We’ve been locked inside for so long with the same people it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important: being honest about our feelings and perspectives while working on our relationships. Lifestyle Asia recommends four books on what not to do to keep your marriage healthy and thriving.
Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser Akner
Released in paperback this month, Fleishman Is In Trouble is a close examination on two people in marriage that has fallen apart. Who was at fault? Were they truly never meant to be happy? Set in New York City, the book looks at the effects of career, childhood experiences, expectations out of life and gender on a marriage. Neither Toby nor Rachel Fleishman are particularly likeable people, but the writing is smooth, engaging and propulsive. By the end of it, you’ll be questioning everything you thought you knew.
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Released in 2015 to much acclaim (Barack Obama named it as one of his books of the tear and Amazon declared it as a book of the year), the premise of Fates and Furies operates on the idea that two people in a committed marriage have highly different views on that marriage. Lotto and Mathilde Satterwite belong on an entirely different spectrum in their relationship, and indeed, their whole lives. If you ask him, it was a sunny, easy courtship and a fulfilling life together helped in part by his seamless rise as a playwright. If you ask her, the answer is much more complex. It begs the question: can you love someone so much you actually hate them?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The OG of he-said, she-said marriage stories, Gone Girl was released in 2012, with a movie adaptation directed by David Fincher starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Taking the theme of different perspectives in a marriage at its most extreme, with a sociological commentary on media and our reactions to the Missing White Woman Syndrome, the book remains a must read.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Released in 2014, Everything I Never Told You is Ng’s first novel, and even better than the recently-adapted-for-TV Little Fires Everywhere. It tells the story of James and Marilyn Lee, and what they believe to be true about each other, their marriage, and subsequently, the effects on their three children who suffer from outsized expectations, smothering love, and the lack thereof. Ng’s prose is clear and lucid, like a gentle, placid lake in Ohio.