Books Like Fates and Furies
Marriage is not only an emotional bond between two people, but also in many cases an economic union. This can place a huge strain on the couple involved if they are not both fully committed to the relationship. The complexity involved and adversity faced by people committing to a lifelong union is also why marriage and divorce is a favorite topic among so many authors. Lauren Groff is one of the authors who focused on this topic with her 2015 novel, Fates and Furies. Her story examines what it takes to keep a marriage successful and what can go wrong in the process. Readers who love getting caught up in the drama, the passion, the tension and the heartache of stories about married couples will enjoy the following books like Fates and Furies.
By Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner sees the protagonist, Toby Fleishman, in the process of getting divorced to escape his nightmare marriage. Toby has big plans for online dating and weekend-only parental duties, but finds his life turned upside down as his ex-wife, Rachel, drops off his two kids while he is still sleeping and then vanishes. The novel not only explores what happens afterwards, but also examines what caused the breakdown of Toby and Rachel’s 14-year marriage. Fleishman Is In Trouble focuses a lot on the nature of marriage and relationships, which makes it a great read for fans of Fates and Furies.
by Nora Ephron
Heartburn by Nora Ephron is an older novel that was published in 1983 that was based on the author's own marriage and divorce to her second husband. The protagonist, Rachel, is seven months pregnant when she discovers that her husband has fallen in love with another woman. This is a huge blow to her self-esteem as she had already moved to Washington, D.C., in support of her husband's career. Nora Ephron also went on to write the screenplay for the film adaptation that followed as well as the script for When Harry Met Sally.
by Elyssa Friedland
The Intermission by Elyssa Friedland is the story of Cass Coyne, a woman who has been married to her husband, Jonathan, for five years. Although Jonathan considers the ups and downs they face as a normal part of a healthy relationship, Cass isn't so sure anymore and thoughts of taking a break keeps her up at night. This leads to her suggesting a six month separation period so that she can figure out if she still wants the comfortable life that they have built together. The two ends up spending time apart on opposite coasts with only a monthly custody exchange for their beloved dog. The Intermission is a thought provoking look at love, marriage and the type of challenges that will be familiar to anyone in a relationship.
The Story of a Marriage
by Geir Gulliksen
The Story of a Marriage by Geir Gulliksen is about a man named Jon who sees his marriage of twenty happy years crumbling after his wife, Timmy, falls in love with someone else. Jon struggles to make sense of how this could happen by trying to see things from the perspective of Timmy. It forces Jon to examine how well he really knew his wife and how a marriage that had so much freedom could end up so broken. The Story of a Marriage is a very emotional tale and can be hard to read, but it is also very compelling and hard to put down once you start.
by Anne Tyler
The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler is a very complex examination of love, marriage and the erosion of both over time. The protagonists, Michael and Pauline, seem like the perfect couple and after love at first sight they quickly rush into marriage. However, it soon becomes apparent that they have very different personalities and also different expectations in life, which causes a lot of friction. Despite this they remain together and raise three children until their daughter, Lindy, runs away during her teens. It's an even that forces Michael and Pauline to re-evaluate their lives as their marriage continues to slowly crumble.
by Meg Wolitzer
The Wife by Meg Wolitzer is a story about marriage, but also the sacrifices that are often made in a relationship to keep it going. The husband in this tale is Joe Castleman, a celebrated author who is about to receive a prestigious literary price. However, his wife Joan has finally had enough of playing the role of a supportive wife while actually being the reason for his success behind the scenes. The story is narrated by Joan as she reflects on the marriage during a flight to Helsinki. The Wife was turned into a film adaptation starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce, which earned numerous accolades.
by David Nicholls
Us by David Nicholls is a bittersweet novel about love and family, as well as husbands and wives. Douglas Petersen is shocked when Connie, his wife of nearly 25 years, tells him that since their son is about to leave home for college she plans on leaving too. However, Douglas is determined to not only make his wife fall in love with him again, but also to win the respect of his son. To accomplish this Douglas plans on turning their last family holiday together into the trip of a lifetime. Unfortunately for Douglas, things don't exactly go as planned during the trip.
by Andrew Sean Greer
The Story of Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer is narrated by Pearlie Cook, the devoted wife of Holland Cook. The tale is set in 1953 with Pearlie not just caring for her husband's fragile health, but also their son who has polio. Everything is quiet and ordinary until one morning an old friend of her husband shows up on her doorstep and everything changes. The Story of a Marriage is not just the chronicle of a marriage, but also filled with plenty of narrative surprises that will keep readers guessing.