Thom Geier
May 02, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Story of a Marriage

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Andrew Sean Greer
publisher
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B

Just after WWII, Pearlie and Holland run across each other in San Francisco, far from the Kentucky hometown where they were teenage sweethearts. They’re settling down and raising their polio-afflicted son when a wealthy stranger shows up, claiming to be an ex-lover of Holland’s — and wanting him back. ”We think we know the ones we love,” begins Pearlie’s narration, signaling the surprises that Andrew Sean Greer has waiting. While Greer is able to throw Pearlie (and us) off guard by withholding key details, too often The Story of a Marriage reads more like a writing exercise than an organic and believable character study. B

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