Andrew Sean Greer - The Story of a Marriage (4 stars)

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Andrew Sean Greer - The Story of a Marriage

(Faber)

HISTORICAL TALE

Can you ever, really, truly know someone? Andrew Sean Greer begs this question with his third, remarkable piece of fiction, a compelling and beautifully-penned tale of love, long-kept secrets and motherly sacrifice set against a backdrop of race issues, repression and war in 1950s America. Written from the perspective of Pearlie Cook, The Story of a Marriage is an honest account of an often romanticised era as this quietly courageous housewife, her ex-soldier husband Holland, and son Walter’s seemingly serene lives are rocked by the appearance of an old acquaintance.

The novel will have you gripped from the start as the drama unfolds, with the only hints at the sudden plot twists coming from a sense of foreboding and tension pervading Greer’s elegant prose. The San Francisco-based author had a bestseller on his hands with The Confessions of Max Tivoli and there is no reason why this cleverly constructed and genuinely moving work shouldn’t do the same.

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