for better or…?

I’m part-way through a novel by a writer I really like, but…

Pausing for a moment out of the enjoyment of a pleasant, non-demanding romantic novel, here’s what disturbs me about it:

Two of the main characters in this novel are people who are unhappily married, it seems very obvious to me [though I may be wrong] that each of them is heading towards the point of leaving their spouse for someone else, and in the interests of making the reader feel that this is a good thing, we’re given such descriptions of their spouses that they each seem like the ultimate caricature of a person anyone would hate to be married to.

But I’ve lived on this earth long enough to know that life isn’t usually so black and white. And I feel these people are being judged without a fair trial – we’re seeing a very one-sided picture, with no attempt to consider what goes on inside the mind of that husband who seems to be living the life of a slob, or that wife who is always wanting material things as status symbols. How did they get to be like that? What is it that they are missing in life? And – dare I suggest this – is there anything their spouses could have done differently which would have helped?

And in any case, isn’t marriage supposed to be for better or worse? When you marry someone you don’t make promises “as long as you remain the lovely person you are now”. People do change. And even without changing, their less pleasant sides are likely to come out more within the security of marriage – that’s part of what marriage should be, a place of safety where you can be your real self without worrying that the other person is going to reject you.

end of rant.

(I may come back to this once I’ve finished reading this book – it’s going to be interesting to see if I was right about the direction it’s going. And for now I’m deliberately not mentioning the name of the novel or of the author because I’m not sure if I’m right about where the plot is heading.)

One thought on “for better or…?

  1. Pingback: Don’t judge a book midway through « Meirav's Blog

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