Leah Greenblatt
August 07, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

A Happy Marriage

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Rafael Yglesias
publisher
Scribner
genre
Fiction, Memoir

We gave it an A-

Rafael Yglesias’ autobiographical novel — he too was a literary wunderkind who met and married a vivacious beauty named Margaret, and then lost her, devastatingly, to cancer — dovetails in alternating chapters the beginning and end of a 30-year marriage. But A Happy Marriage is far from a nuptial hagiography. He recounts the triumphs and failures of a well-matched relationship with raw, often brutal honesty. Any 21-year-old can rhapsodize over the curves of his beloved’s cheekbones; it’s the decades that follow — battered by infidelity, altered by age and circumstance, ravaged by disease — that reveal both the limits and transcendence of a true, lasting love. A?

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