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If You're *Even Thinking* About Marriage, Read This Book
on May 29, 2001
I purchased this book on the recommendation of my best friend (a newlywed) when my boyfriend and I started preliminary discussions about "the future." A fiercely independent, practical, 25 year-old, I was looking for some insight into the feelings, worries, and expectations associated with early engagement and marriage. I was amazed by this book. Thank goodness for Marg Stark!
Stark's insightful, frank text is intended for female newlyweds, brides-to-be, or women considering "taking the plunge" who want to get some insight into the ups and downs of marriage. Written from the perspective of Stark (a writer/newlywed) and based on interviews with 50+ recently married woman, this book covers everything from mourning the loss of singlehood, to addressing and overcoming the money/power dynamic, to finding fulfillment in sharing your life with another person - while still maintaining your independence.
So many books out there are about "Planning Your Dream Wedding." However, this book gracefully avoids talk of wedding (except in two of the early chapters), instead concentrating on the time after the honeymoon.
Engagement and marriage is a difficult time. Not only must a bride deal with the pressure of a wedding, but also the joy/dramas associated with sharing her life with someone else. Often times, this happens at the same time a bride is trying to earn a living, raise children, go to school, find a new apartment, etc. With each chapter, Stark chips away the stereotypes associated with brides and marriage. Brides don't have to plaster on a smile all the time just because they're told that "this is the happiest time of your life." Marriage can be fun and sexy.
Also, the book carefully avoids the declarative feel of a "how to" book. Stark simply shares her observations and leaves it up to you to make the decisions. You'll put down the book feeling like you just had a conversation with a sage, understanding friend over a steaming latte.
Here are a few notes:
- Both the author and the majority of the brides she interviewed are college-educated, 23-33 year-old professionals. That being the case, the content is skewed to that particular demographic.
- Stark uses many anecdotes from her own life (and that of her husband Duke) to illustrate her points. I found this engaging and enlightening. Some may find it repetitive and biased.
- The book is content-rich with well organized chapters. Readers can easily go back to re-read sections that interest them. (However, I strongly recommend reading it cover to cover.)
- This makes an excellent bridal shower gift.
This is not a book to miss. Highly recommended.