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Games To Play After Dark (Vintage Contemporaries Original) Paperback – May 3, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Deserves to become a classic. . . . The careful crafting of this story, the diligent attention to detail and the intelligent sense of the complexities of the closest of family relationships make Games to Play After Dark an astonishingly mature achievement for a first-time novelist. It’s a book that bears rereading and thinking about, and Sarah Gardner Borden is certainly one of the new writers to watch.” —The Washington Times

“In her searing, un-put-downable debut novel, Sarah Gardner Borden brilliantly explores the darkest corners of family life.” —Marie Claire

Games to Play After Dark springs from the gate at a rapid clip . . . effectively conveys the unrelenting nature of the crush of days that spread out before the protagonist like so much housework in need of tending. . . . Like its predecessors—Revolutionary Road and The Awakening alike—Games to Play After Dark offers an unflinching glimpse into the secret desperation of the American mother. As moving as it is disturbing, Ms. Borden’s debut is, above all, honest. With any luck, we’ll get a lot more of the same from this talented novelist in the coming years.” —New York Journal of Books

“Sarah Gardner Borden’s exciting novel reads like a thriller, but it is the menacing nature of the very ordinary that is so scary here. She gets underneath the mundane details of  everyday life—All that stuff! The chores! The driving!—and reveals the real mess our expectations and desires can get us into. Kate, at the center, is deftly and affectionately drawn. The writing is confident, sharp, and exhilarating. This is an impressive debut.” —Bobbie Ann Mason, author of In Country

“An unsparingly honest portrait of one marriage’s devolution into train wreck. Borden covers it all—from the resentments that build over childcare to the sex that’s no longer fun. Reading Games to Play After Dark is as intimate an experience as reading someone’s diary.” —Lucinda Rosenfeld, author of I’m So Happy for You and What She Saw. . .
 
Games to Play After Dark at first disguises itself as a story of bright young love, until Kate and Colin's marriage changes, delicately and inexorably, from a charmed union into something dark and somehow unavoidable. Sarah Gardner Borden's debut is captivating and deftly rendered—a layered, disquieting examination of family life.” —Michelle Wildgen, author of But Not For Long and You're Not You
 
“Brilliantly structured and impossible to put down, Games to Play After Dark is the story of a young wife and mother who struggles earnestly, messily, even violently, to understand her own discontent with a seemingly ideal existence. The novel catches you up on Kate's troubled past just as that past catches up with Kate, so by the end you feel the full force of that collision: powerful, hopeful, unforgettable.” —Robin Black, author of If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This

About the Author

Sarah Gardner Borden holds an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in a variety of journals, including Open City, Willow Springs, the Chicago Reader, Other Voices, Literary Mama, and the New Haven Review. She lives in Brooklyn.

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Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Contemporaries Original
  • Paperback: 325 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; First Printing edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307740900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307740908
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,197,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Growing up female is not for sissies. When given the expanded choices of affluence and education, the defined roles of a patriarchal society inspire some young women to instinctive rebellion- whether muted or increasingly shrill. By its very nature, hysteria is a four-letter word. As a professor's daughter in New York, Kate appears to have the advantages that portend a successful life, but her relationship with her brilliant, conflicted father is the crux of a long-simmering discontent that eventually breaks wide open in Kate's marriage to Colin. The fact that first-born Kate is a female is innately offensive to Professor Allison, though he attempts to hide his disappointment. As Kate approaches the inevitability of womanhood, Allison grows more distant, hostile and ultimately disgusted as nature asserts its distinctions on his daughter. An ugly secret blooms in the dark, grows and festers as Kate struggles to accommodate life choices and the increasing burdens of having not only husband and family, but a "household".

Kate and Colin's early years are relatively smooth, the urgencies of new love hiding a multitude of small cracks, flaws easily rectified in the marital bed. Kate likes to play a little rough, Colin happy to oblige. But two daughters later the couple's spontaneity is regularly disturbed by the burgeoning demands of motherhood and domesticity, homemaking a territory fraught with conflict, either a noble effort on behalf of family or a dark hole where individuality is consumed by the demands of others. As Gardner Borden so aptly illustrates, the truth is that both conditions coexist.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Neecee on June 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Sarah Gardner Borden has an obvious gift for compelling language and swift narrative. She has used her distinctive voice to bring a familiar story to life, deftly capturing all the complex emotions of a disintegrating relationship.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By GmcCullen on May 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Marriage isn't easy. This is a great debut novel that exploits, explores and pushes buttons. It takes bravery and wit to carefully write about such a personal subject as marriage. Men who think their wives are brainless 'stepford wives' will be bothered by this book. Why? Because it tells the truth! The author doesn't make excuses for the protagonist, she just let's us glimpse into her marriage, which is about to implode .
It is a great book that read likes a thriller and it is impossible to put down(as long as you have half a brain!) Kate's inner thoughts are intriguing and haunting at once. Its dark and wonderfully written. Excellent!
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Games To Play After Dark (Vintage Contemporaries Original)
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