Marry Me by John Updike
December 21, 2006
I'm not sure if "Couples" or "Marry Me" came out first, but I'd already read Updike's "Couples" and so "Marry Me" seemed like almost the exact same story except with fewer couples. One of my complaints with "Couples" was that there were so many characters it required a scorecard to keep track, so at least Updike simplifies it in "Marry Me" with only two couples.
The plot of the story is that Jerry and Sally are having an affair on their respective spouses, who have had an affair with each other previously that no one else knows about. When Jerry reveals the affair, his wife asks him to stay with her for the summer, which makes a miserable time for all. I won't say how it ends, although the last chapter kind of confused me as to how it ended anyway.
At any rate, this book as I've mentioned above is similar to "Couples" in that it takes place in the early '60s in a small eastern town, features couples cheating, and does not have a particularly happy view of humanity. It features Updike's great writing, but it doesn't cover any new ground. The reason I give it three stars is because while the writing may be terrific, it isn't saying anything that's NEW. If you decide to purchase and read this book, understand that you're getting a well-written book, but not one that is much different than "Couples" or John Irving's "158-Pound Marriage" or a host of other books about people cheating on each other.
That is all.