Listen to Me
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Married for years, Mark and Maggie are at a disconnect. Listen to Me follows them as they take their annual road trip to Mark’s parent’s house. Spanning just a day, the book magnifies the issues in their marriage. A few months prior, Maggie had been robbed at gunpoint and she is finding it increasingly difficult to view the world through the same lens she did prior to her attack. Once accommodating, Mark can no longer accept the new version of his wife. He perceives that she is no longer the strong woman he once thought she was and he is unsure of how to go forward but is hoping that a summer away will give them time to reconnect.
I knew going into this that Listen to Me is more of an introspective book. I love books that deal with marital issues and examine the relationship between spouses. I thought this was very well done. I tried to be empathetic towards both characters and what they were experiencing but man, Mark definitely came across super douche-y at times. I thought his expectations of Maggie were completely unfair, especially the passive aggressive way he went about dealing with his resentment. I could understand why he felt the way he did but it was difficult to see the assault drive a wedge between the two instead of bring them together.
SPOILER*** (kind of)
I won’t go into detail about the ending, but will say that it is a doozy. I could see it angering some people (Mom, you are one of those people. Do not read this book). It punched me in the gut–I didn’t see it coming and I was heartsick over it. But it appeared to bring Mark and Maggie together and so I will use that as the silver lining.
If you have any favorite fictional books that deal with the intricacies of marriage, I’d love to hear them!
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