Jeff Giles
September 20, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Way We Live Now

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Marian Thurm
publisher
Bantam
genre
Romance, Fiction

We gave it an A-

The Way We Live Now is a funny, affirmative novel built on the premise that everybody loves somebody sometime. Spike and Leora have been married two years. Spike suffers from that fabled malady known as an intimacy problem, and he spends Thursday nights telling his therapist all the things he should be telling his wife. Seeking a confessor of her own, Leora secretly befriends Spike’s ex-wife, an edgy lonely-heart named Suzanne. Their friendship is based at least partly on the delight Suzanne takes in watching her ex-husband squirm. And, needless to say, things between Spike and Leora get worse before they get better. Thurm’s Manhattan-based book has a large, eccentric supporting cast — mostly aging Jewish widows and widowers whose chief occupation seems to be driving one another crazy. Thurm is a wonderfully empathetic writer. She reminds us of how awkward and public our love affairs are and how hard it is to fix everybody else’s life when we can barely get on with our own. She doesn’t try to warm her reader’s heart, just remind him or her that it’s there. A-

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