How women from different cultures handle the complexities of marriage.
Before journalist Piazza (co-author: The Knockoff, 2015, etc.) met her future husband, she had a successful career and good friends, and she knew how to live happily by herself. After marriage, she had to adjust to having another person in her life on a continuous basis, and like many newlyweds, she wondered if she was doing it correctly. “Marriage experts,” she writes, “call the first year of marriage ‘the wet cement year,’ because it’s the time when both members of a couple are figuring out how to exist as partners without getting stuck in the murk. It’s a time to set and test boundaries and create habits that continue for the rest of your marriage.” This idea led the author to ponder how women in other countries adjusted to sharing space, money, time, and all the other minor and major aspects that affect the union of two people under one roof. To smooth their own “wet cement,” Piazza and her husband traveled around the globe for work and pleasure, and she interviewed women from all walks of life about their secrets to a successful marriage. The answers were useful, humorous, seductive, and often far more intricate than she imagined. Among dozens of other pieces of advice, her interview subjects suggested to create a comfortable home, wear sexy lingerie (paid for by the man) on a daily basis, take care of yourself first, discuss most subjects but keep some things hidden, and, contrary to conventional wisdom, allow yourself to go to bed angry. Piazza blends the life stories of these interviewees with her own struggles during those first 12 months of matrimony.
Newlyweds and couples looking to jump-start a foundering relationship will find Piazza’s analysis of marriage useful, amusing, and engaging.