A yuppie married couple who lose their love and connection with each other and temporarily separate, only to work hard to rekindle it all again when they realize how much they mean to each other. In this interesting novel about marriage and therapy, Alicia and MJ appear to have the perfect life. He's a doctor, she's his beautiful, classy trophy wife. They have two great kids and live the upper-middle-class dream. This was what they married for, when Alicia was poor and beautiful and MJ was young, ambitious, and wanted a beautiful wife he could show off.
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But they haven't been emotionally invested in each other's lives for a long time, allowing themselves to get caught up in the rat race of yuppie living. They've grown cool and friendly and non-sexual and emotionally distant, and they haven't realized it. Alicia and MJ haven't been having sex or even date nights, and their conversations tend to focus on the kids. They've never told each other that they love each other. Everything seems wonderful though, until one day Alicia can't take it anymore when she realizes what her life has become and leaves, leaving a note for MJ when he returns from work. She takes the children to her parents' home with her.
Although MJ immediately begs for his wife to return and they talk to each other, they still refuse to confront each other. Both of them are simultaneously happy with the illusion that they had and afraid to destroy it for fear of what lies underneath, and yet desperately unhappy because their lack of emotionally fulfillment has left both of them depressed and lonely.
Slowly, with the help of their parents and a therapist, MJ and Alicia get down to the task of slowly and frighteningly opening themselves up to each other. After faking their marriage for so long, it is frightening to see who the true MJ might be, and who the true Alicia is. They have fights, and arguments, for the first time and over petty things initially. MJ begins forcing himself to come home earlier from work to spend time with his family, and Alicia spends less time organizing the house perfectly and more time speaking with MJ and trying to assert her opinions and her input on how things should go in their lives - such as the raising of their kids and their holidays. In bed, as well, the couple learns to share and experiment, moving beyond the perfunctory and conventional and they discover each other's desires and fantasies.
It is a novel without much dramatic plot development, but a lot of conversations and moving scenes between MJ and Alicia. The plot and drama and conflict is all in their hearts, heads and emotional transformations. And in the end the couple find themselves in a happier and emotionally healthier place, ready to begin marriage anew.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked this type of novel the best, as it's less "exciting" but a more realistic take on romance.
Best scene in story:
When Alicia says she's overwhelmed taking care of two kids despite having a nanny - it was so ridiculous and yuppie, but amusing.
Opinion about the main character:
Both characters had the courage to try and save their marriage, which is not easy.