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A Good Marriage’s Back-of-Book Description
Big Little Lies meets Presumed Innocent in this “irresistible domestic drama” (Washington Post) from the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, in which a woman’s brutal murder reveals the perilous compromises some couples make—and the secrets they keep—in order to stay together.
Lizzie Kitsakis is working late when she gets the call. Grueling hours are standard at elite law firms like Young & Crane, but they’d be easier to swallow if Lizzie was there voluntarily. Until recently, she’d been a happily underpaid federal prosecutor. That job and her brilliant, devoted husband Sam—she had everything she’d ever wanted. And then, suddenly, it all fell apart.
No. That’s a lie. It wasn’t sudden, was it? Long ago the cracks in Lizzie’s marriage had started to show. She was just good at averting her eyes.
The last thing Lizzie needs right now is a call from an inmate at Rikers asking for help—even if Zach Grayson is an old friend. But Zach is desperate: his wife, Amanda, has been found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their Brooklyn brownstone. And Zach’s the primary suspect.
As Lizzie is drawn into the dark heart of idyllic Park Slope, she learns that Zach and Amanda weren’t what they seemed—and that their friends, a close-knit group of fellow parents at the exclusive Brooklyn Country Day school, might be protecting troubling secrets of their own. In the end, she’s left wondering not only whether her own marriage can be saved, but what it means to have a good marriage in the first place.
After the last two books I read (a British novel and a beachy read), I was finally in the mood for another thriller/suspense fiction book so my friend and I decided to read this one – we had both chosen it as our Book of the Month in May. (If you’re not familiar with that you can check out my review of the BOTM service here.)
So we both started A Good Marriage about the same time. I personally found it attention-grabbing and read it at a casual pace, until I got close to the end and of course I couldn’t put it down until I found out what happened! My friend on the other hand… still hasn’t finished it. Take from that what you will, but it might imply that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Regardless of how other people may feel about it – here’s my opinion. I think the writing was good, the plot was intriguing, and the characters were interesting. The story was told mostly from two different viewpoints and two different times (before the event and after). Both characters were women going through stressful situations and trying to navigate dealing with them.
There were periods of the book that I felt like I knew what was going to happen, or that I was able to predict some small thing, but I was still plenty surprised by the ending!
The setting descriptions were nice – the story takes place mostly in New York and while I’m not familiar with the area it felt well laid out and detailed enough to picture it.
The characters, both the main ones and the supporting ones, felt real and relatable. Although I suppose there were times where I felt like the male main characters could have been a little more rounded. We don’t get their points of view other than through dialogue, so it’s hard to know how they feel and what they’re thinking.
In the end, they are not the main characters so it doesn’t really matter, and in fact, it was kind of refreshing to have the leading cast be females.
In addition to the suspense and mystery of it all, there were two social issues brought up, and I think the author handled them beautifully; trauma and it’s effect on mental health and alcoholism. I don’t think either topic is too triggering, but instead, seem delicate and like she is shedding light on their prevalence.
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Favorite Quotes From A Good Marriage
“And in the end, wasn’t that the key to marriage? Learning to pretend that a few unspoiled things could make up for all the broken ones?”
“…given the right circumstances, anyone was capable of anything.”
“That was the problem with closing off so much of her past – sometimes the good memories went with the bad.”
“But the ugly details were sunk beneath miles of ocean, buried deep in the sediment. and [she] lacked the will to dive after them.”
“Sometimes it can be easier to pretend something isn’t happening if you keep it to yourself.”
“…there was an ocean of distance between a lie and a carefully asked series of questions.”
“Forgiveness is a side affect of love.”
A Good Marriage gets 3.5 stars from me. I liked the book and enjoyed the writing, I just think some of the plot was a bit predictable and I would have liked to have some of the other characters’ stories wrapped up a bit better. But other than that – it’s a solid mystery/crime thriller with some legal drama thrown in.
The author – Kimberly McCreight – has written a few other books and I think I’d like to eventually check them out.
I would recommend this to anyone looking for a new quick summer read (it’s still summer, right?) or who likes the mystery/thriller genre. Or even people looking for strong female leads in their books because this definitely covers that.
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