Cover image for The art of marriage : a guide for living life as two
The art of marriage : a guide for living life as two
Blyth, Catherine.
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Publication Information:
New York : Gotham Books, [2011]

Physical Description:
275 pages ; 20 cm
An argument in support of marriage draws on historical anecdotes and modern research as well as the insights of couples to share counsel on topics ranging from infidelity and intimacy to conflicts and the views of leading skeptics.
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HQ734 .B6595 2011 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HQ734 .B6595 2011 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HQ734 .B6595 2011 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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A witty, thought-provoking celebration of why marriage still matters-and how to make yours work-from the author of The Art of Conversation .

Today we no longer get married for the reasons our grandparents did: because our families say so, because we must marry to leave home, to have sex, to have financial security. So in this modern age, why marry at all? The Art of Marriage seeks to answer this question, in an enchanting guided tour of the three-legged race that is married life.

With anecdotes from history, the latest research, and insights about couples who stayed the course, Blyth offers entertaining advice on how to enjoy a successful marriage and answers vital questions such as can housework improve sex life? Why should husbands argue? And why must wives relax?

In the age of "Bridezillas" and over-the-top destination weddings, it is all too easy to lose sight of the greater meaning of saying "I do." A wedding is not an end-it's not about the race for the ring, or planning a blow-out event-it's the beginning of a journey, full of questions and mystery, and different for each couple. As Catherine Blyth so eloquently puts it, "Each story has at least two sides. Reconciling them is the art of marriage."

Author Notes

Catherine Blyth is a writer and editor. Her work has appeared in numerous British publications, including The Times and The Daily Telegraph . Despite her marriage to a mischievous gossip columnist, she still manages to enjoy a thriving social life.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Platitudes abound in Blyth's marriage primer follow-up to The Art of Conversation. "For many couples marriage is not the choppy water, but the vessel to carry them through life's voyage." Also present here are Blyth's sweeping, undocumented statements, like "most divorcees report being less happy after a break-up than before," and pat conclusions: Millionaire Chef Jaime Oliver's wife, Jools, for instance, has "enlisted in the cult of the mother goddess" because she gets up to make her children porridge. References are often outdated and observations about sex in marriage, such as "the most contented couples also have well-matched libidos" or, if getting into the sack at all is a problem, to "Just Do It," lack insight. Though Blyth notes that she surveyed a number of couples for her new book, her examples are either vague, weak, or undocumented. She seems to write from a far-away place, where feminism has not yet reared its mighty head: "There is plentiful evidence that men feel emasculated if they earn less than their wives or do women's work." For Blyth, the solution to fixing that rotting relationship is no more complicated than this: husbands, kiss your wives. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

The thrust of Blyth's (The Art of Conversation) newest book is that a lifelong marriage is worth all the angst and compromises that are necessary to make it work. Blyth uses examples from history (Napoleon), philosophy (Diderot), and popular stardom (Madonna and Guy Ritchie) to illustrate the challenges inherent in everyday issues like kids' runny noses, in-laws, and sexual desire. She acknowledges the unglamorous aspects of being married but puts marriage into the larger context of home and society. This is not so much a self-help guide for marriages in trouble as it is inspiration and assistance for those in relationships that are fairly healthy. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.