Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Julie's Review: The Daylight Marriage

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Author: Heidi Pitlor
Series: none
Publication Date: January 5, 2016 (Paperback)
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Pages: 272
Obtained: publisher
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: A realistic look at a marriage when it is struggling
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Library
Summary: Hannah was tall and graceful, naturally pretty, spirited and impulsive, the upper-class young woman who picked, of all men, Lovell---the introverted climate scientist who thought he could change the world if he could just get everyone to listen to reason. After a magical honeymoon, they settled in the suburbs to raise their two children. But over the years, Lovell and Hannah’s conversations have become charged with resentments and unspoken desires. She has become withdrawn. His work affords him a convenient distraction. And then, after one explosive argument, Hannah vanishes. For the first time, Lovell is forced to examine the trajectory of his marriage through the lens of memory. As he tries to piece together what happened to his wife--and to their life together--readers follow Hannah on that single day when a hasty decision proves irrevocable. With haunting intensity, a seamless balance of wit and heartbreak, and the emotional acuity that author Heidi Pitlor brings to every page, The Daylight Marriage mines the dark and delicate nature of a marriage. ~amazon.com


Review: Daylight Marriage is an intense look at the inner workings of a marriage. No marriage is perfect and this is the case for Hannah and Lovell. Neither one of these characters is particularly likable but I ended up like Lovell more than Hannah. That isn't to say that I hated Hannah, I just wanted her to realize that her life didn't suck before it was too late.

For me, Hannah was never going to be happy because she didn't really want to be happy. She wanted something more out of her life but she didn't want to put the effort into it. Do I think she was depressed? Sure. I think she knew it as well but just didn't do anything about it. She wanted to put the blame all on Lovell. Was he to blame? Of course, the success of a marriage and the failure of a marriage is always on 2 people, not just one.

Lovell was obsessed with his work and a workaholic. Often ignoring his wife and his children for the need to be on the computer pulling together data or writing an article about his weather pattern theory. Unfortunately it took a huge, line-pushing fight with Hannah and her going to missing to wake him up. He begins to appreciate what Hannah does and that perhaps he wasn't such a good husband or father. He loves Hannah but realizes that maybe that isn't enough.

I liked the realistic exchange between Lovell and his daughter, Janine. I felt that it would definitely be discussions/disagreements with a teenager. Janine also sees things through her eyes which can lead to a lack of understanding. Things aren't always as black and white as she tends to see them. She's mad at Lovell because she believes it's his fault her mom is gone. Whereas, it's misplaced blame. If Hannah wasn't looking for validation outside her marriage, perhaps she would still be around.

I liked that we got Lovell's point of view for a few chapters before we got to Hannah's. It was a good change to see that perhaps jumping to the conclusion of the "spouse is guilty" isn't always the correct assumption.

If you enjoy books that look at the darker side of relationships but not necessarily twisted, then Daylight Marriage is for you.


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