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"For anyone who has ever suspected something sinister lurking behind the craze of new-age spirituality, Jessica Grose has crafted just the tale for you. With the delicious bite of satire and the page-turning satisfaction of a thriller, Soulmates is a deeply compelling, funny and sharply observed look at just how far we will go to achieve inner peace."—Lena Dunham
A clever, timely novel about a marriage, and infidelity, the meaning of true spirituality, perception and reality from the author of Sad Desk Salad, in which a scorned ex-wife tries to puzzle out the pieces of her husband’s mysterious death at a yoga retreat and their life together.
It’s been two years since the divorce, and Dana has moved on. She’s killing it at her law firm, she’s never looked better, thanks to all those healthy meals she cooks, and she’s thrown away Ethan’s ratty old plaid recliner. She hardly thinks about her husband—ex-husband—anymore, or about how the man she’d known since college ran away to the Southwest with a yoga instructor, spouting spiritual claptrap that Dana still can’t comprehend.
But when she sees Ethan’s picture splashed across the front page of the New York Post—"Nama-Slay: Yoga Couple Found Dead in New Mexico Cave"—Dana discovers she hasn’t fully let go of Ethan or the past. The article implies that it was a murder-suicide, and Ethan’s to blame. How could the man she once loved so deeply be a killer? Restless to find answers that might help her finally to let go, Dana begins to dig into the mystery surrounding Ethan’s death. Sifting through the clues of his life, Dana finds herself back in the last years of their marriage . . . and discovers that their relationship—like Ethan’s death—wasn’t what it appeared to be.
A novel of marriage, meditation, and all the spaces in between, Soulmates is a page-turning mystery, a delicious satire of our feel-good spiritual culture, and a nuanced look at contemporary relationships by one of the sharpest writers working today.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Jessica Grose is a writer and editor. She was previously a senior editor at Slate and an editor at Jezebel. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Glamour, Marie Claire, Spin, and several other publications, and on Salon.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
INTERESTING, UNUSUAL STORY -- SOULMATES, by Jessica Grose, is an unusual book presented through narration, newspaper articles, and different points of view. The book opens as associate lawyer, Dana Morrison, sees a newspaper with her estranged husband's name on the front page. The article tells about the bizarre death of her husband and his girlfriend in a New Mexico cave. Though she's still upset from when Ethan ran off with Amaya to practice yoga and live the lifestyle promoted by a self-proclaimed guru, Lama Yoni, Ethan's mysterious death concerns her. So begins her quest to find out what truly happened to him. Dana contacts the sheriff's department having jurisdiction over Zuni Retreat, where Ethan and Amaya taught couples yoga. The staff can't give her much information, as Lama Yoni's high-powered lawyers have prevented the sheriff's office from ever visiting the Zuni complex. So Dana decides to sign up for a three-day stay at the retreat to discover whatever she can about the owner and what might have happened to her husband. In the Zuni library, she finds a book written by Ethan describing why he separated from her. Dana acknowledges the problems he saw in her, while also realizing Ethan was a free-loading narcissist. She also believes something's shady about the Zuni Retreat. Once back at work, Dana no longer has any motivation to work the long hours needed to become partner in her firm and takes a six-month sabbatical to delve into a lengthly investigation into Ethan's life at Zuni and his unexplained death in New Mexico. Pros: For the most part, the story is funny and not boring at all. The story is told through several different writing techniques. The characters are well-developed with unique quirks and relatable flaws. Cons: The ending. It didn't mesh with what I thought I knew about Dana's character. Overall: SOULMATES is a unique mystery full of quirky characters. I would recommend it to readers who prefer character-driven stories and/or those who enjoy mysteries. It's also a perfect book to take on vacation or for a relaxing weekend at home. If You Like This, You Might Like: SAD DESK SALAD by Jessica Grose, ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN and EMMA IN THE NIGHT by Wendy Walker, THE PERFECT STRANGER by Megan Miranda, THE LIGHT WE LOST by Jill Santopolo * See other book reviews at Blue Moon Mystery Saloon blog. ** An e-galley was provided by William Morrow and Edelweiss for an honest review.
I don't read adults novels, and this book is a very good example why. Don't get me wrong, it has an awesome concept. The beginning pulled me in enough for me to give it a try. The idea of a broken wife setting out to figure out who killed her cheating ex-husband sounds like a fun adventure to me. Sadly, that's not what I got as a reader. Being honest, I didn't read this book all the way through. I read the first 70 pages, and then skipped all the way to the end. I got tired reading about the main character's sorry excuse for a marriage, and the over used trope of a marriage failing because of lack of communication. Look, I get it. It happens in life, but I'm sick of those kind of relationships being promoted in adult literature. Especially when it's only used for entertainment purposes (like in so many books). The story itself dragged, and I didn't feel the desire to devote hours to reading the rest of the book. I did want to know what happened...I just didn't want to deal with the journey of getting there (which doesn't happen often for me). The ending made me so upset. I won't spoil it, but I will say I'm glad I skipped ahead, because I would have been even more furious if I had really spent hours reading this.
Soulmates is a standalone, satirical mystery novel written by Jessica Grose. Through the use of satire, this story features elements of New Age spirituality, the yoga culture, meditation practices, and how a stereotypical cult may operate/manipulate. The whole subject felt like one big internal chuckle and eye roll while you listen to a brand new duped fanatic talk about their amazing life discovery...and that's exactly how this novel is supposed to feel. On a non-satirical note, I found a real life lesson in watching the disintegration of a marriage. It's easy to expect that all the work we put into a new relationship will carry us through the long-haul but that's so far from the truth. The seasoned relationship is the one that requires the most nurturing. Like a garden, you can never stop caring for it or it will not continue to grow. Pay attention, show interest, be supportive, everyday remember why you chose that person, and grow your love ♥ My favorite quote: "When you have a partner that supports you fully, you can go places physically and metaphysically that you did not think were possible. You can walk right up to the edge of darkness, stare into the abyss and know someone is there to catch you if you fall."