The Story of a Marriage

  • by Andrew Sean Greer
  • Narrated by S. Epatha Merkerson
  • 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"We think we know the ones we love." So Pearlie Cook begins her indirect and devastating exploration of the mystery at the heart of every relationship: how we can ever truly know another person. It is 1953 and Pearlie, a dutiful young housewife, finds herself living in the Sunset District in San Francisco, caring not only for her husband's fragile health but also for her son, who is afflicted with polio. Then, one Saturday morning, a stranger appears on her doorstep and everything changes. All the certainties by which Pearlie has lived and tried to protect her family are thrown into doubt. Does she know her husband at all? And what does the stranger want in return for his offer of a hundred thousand dollars? For six months in 1953 young Pearlie Cook struggles to understand the world around her, and most especially her husband, Holland. Pearlie's story is a meditation not only on love but also on the effects of war, with one war recently over and another coming to a close. Set in a climate of fear and repression - political, sexual, and racial - The Story of a Marriage portrays three people trapped by the confines of their era, and the desperate measures they are prepared to take to escape it. Lyrical and surprising, The Story of a Marriage looks back at a period that we tend to misremember as one of innocence and simplicity.


What the Critics Say

"Andrew Sean Greer is a devastating new writer." (Michael Cunningham)
"[Greer] has an eerie maturity not often found in young novelists. His prose, incantatory but not overheated, idles along with a top-hatted, almost courtly elegance." (The San Francisco Chronicle)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Maybe it's me.....

After reading the rave reviews I decided to listen to this book. I'm at a loss for the rave reviews. While listening, most times, I felt
like I had walked in the middle of the characters conversation.
The characters seemed to talk in code to each other and I was not privy to what that code was. I wanted to like this story,but sadly I did not.
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- Cecelia Saunders

Thoughtful and moving book

From the first line of this novel, I was hooked. The writing is gorgeous and almost flawless, and the story's unexpected twists will make you question your assumptions. The narration is especially effective---I listened to it twice. Can't recommend this one more highly. It's my favorite out of a couple of dozen audio books I've listened to since I started using this service.
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- shopper

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-08-2008
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio