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The Forever Marriage Hardcover – June 14, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Hardcover (June 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590207211
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590207215
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,024,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Told with delicacy and humor."
(--Garrison Keillor

)

"A triumph of good writing."
(--The Washington Post)

"Bauer expertly maps the ferocity and anguish of a parent's love . . . Exceptional storytelling."
(--Entertainment Weekly)

"With quiet power, Bauer explores the isolation, betrayal, duty, and, finally, compassion that constitute an unhappy marriage . . . With lovely prose and fine pacing, Bauer (A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards) offers a sensitive portrait of a flawed woman coming to terms with a lifetime of regrets."
(--Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"Bauer deftly draws all the characters. Love or hate Carmen, readers won't soon forget the hot-blooded woman, and fans of Elizabeth Berg will want to meet her."
(--Library Journal)

"Written in a contemporary style that evokes the work of Anne Tyler, this is not only a well-nuanced story of youthful mistakes and adult consequences but also an unflinching look at one woman's fight against breast cancer."
(--Booklist)

"Bauer's second novel (A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards, 2005) offers an introspective study of a woman as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery . . . At times dispassionate and self-absorbed and at other times emotional and selfless, Carmen follows a path of self-discovery that is often painful, poignant and undeniably real. Bauer crafts an insightful story . . . It's a journey well worth taking."
(--Kirkus

)

"Summarizing the plot of this richly layered and nuanced story could leave an impression that it's grim. It isn't. The novel is infused with a sense of grace and redemption for characters Bauer makes us care about."
(--St. Paul Pioneer Press)

"Compelling . . . Bauer and The Forever Marriage poignantly and powerfully illustrate the great and often tragic ironies of life . . . a perfect read."
(--Minneapolis Star Tribune)

"Funny, surprising and gratifyingly honest, this novel poses unsparing questions about love and betrayal and the reasons we make the choices we do."
(--More Magazine)

"While in many ways a quiet story with a subtle arc, it is also an emotionally powerful page-turner—memorable and exquisitely written."
(BookReporter.com)

About the Author

Ann Bauer is author of a novel, A Wild Ride up the Cupboards, and co-author of a culinary memoir, Damn Good Food. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Elle, Redbook, and The Sun. From 2006 to 2010, she was a regular contributor to Salon. She lives in Minneapolis. Visit annBauer.com.


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Customer Reviews

The characters were all really well developed.
Shellbell
I really like this book, read a article about it in the sunday paper and decided to read it.
lunatoons
I had to finish the story although at some point it became a little too predictable.
930diva

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on July 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Forever Marriage blew me away with its intelligence and unflinching honesty. Carmen is a deeply flawed, deeply relatable character, and Bauer analyzes her far-reaching, sometimes kind-hearted and sometimes just plain wrong-headed choices with a clear gaze and a lovely, surprising style. This is a book about a complex woman and a troubled marriage, and Bauer depicts both with compassion and clarity. When I put the book down I felt something I don't always feel, as a reader: that my own intelligence was respected and challenged as I was granted access to Carmen's thoughts and emotions. I can't recommend this highly enough!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Steven Reads on July 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
After reading the stellar (all 5 star) reviews for "The Forever Marriage," I decided to buy and read it. Knowing this was a novel with "a feminine slant" to it, nonetheless I am an adventuous reader, especially when the reviews warrant me to be.

Good writing? yes. Characters described in detail? Yes. Contemporary, true-to-life story? Could be. But other than a true-to-life topic, this novel had a convenient, sort of predictable and less than fulfilling ending which (finally) came. There was a lot of plodding, redundant and (overly) depressing subject matter and dialogue in which the author seemed to allow herself to go repeatedly without much anecdotal uplifting writing - not necessarily humorous, given the subject matter - but a chuckle here and there could have improved the story.

It was a challenge for me to finish this book and when I finally did I was less than satisfied then previous reviewers.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Merle Minda on June 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This novel is about imperfect characters, an imperfect marriage and the strains and rewards of going on with life -- in this case -- also in the face of huge physical obstacles. These characters touched and spoke to me because of their imperfections -- and I could relate. Carmen, the main character -- stuck in her imperfect life -- reaches out and grabs tightly onto your heart, remaining there for the duration and long afterwards. Her life with her unloved husband, her children, her lover, her adored mother-in-law, and friends faces unbelievable obstacles -- her husband's death, her own terrible breast cancer diagnosis and fight to stay alive, her children's problems. It never ends but then, it doesn't for any of us, does it? The mathmetician husband's thinking and theme grounds the whole novel somehow in improbability and how expected the totally unexpected can be. The riveting story, and the incredible and luminous writing, touched me with every word.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By penemac on July 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved how the story was weaved together and kept interesting by the flashbacks and current events. The ending was slightly disappointing but I understand the character's flaw much better let's just say.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ms Stephanie on June 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The world of Carmen, the protagonist of THE FOREVER MARRIAGE, is a familiar American one: nice suburbs; pretty, smart, family. But Carmen has dark secrets and harbors an unspoken tangle of desires and regrets that only come to light when her unloved husband dies. Her affairs, her feelings about motherhood (especially having a learning disabled child at a young age), her yearning for independence even though she's not sure who she is and what she wants, exactly--I just loved her, and I could not put this book down!

She writes so well that it doesn't feel too "writerly"--it just feels real. The conversations, confrontations, sex scenes--they are all brilliant. One to pass on to your best friends (especially the married ones) once you're done!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brenda I. Reyes on July 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was surprised by this book! Upon reading a review at More magazine I decided it would make a nice read. Got it for my Kindle app. This is one great book. It reminds me of Ann Tyler's The Amateur Marriage a little bit. Carmen and all the characters thar surround her-including her children and mother-in-law, are very relatable. Carmen is one normal woman who in my personal opinion has not found a passion or higher calling and gets trapped in living life. When life turns out to be a routine and not what she expected, she seeks solace in affairs and begins an escapist act. When finally free from her marriage, Carmen learns, the hard way, that what she wanted to escape from is all she ever wanted. Great writing. Concise, descriptive and with the right balance of dialogue and narration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erin M on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story never picks up. I tried to give it a chance and read half of it. You just never really empathize with the main character. You can't understand why she has no real passion or interest in anyone but herself. She's a very self-centered, un-relatable character, which just makes the whole book boring.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trout Lowen on June 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Forever Marriage, Ann Bauer's second novel, offers something that few new novels do these days: complexity. We meet first Carmen on the day she becomes widow, but rather than grieving for her husband Jobe, a brilliant but socially awkward mathematician, she sees his death as a long awaited liberation from the tedium of a marriage she should never have agreed to. Carmen has stayed in the marriage for the same reasons so many people stay in failed relationships, for the children, for the security, and because while staying is hard, leaving is harder. But when a cancer diagnosis forces her to confront her own mortality, Carmen revisits her life, the decisions that she's made, and her feelings for Jobe. What follows is a tale of love, loss and, ultimately, a kind of clear-eyed redemption. Ann's writing is descriptive without becoming overbearing and her characters reflect the complexity and messiness of real life. A terrific read.
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