A woman attempts to spice up her marriage…and uncovers some secrets in the process.
Sylvie has always thought she and Dan had a blissfully perfect marriage. They’ve been together for 10 years, have twin girls, and know each other so well that they can complete each other’s sentences. Other than the small fact that Dan resents her recently deceased but beloved father, they’re happy. But then, on the 10th anniversary of the day they met, a doctor tells them that they’re in such good health, they could live to be married for another 68 years. This seemingly good news throws Sylvie and Dan into a panic, and they start to worry that the next 68 years could be filled with nothing but crossword puzzles, TV, and tedium. So Sylvie starts Project Surprise Me—she and Dan will arrange little surprises for each other in hopes of keeping the next 68 years “sparky.” But as her neighbor Tilda warns her, “Surprises have a bad habit of going wrong.” Although their surprises just seem laughably bad at first (Dan picks out an ugly sweater for Sylvie, and Sylvie orders a breakfast Dan doesn’t like), soon things start to go so awry that Sylvie must ask herself some questions. Who is Dan texting all the time? Why is he so irritable? Why, exactly, does he resent her father? And then there’s her biggest question: Dan couldn’t possibly be having an affair…could he? Sylvie is a warm and lovably quirky heroine, and reading about her escapades is pure fun. Kinsella creates a complete world around Sylvie—her funny neighbors, her cozy job, her adorable twins. There’s unexpected depth here, too, not just in the exploration of a long-term marriage, but in Sylvie’s reckoning with grief after the death of her father. Overall, this is a fast-moving and entertaining story with well-rounded and endearing characters.
A hilariously moving look at marriage and the power of mixing things up.