Marriage. Jane Smiley has once again offered readers great bounty in her new novel titled, Private Life. Smiley riffs on a key question: what does a marriage mean? While set mostly in the early 20th century, when marriage may have seemed different from today, the feelings and action come through as both real and contemporary. Protagonist Margaret Mayfield marries Andrew Early and subordinates herself to him, leaving Missouri for California, and following his lead in building a life together. Margaret’s gradual awakening to who Andrew is occurs at a pace that allows the action of the novel to absorb a reader into a life and a relationship that comes alive on these pages.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
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