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Other People's Marriages

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When seductive young widow Nina Cort returns to her hometown to put the past behind her, a chance encounter with a childhood friend opens the door to a circle of five very close, seemingly happily married couples. They are Andrew and Janice Frost, forever giving parties; rich and successful Darcy Clegg and Hannah, his sexy young wife; Vicky and Gordon Ransome, expecting their third child; libidinous Jimmy Rose and Star, his enigmatic wife; and Michael Wickham, married to Marcelle, a woman as complex as her famous...
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1995-08-01 Paperback New

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Overview

When seductive young widow Nina Cort returns to her hometown to put the past behind her, a chance encounter with a childhood friend opens the door to a circle of five very close, seemingly happily married couples. They are Andrew and Janice Frost, forever giving parties; rich and successful Darcy Clegg and Hannah, his sexy young wife; Vicky and Gordon Ransome, expecting their third child; libidinous Jimmy Rose and Star, his enigmatic wife; and Michael Wickham, married to Marcelle, a woman as complex as her famous five-course meals. To Nina, they represent everything that she has lost: love, safety, children, companionship. But then she is drawn to one of the men, and their passionate affair ignites a series of infidelities that reveals the cracks beneath the apparently smooth surfaces of these marriages. Over the course of a year, each pair is forced to renegotiate the terms of their relationship. No one emerges unscathed or unchanged. Nina herself is in for a shock: The marriage that she mourns, that she saw as perfect, was flawed. Author Rosie Thomas's unerring eye shines a powerful spotlight on both the mundane and extraordinary moments that make up domestic life. Though the vulnerability of relationships is exposed, so, too, are the strengths of the marriage bonds, and of the bonds of friendship among women. Other People's Marriages is a powerful portrait of the vagaries of attraction, friendship, and love.

After her husband's death, Nina returns to her hometown in the English countryside. An encounter with childhood friend Gordon Ransome introduces Nina to a circle of very close, seemingly happy married couples. But Nina's intense affair with Gordon sets off a string of infidelities among the five couples, exposing the unrest and disenchantment under their contented facade.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bestselling author Thomas ( The White Dove ) traces an insightful and touching tale of love found and sustained in her latest novel of contemporary domestic mores. Since London evokes too many memories of her happy marriage, widowed Nina Cort--beautiful, rich, talented and still young--leaves for her nearby home town of Grafton, where she is drawn into the complicated emotional lives of five married couples. Initially envying the domestic comforts of her new friends, she soon picks up the sounds of strains. Marcelle Wickham is frustrated by her husband's reserve; Gordon Ransome, tired of his wife's preoccupation with the children, gravitates toward Nina, and she to him. Their eventual affair causes huge waves in the small community. Infidelity follows infidelity, resulting in both renewal and separation. Nina, as the stock figure who serves as catalyst for all the marital transformations, is somewhat romanticized, but this is just a small annoyance in a book filled with major pleasures, the foremost of which is Thomas's vivid and realistic depiction of men and women struggling to sustain romantic and erotic love amid the draining demands of family life. (May)
Library Journal
Seeking stability and security, recent widow Nina Strange Cort moves from London to ``Grafton, with its golf club and good schools and the golden cathedral at its heart.'' Her acceptance by a five-couple group of longtime friends seems to trigger a chain of circumstances--love affairs, dangerous accidents, and economic setbacks--that threaten every family. Suddenly, established patterns no longer suffice, and each of the many important adult characters faces self-redefinition. Effective, precise details vivify physical settings (various homes are as acutely rendered as the cathedral, the novel's central symbol), and the characters, some unappealing but all understandable, are well drawn. Equally clear is the central theme: life is a process of development, degeneration, and restoration marked by periods of crisis and intervals of calm. Most adults, suggests Thomas ( Bad Girls, Good Women , LJ 4/1/89), can handle--or at least appear to handle--both kinds of circumstance. For most fiction collections.-- Jane S. Bakerman, Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380722389
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/1/1995
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.92 (h) x 1.17 (d)

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