From Publishers Weekly
In this well-researched and eminently readable study, journalist Scarf (Intimate Partners
) plunges into the lives of married people between the ages of 50 and 75, inquiring how their partnerships have changed, been renegotiated, reframed and refreshed as increased longevity has added up to three decades to the span of an average marriage. Conducting in-depth interviews with seven couples, the author poses perceptive and challenging questions to her subjects, asking how they have weathered difficulties, affairs, health problems, how they have disappointed or surprised each other over time and what are the major sexual issues that emerge at this time of life. The results, though hardly surprising (financial worries, lack of sexual desire and compromise are all recurring themes), are nonetheless stimulating, not least because these couples are so open, a testament to Scarf's skills as an interviewer. Her case studies are interspersed with chunks of data and interpretations that lend welcome empirical backup to her claims and add authority to this fascinating overview of an unexplored topic that should appeal to couples of all ages. (Sept.)
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"[An] engrossing investigation into enduring marriage...unexpectedly candid"
-The New York Times Book Review
"Scarf is good...a probing but tactful questioner, an active listener, and even, on occasion, a quasi-therapist."
-The Washington Post
"A journalistic book...the clearest message, both from the research and the couples, is upbeat."
"Scarf wonderfully captures those insights that give meaning and joy to life even as the clock ticks."
-Jerome Groopman, M.D., author of How Doctors Think