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This Side of Married Audio CD – Unabridged, May, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The venerable Jane Austen would no doubt be astonished to find herself compared via back cover copy to the author of this dreary, plodding tale of matrimony and mishegas in modern-day Philadelphia. Dr. Evelyn Rubin became a doctor at a time when women simply didn't become doctors, but in her 60s, her only source of pleasure is getting her own daughters safely married off. She's succeeded with the middle child, Isabel, who hasn't been able to get her husband to impregnate her; but her bitter disappointments are goody-goody Alice, the eldest, 38, and woefully single, and wild-child Tina, the youngest, who subscribes to the blow-and-throw disposable-man school of dating. Men of varying degrees of suitability wander in and out of the story, upsetting the lives of our three heroines in various ways. Unfortunately, neither the men nor the ensuing turmoil are interesting enough to sustain readers' interest. Sedate to the point of colorlessness ("Still, she did not actually broach the subject with him but asked instead, 'So, when did you first become interested in me?' "), this is an excellent lesson in the difference between going through the motions and pulling out the stops; the ranks of wedding lit won't be improved by this addition.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

"Love at first sight," "whirlwind courtship," and "happily ever after" are not mere cliches in the Rubin household; they are the truisms that Dr. Evelyn and Judge Rubin have fed their three daughters throughout their legendary 40-year marriage. They have, therefore, unwittingly set impossibly high standards, ones each daughter despairs of ever achieving for herself. Unable to conceive a child, Isabel's marriage to Theo is failing rapidly, while Alice chalks up yet another in a long string of disappointing relationships, and Tina becomes engaged to a man who is still legally married. You can almost hear their parents asking, "Where did we go wrong?" Smart and insightful, with just the right combination of common sense and cynicism, each daughter ultimately follows her heart to her own, rather than her parents', storybook ending. Pastan cunningly reveals the myriad sides of being married--the good, the bad, and the ugly--in an engaging look at the current state of love and courtship. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786186992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786186990
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4.8 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,220,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Doña on June 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
I would highly recommend This Side of Married by Rachel Pastan as an ideal book for any women's book group.

The story, set in Philadelphia, revolves around three sisters and their overbearing mother. The mother's goal is to see each of her daughters happily married and pregnant. The daughters, each in her own way, struggle to obtain the good life, which includes finding the ideal spouse. The book is fast-paced and very enjoyable. My book group had one of its livelier discussions about family dynamics and marriage.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Cohen on June 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
I loved this book! When I finished it, I found myself missing the characters something awful. Pastan has successfully updated Austen's Pride & Prejudice by exploring the age-old issues of meddling mothers, jealous sisters, disappointing suitors and the drive to mate with humor, wit and intelligence. The story draws you in and deftly adds characters and plot twists that keep you engaged throughout.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By patcat on April 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm a sucker for just about any book that "adapts" a jane austen book or theme, and when this was described as "austenesque", i had to read it. am very glad i did. the characters are interesting and the book is very well-written, but for my money the best "pride & prejudice" adaptation is "Jane Austen in Boca" by paula marantz cohen. However, this book, although not as funny as the cohen book, still captures the family themes and sister characters nicely. i'm looking forward to rachel pastan's next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Lively on February 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This Side of Married is about three sisters. Alice, the oldest is considered "The Princess." Isabel, the middle is "The little Missus/married one". Tina, the baby is "The Sex Kitten". The sisters grew up in Philadelphia raised by a Nanny while their Mother, a Doctor aka "Doc" and their Father who was a Judge worked to give their children the best of everything.

The story revolves around Isabel who has unsuccessfully tried to become pregnant with her husband, Theo. She is struggling with the dilemna of not knowing if she is only staying in the marriage in hopes of having a child, not wanting to dissapoint her parents or if she is truly in love.

Alice is a 38 year old single lawyer who quickly becomes engaged with a man (Anthony) who has two kids/divorced twice.

Tina is a single 29 year old who has always gotten her way. All the men love her and women hate her.

This Side of Marriage deals with the different relationships of three sisters and a Mother (Doc) who likes to meddle. Doc wants to make her girl's lives perfect when they are all in pieces.

To be honest, I didn't like the ending. My first thought was, "There has to be a sequel!!". You allow the characters to disappear inside your head for a few days hoping that there will be an ending. Only to discover that there isn't. There's many unanswered questions and you left wondering what lies ahead for Alice, Isabel and Tina.

Rachel Pastan - if you are reading this review ...I really enjoyed your first novel. Please give a thought to writing a sequel to let us know how the Rubin sisters turn out. :-)
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amy Sadowsky on June 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read the excellent review of "This Side of Married" in the Boston Globe and bought the book immediately. I love this novel--the intriguing characters, the unexpected situations, the humor, and the wisdom. I couldn't put it down and have recommended it to all my friends.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books that just doesn't seem deserving enough of 4 stars, but 3 is too low, so I guess it's in the middle. This book was enjoyable, a cute little read about the men/mother problems of three sisters.

There's Alice, the oldest, who is knocking on 40's door and has never been married, or even in a serious long-term relationship. Isabel, who after 12 years of marriage is second guessing the whole arrangement, mostly due to the fact that they are seemingly unable to conceive. And Tina, the baby of the three who goes through men left and right. Then there's 'Doc', the girls mother. She's constantly putting in her two cents about their love lives, when their gonna get married, or how to fix marital problems. She was kinda annoying.

I liked Alice for the most part. She was a little wishy-washy, and you could see a mile away where her relationship with Anthony (the Doctor who works with their mother) was going. Isabel is the narrator of the book, and she didn't really have any substance to her, no real issues (besides the ending). Everything with her was about trying to have a baby, not working but kinda wanting to, and her uncertainty about her marriage. Tina I hated. Though we never learn much about her, what we do know I really didn't like.

In the end it's a cute book. A quick read to pass the time on a miserably hot day. But don't pick this up expecting much more than that, you'll be disappointed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Samantha W. Mckevitt on May 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
What do these 3 whiny selfish sisters have to do with Austen's classis sparkling comedy of manners? Mrs. Bennett was neither cold nor bullying of her brood of British daughters? The characters in Pride and Prejudice are likable unlike this horror. I was delighted to pick this up, but it turned out to be so disappointing.

The sisters and their mother, "Doc". are so thinly drawn. The author labels each one and we never see beyond that. The mother was so exaggerated she could never garner any sympathy. The men from the father to the assorted husband/boyfriend/fiance types were also like paper dolls, nothing was there. I never cared about these people.

If you want a book about marriage and sister, reread Jane Austen!
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