Customer Reviews for

A Happy Marriage

Average Rating 3.5
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
  • Posted October 24, 2010

    Recommend - Intense, Sad but Beautiful1

    A Happy Marriage
    October 4, 2010
    Rafael Yglesias
    This book was so sad and so happy and so beautiful all at the same time. A very intense read showing the life of a marriage - its ups and downs, raising kids, jobs, friends, extended families, and illnesses and the impact that these each can have on the marriage and the people in the marriage. It will definitely make you sit back and reflect on your life and everything going on around you. Relationships make you grow up in different ways with different people. I think Rafael has shown that people change over time and depending on the person's personality they make choices that sometimes impact others negatively and other times they make choices that have a positive impact.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 22, 2009

    Moving, beautiful written exploration of love

    A Happy Marriage is a beautifully written story based actual events. The author, Rafael Yglesias, retells the first three weeks as a young man courting his wife, Margaret Cohen, and the last three weeks of her life. The structure of the novel enables the reader to become involved with the characters as young adults starting life and then as participants in a 30 year marriage. It is a book that will make you cry and laugh. The author is very open and honest in a way that could only have been possible because of his wife's death. He has given us a portrait of what is is to love, not in a perfect way, but in a profoud one. I recommend this book. You will be thinking about it long after you finished the last pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A true and beautiful portrait of a marriage

    "A Happy Marriage" is one of those books that will stay with me forever. Successful marriages are fascinating and every one is different in its combination of tenderness and power. But there is something that seems to be at the heart of all of them, and I have never seen it pictured so clearly as in A Happy Marriage. It goes beyond negotiating a balance in that biological imperative of male DNA wanting multiple receptors and female DNA wanting a secure environment to raise young. What Yglesias is able to do is to highlight that still point where the individual soul's need to be really known is balanced against the anger and fear that exposure brings. Usually the center of the storm can't hold, but in a successful marriage, somehow both people are able to hang on for dear life and make it through, even if they don't know how or even why. By the time "love" as we think of it has endured 30 or more years, it becomes something else entirely, and A Happy Marriage shows in detail exactly what that is.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2011

    Could have been much better

    I was very excited when I started reading this book. I thought the idea behind it was a good one: what makes a marriage a marriage. I enjoyed the first part, but the second part was a total disappointment. Going back and forth between the past and present of Margaret and Enrique's life together was interesting at first, but it became very annoying in the second part when the change between past and present is done every other paragraph. Therefore, instead of building up towards the end it made the book pretty boring for the last ten chapters. Also, the excessive importance given to Enrique's erectile dysfunction was distracting and superfluous, while on the other hand little importance was given to how and why they fell in love. Half of the book is filled with repetitive and irrelevant information; there were issues discussed in the first part in detail and totally forgotten in the second, for example Bernard. It seems as though towards the end there was a rush to finish the book and deliver it to the editor, who did not perform a good job either. For short: it had everything to be a great book, but failed at it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 12, 2010

    Lasting Effect on Reader

    A Happy Marriage is a moving piece of fiction based completely on the author's life and marriage with his wife Margaret. It is the rare self-portrait that includes the good and the bad, the proud moments and the shame and regret of mistakes made in life. However, it is the most honest story I've read in a long time, refusing to gloss over the sadder or graphic details, instead reflecting back on a life well lived and a truly happy, close marriage. What makes the story so poignant and hard to put down is the vivid detail of their years together, the strengh that the author finds in himself in not only caring for his terminally ill wife but in recognizing his faults and moving on.Most people would not be able to come to terms with the honesty he shows, which will earn this book a permanent place in my library. If you want to be moved by a story, read this at once.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A good read

    I enjoyed this book in spite of the topic. While Margaret's death is sad, the format of the story was interesting. I enjoyed the back and forth from when they first meet to when Margaret is dying. While I was disappointed in Enqrique's cheating on Margaret, I was pleased that he stuck with her at the end. Good writing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2009

    Devastatingly beautiful

    I finished reading "A Happy Marriage" two days ago (actually, I could not put it down) and am still brought almost to tears when I think if it. It is one of the most achingly beautiful, honest and devastating pieces of literature that I have ever read. And to have this beautiful love/life story told from a very male perspective was so enlightening - causing me to look at my father's infidelities, my failed marriages, and my current relationship in a different way. A very moving story....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2009

    Beautifully told

    Yglesias's novel is beautifully wrought, with meticulously crafted characters moving through the heartbreaking denouement of a thirty-year romance. Enrique, the protagonist, is saddled with the burden of herding his family through the final days of his wife Margaret's life. In between the episodes of final goodbyes and medical crises, the reader sees how their romance started and how it unfolded through their years of happy marriage.

    Of course, it could hardly be happy in the sense of blissfully moving from one joyous moment to the next. They have their problems, including the near dissolution of their marriage in its early years. What makes the reader cheer from the sidelines, even while it is revealed that Enrique had an affair, is the way he desperately wants to tell his wife, at the end of her life, how much he loves her, how much her very existence has made life worth living. His fear, as he coordinates a social calendar of final goodbyes for her friends and family, is that he won't have a chance to tell her. This fear is pervasive, and seeing how these final days unfold make the novel engrossing.

    Yglesias employs beautiful turns of phrase throughout the novel, putting words to feelings that many have experienced while dealing with the illness and death of a loved one. Enrique reveals how difficult it is to help other people cope emotionally, when he is trying so hard himself to do that as well: they were "demanding he put Band-Aids on their scrapes while he was bleeding to death" (88). Enrique deals with the demands of family, particularly Margaret's parents concern with funeral arrangements. In passages like this, Yglesias shines in describing Margaret's mother's need to control the arrangements, to have them just the way her family has always had them, because the need for something familiar would almost make one feel safe in the midst of the uncertainty of a life without Margaret (184).

    There are witty passages as well, like Enrique's internal debate about selecting pants to wear on his first date with Margaret (129). Enrique and Margaret are great conversational foils, never devolving into the pattern of saying the same things to each other repeatedly, nor remaining silent because, after all these years, there is nothing left to say. Their relationship is alive and vibrant, and they still can surprise each other when they open their mouths. This is something beautiful to see, and it makes the ending of the novel so hard to bear.

    The first chapter didn't draw me in to the novel the way that the second - and each subsequent chapter - did. I do not mention this as a critique, but rather so that readers know that they might not be enthralled on first meeting the characters, but it is worth hanging on for a few more pages to let this story get a running start.

    I think the great strength of this novel is the detailed expression of the emotions that swirl around the beginning and end of this marriage. These characters are vibrantly alive, and will remain lodged in my mind for some time now. It is an excellent read, even if it leaves the reader in tears.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2