A HelloGiggles Best New Release
A PopSugar Best Book of July
A BookBub Editor's Pick
A SheReads Best Book of Summer
A GoodReads Buzzy New Release
A Mind Body Green Best Book of July
A PureWow Best Beach Read of Summer 2018
"An effortless page-turner, almost a movie treatment more than a novel...intelligent commercial fiction."--The Wall Street Journal
After five years of marriage, Cass Coyne has lost some of her boundless confidence. Her husband sees their ups and downs as normal challenges in a healthy relationship, but Cass lies awake at night wondering what you do when you need a break from your marriage?
It comes as a shock to Jonathan when Cass persuades him to try a marital "intermission": a six-month separation during which they'll decide if the comfortable life they've built together is still the one they both want.
Six months apart from their beloved dog is a different story, so they agree to meet once a month for a custody exchange. Time apart on opposite coasts makes the Coynes realize their problems may lie deeper than sweaty gym socks left on the bed and an empty container of milk put back in the fridge.
Can a marriage experiment go too far for two people who once thought they had it all figured out?
This entertaining marriage saga from Friedland (Love and Miss Communication) unravels the minutiae of everyday life in a broken marriage. It takes five years for the charm to fade from Cass Coyne's marriage. Generally insecure and daunted by the prospect of becoming a mother, Cass informs her husband that they'll be taking a six-month "intermission" and live seperately. While Cass has relished the stability, luxury, and love she's found with hedge fund analyst Jonathan, she can't quite move past her impoverished and neglected childhood or the guilt of secretly orchestrating her initial meeting with Jonathan. Told from both Cass's and Jonathan's perspectives, the story follows Cass as she leaves her posh New York apartment and begins an affair with a manipulative Hollywood producer in L.A. In Cass's absence, Jonathan reaches out to his high school sweetheart and attempts to reconcile a disturbing indiscretion from his prep school past. Told in direct prose, Friedland's emotionally fraught narrative shows how seemingly insignificant events inform and hide the "deep, dark truths... that reveal weaknesses in the fibers" in the Coynes' relationship. In the end, their intermission might have to be permanent. Although the characters are frustratingly feckless and the ending is too abrupt, Friedland insightfully dissects motives, lies, and love in this engrossing deconstruction of a bad marriage.
The Grass is Green Where it’s Cared For
When I first read the summary for The Intermission I was very intrigued by the question of how much we truly know (and should want to know) about our spouse. Many times while reading this novel, I reflected on my own marriage - the highs, the lows, and the minutiae that sometimes feels so significant. I'll be honest, I had a love/hate relationship with this book. I felt the author portrayed the nuances of marriage very well and I could imagine these issues of complacency, fulfillment, and trust being confronted by many couples today. However, the drama was so drawn out and both Cass and Jonathan were so frustrating and unlikeable, that I wanted to throw my kindle across the room on more than one occasion. Jonathan was just slightly more tolerable to me since I sympathized with him over how badly Cass handled so many things, but as secrets were revealed on both sides, I didn't actually like either of them. Because of this, I honestly was not rooting for one outcome over the other.
I really didn't become invested in the story until about 1/3 of the way through, and even then, it was more out of curiosity for how the story would end rather than genuine love for these characters. It hurt my heart with how much these two wounded each other, but it was hard to feel any compassion for them when they felt so entitled/justified to act in this way. I did wish that more time would have been spent on Cass and Jonathan's final reckoning (Hooray! They were finally honest with each other!), but I think the author's point was to look forward. Overall, this was an interesting read, but I can't say that I loved it.
*I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book*
A book you CAN’T take an “intermission” from
The Intermission is a smart, fun, and keeps your interest. Focusing on the nuances of relationships, but never losing humor or real ness. This book will keep you captivated from beginning to end. A must read!
A Really Great Read / Couldn’t Put It Down
I usually like spy novels or “literature”, and relationship books are not my style. BUt this was truly special - i could not put it down. The author hit the perfectly, got a lot of the nuances down and set them in a story with real substance about real modern relationships. Wow !