named Charles Drumer, shows up on their doorstep.

Holland has a peculiar reaction to his friends presence, but Pearlie brushes it off. As time goes by, we learn that the Charles is actually an old lover of Holland's and he wants him back. Pearlie is quite upset by this, but Charles offers her whatever she wants if she will relinquish her hold on Holland. Pearlie does not feel she can talk to Holland about this issue and she does not even make an attempt to discuss his desires.

Pearlie agrees to let Holland leave with Charles and start a new life with Charles, unbeknownst to Holland. I'm sure discussing previous homosexual behaviors with her husband would have been a tough subject to discuss, but none the less this was a pretty serious mistake on Pearlie's part. If she had talked to him, she would've found out that he wanted to stay with her and there son and she would not have been so agonized. This is an interesting read that deals with inter-racial relationships, homosexuality and the effects of war in the 's.

Andrew Sean Greer es un gran escritor, sutil, sencillo, delicado, contenido y evocador. Pero Gre Andrew Sean Greer es un gran escritor, sutil, sencillo, delicado, contenido y evocador. Parece que lleva una vida feliz y armoniosa, hasta que alguien llama a su puerta. Pero mejor que nos cuente Pearlie: Surely Andrew Sean Greer could put his talents to better use than to inhabit the presumptive position of narrating from the perspective of a Black woman. I wanted to love this book, but I just got more and more irritated with every page.

My disbelief was not the least bit suspended as Greer wrote Pearlie up into a dull, unquestioning, easy to manipulate, passive Black housewife who was tricked time and time again by a manipulative, rich, white, gay male wizard. I kept asking myself if I'd be res Surely Andrew Sean Greer could put his talents to better use than to inhabit the presumptive position of narrating from the perspective of a Black woman.

I kept asking myself if I'd be responding to the novel differently if a woman of color had written it, but I just couldn't imagine that the story and characterization could even exist if a white man hadn't written it. Initially, I picked up the novel because I'd read in reviews that the setting was the Sunset District of SF in the s, and I was interested in the historical detail of the city in which I live. There's lots of it, for sure, but the novel felt self-conscious in this regard.

I imagined ASG with lists of household items razor dispensers in medicine cabinets and long-gone locales Playland at the Beach and fashionable attire foldable hats that he wanted to weave into his story all of them interesting, for sure , and I also felt the trudging of his heavy hand as he attempted to fit those researched details into his plot in a seamless fashion.

That said, I kept turning the pages and read the novel quickly and eagerly so that I could see how the train wreck came out. The novel is readable, a bit mysterious, and seems to have its heart in the right place. But I definitely wouldn't recommend it to my friends without a lot of racial analysis by way of a major caveat. A mio avviso, un ottimo libro. Ben calibrato, ben scritto, uno stile mai patetico o autoreferenziale. Avrei preferito un finale diverso anche se, credo, questo sia l'unico A mio avviso, un ottimo libro.

A haunting book set in 's America.

We think we know the ones we love but do we? Beautifully written sad story of secrets, lies and relationships. What would you do to protect the one you love? Interessante leggere della chiamata alle armi per la guerra dal punto di vista americano.

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This book was a Friends of the San Diego Library bargain that my wife picked up and having no other book to read on vacation, I decided to read it. It contained characters and behaviors I normally avoid by an author who created a disturbance at his graduation from Brown University and I would normally avoid as well. His story grabbed me and didn't let go. A one sentence summary: The author's use of twists at the end of chapters dared the rea This book was a Friends of the San Diego Library bargain that my wife picked up and having no other book to read on vacation, I decided to read it.

The author's use of twists at the end of chapters dared the reader to press on, complete the story, and read the entire story once again. Spoiler Alert to those who read the end of books before beginning a book: America degli anni 50, con la segregazione razziale a farla da sfondo, echi di politica statunitense e di guerre appena terminate.

Una storia di parole lievi, e dolorose. Apr 13, Casey rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed getting into the head of the narrator wife of this book. The writing was well done and I felt what she felt as I learned her story. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Non eclatante, come ero stata indotta a credere leggendo le tante benevoli recensioni al riguardo. Ma andiamo con ordine. Sono mezzucci di poco conto in un romanzo che ha, evidentemente, l'ambizione di spingere l'acceleratore sul ver Non eclatante, come ero stata indotta a credere leggendo le tante benevoli recensioni al riguardo.

Sono mezzucci di poco conto in un romanzo che ha, evidentemente, l'ambizione di spingere l'acceleratore sul versante dell'indagine psicologica. Troppe belle frasi infilate "ad effetto" e spesso tra loro contraddittorie. Assolutamente scontato il finale. Parlano tutti, tutti quanti esprimono opinioni: Non apre bocca lui, esattamente come il cane Lyle non abbaia. Ma se fosse scappato, sarebbe tornato? I wanted to liked this book more than I did. It has earned a great many accolades, including earning a place on several Best Book of the Year lists, and such rave reviews as: