State of the Union
A Marriage in Ten Parts
A heartbreaking, funny, and honest look inside of a marriage falling apart and the lengths a couple would go to in order to fix it from the bestselling author of Dickens and Prince, About a Boy and High Fidelity
Now an Emmy award winning SundanceTV series starring Rosamund Pike and Chris O'Dowd
Tom and Louise meet in a pub before their couple's therapy appointment. Married for years, they thought they had a stable home life--until a recent incident pushed them to the brink.
Going to therapy seemed like the perfect solution. But over drinks before their appointment, they begin to wonder: what if marriage is like a computer? What if you take it apart to see what's in there, but then you're left with a million pieces?
Unfolding in the minutes before their weekly therapy sessions, the ten-chapter conversation that ensues is witty and moving, forcing them to look at their marriage--and, for the first time in a long time, at each other.
Hornby (Funny Girl) deploys his characteristic wit in this acerbic depiction of a marriage in crisis, already adapted for television. Tom, an unemployed 44-year-old music critic, and his wife, Louise, a 40-year-old gerontologist, meet in a pub across the street from their weekly marriage counseling sessions. Louise recently had an affair, and the two tussle over whether they even want to save their sexless, frustrating relationship. Although their pain and confusion pokes through, they disguise their emotions behind petty squabbles such as their differing votes on Brexit and Tom's antipathy for Call the Midwife and playful banter, including discussing their imagined second marriages. Tom abruptly moves out of their house, setting up nearly absurd conversations in which Louise admits to telling their children a series of lies to cover his absence, and Tom is cagey about revealing his unpleasant living arrangements. Glimmers of their former closeness appear as they favorably and conspiratorially compare themselves to other clients of their therapist. The relative lack of non-dialogue text propels the immediacy and intensity as Tom and Louise teeter toward a hopeful conclusion. Readers who want an honest exploration of a relationship will be taken by the sprightly balance of difficult emotions and sarcastic humor.