LAST COUPLE STANDING by Matthew Norman

LAST COUPLE STANDING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A couple decides to save their relationship by attempting an open marriage.

Jessica and Mitch Butler have a happy marriage. Well, happy enough. Married for years with two children, it’s inevitable that they won’t feel the swells of passion every day, right? But when their three best couple friends get divorced around the same time, Jessica and Mitch start to reevaluate things. They thought their friends’ marriages were fine, but something tore them all apart. And, naturally, Jessica and Mitch start to wonder if the same thing could happen to them. So, to stave off the divorce that now seems inevitable, they try something dramatic: an open marriage. More specifically, an “evolved” marriage, one that allows each of them to have sex with other people, with several rules in place (no repeats, no one they know, etc.). Jessica immediately hits it off with a young, sexy bartender who sweeps her off her feet, but Mitch has more trouble connecting with women. And both of them realize, with help from their divorced friends, that dating is a lot different now that apps are on the scene. Although Jessica and Mitch’s plan may be a bit out of the box, their relationship and feelings are believable. Norman (We’re All Damaged, 2016, etc.) also creates a plethora of rounded, quirky side characters, including Jessica’s teenage therapy patient Scarlett and Mitch’s nerdy student Luke. When all of those characters come together in the story’s climax, the result is a scene worthy of a Shakespearean comedy.

A quick-witted and ultimately hopeful look at what it takes to make a marriage last.

Pub Date: March 17th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-984821-06-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2020