Amateur Marriage

Amateur Marriage

by Anne Tyler

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Amateur Marriage 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
just-a-thot More than 1 year ago
It is so hard to end a book like Amatuer Marriage. Following these young people thru life, and getting to know the family, with all there faults just like us, it was difficult to get to the end. Very emotional, and hard to say goodbye. Highly recommend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All we want to know from a customer review is: do you like it or not? So do I like it? Yes! Emphatically!
bookwormteri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
No big plot here. Just a family, living life. Surprisingly gratifying and enchanting. Michael and Pauline meet just when America is entering the second world war. They fall in love, marry, have children, and then wonder why they marry. They have so much sturm and drang in their relationship that you almost cheer when Michael leaves. Once he does though, you miss them together, you miss their dynamic, and by the end of the novel, you know that they always loved each other. The characters are all so human, so lovable, foibles and all. I really enjoyed this book.
alanna1122 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anne Tyler has created a family of well formed characters in The Amateur Marriage. Terrible things happen to them, lives do not go as planned and over all they live superlatively imperfect lives. Nevertheless - I found that I cared and worried about all the people in this family. I have to admit, the plotline was so real and upsetting in places that I found my mood was affected by it well after I had put the book down. I can't say that it was an enjoyable read, but it was well written and compelling.
magst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of Anne Tyler's best books!!! Michael and Pauline get married during excitement and frenzy of WWII. These are two people that, had they met at another time, would not have ended up together . As always Tyler writes about most painful and funny aspects of marriage between Michael and Pauline is such a heart wrenching way that you can't help but feel sorry for them both.
jopearson56 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought to read another Anne Tyler book as I enjoyed Digging to America earlier this year. I listened to the downloadable audio version of this one (but this is the closest record I can find). It was interesting enough to finish, but I didn't care for the style as much as Digging, and I didn't care for either of the main characters, they were both just annoying -- especially the wife. So it wasn't a favorite.
AuthorMarion on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this novel by Anne Tyler two attractive young people rush into marriage at the beginning of World War II. Over the years they experience the same things as their friends but can't seem to mend differences unlike other couples. When they finally move to an upscale neighborhood only Pauline (the wife) is happy; Michael misses his friends and the area where he grew up. Too soon they find themselves responsible for a grandchild but instead of this drawing them closer it broadens the gap between them. A return trip to the old neighborhood some thirty years later finally convinces Michael that you can't go home to the same things you once knew. In this book author Anne Tyler rounds out her characters with such depth that this reader felt on an intimate basis with them. While the story touches on everyday aspects that everyone will recognize, the characters are sure to evoke a sense of rightness with the way they are brought to life. A pleasure to read.
lesen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
long-winded! I thought this book would never end!
LarryWampler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sympathetic portrait of a poorly matched couple who never manage to bridge the gap between them. Despite their good-faith efforts, they remain incomprehensible to each other, over decades of marriage. Along with insights about marriage, Tyler offers an evocative glimpse of small town life in Post-WW II America.
jepeters333 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the 1940's, Michael and Pauline get married but are very different from each other. The book follows the couple through their lives. They have 3 children, the oldest one disappears and Michael and Pauline end up raising that daughter's child.
mrstreme on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once again, Anne Tyler takes a poignant look at everyday life in her The Amateur Marriage. In this book, Tyler examined the ups and downs of marriage and family life through main characters, Michael and Pauline. The story opened with the couple meeting during the whirlwind of the attack of Pearl Harbor. They married after a brief courtship ¿ each with their own goals and opposite personalities. Michael was quiet, calculating and withdrawn; Pauline was talkative, extroverted and impulsive. With some couples, the opposing personalities strengthen their marriage, but Michael and Pauline struggled deeply with communication. I wanted Michael to talk more openly and Pauline to really listen. They faced many hiccups ¿issues with their children, deaths of their parents and raising a grandchild ¿ but they always missed the mark about being open and honest with each other.This story was a great primer on what to do and not do with your spouse. Perhaps engaged couples could benefit from the lessons taught in The Amateur Marriage. Despite the many books, counselors and friendly advice, we really are amateurs when we marry. To me, Tyler is at her best with The Amateur Marriage. Some readers may get frustrated with her narrative style and leaping time frames, but it did not distract me. If you loved Breathing Lessons or The Accidental Tourist, then I would highly recommend this book to you.
cindyloumn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked it in an interesting way. It was sort of a slow soap opera. You never knew what would happen. I didn't like that she skipped around so much in the time frames. Each chapter could be 5-10 yrs from the other. The lesson was great though. That even if you feel your marriage isn't right, real, etc, you can still love that person forever. Doesn't mean also that you nec. should marry.5/8/04
readingfiend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting cast of characters. Michael and Pauline get married but you don't ever really feel like they loved each other. I remember feeling very annoyed with Pauline by the end of the story!
co_coyote on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you are looking ahead to 14 hours on an airplane, any book by Anne Tyler is a winner. They are interesting, fun, quirky, and easy to read when you are half asleep. But that said, this is not one of my favorites. If you have a choice, pick up Back When We Were Grownups instead of this one. That's the book where I think she got this story right.
phoebesmum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A marvellous, multi-layered novel: a detailed, non-judgemental portrait of the most typical marriage imaginable, full of startlingly real and recognisable (¿Oh my god, that¿s my dad!¿ characters) and, at the same time, a series of snapshots of the mid-to-late 20th century: a clannish Polish neighbourhood at the (American) outset of the second World War, ghastly never-had-it-so-good 50¿s suburbia, the growing discontent of the sixties, the multi-ethnicism of the present day. Flawlessly written, a beautiful book.
hklibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A little less dysfunctional than Anne's earlier books--which is a relief. Love the Baltimore familiar background--always a comfort.
DLayton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tyler's characters are so easy to identify with. The way the novel moves throughout time and jumps to various perspectives is interesting and makes the work seem very intimate. A sense of separation prevails as the characters combat each new challenge. A very moving novel.
judithwines on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pauleen and Michael meet in the heady days after pearl harbor and marry a while later in a similar blur. The strength of this domestic tale is how well the characters are captured. The narrative follows the two for the next 50 years, through the running away of their daughter and the disintegration of their marriage. I did this as an audio book (read by the excellent blair brown) and found myself cringing at the dialog, not because it was bad but because it was so real and I wanted the characters to be less cruel to one another. While this is not a happy book, it is a sobering one, which led me to think about my own relationship and relate strongly to mike and pauleen.
Alirambles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second Anne Tyler book I've read, and the second disappointment. She writes along the types of themes that I tend to like, but this book had me impatient and kind of grumpy.Not that I expected it to be uplifting--it's the story of an unhappy marriage, after all. But I kept wishing for something to hold onto, some thread to pull me through the story and tie it all together and help me make sense of it, and that thread was missing. Often this thread is the primary characters, but Michael and Pauline left me at a loss much of the time. The secondary characters lacked depth--Michael and Pauline's children and grandchildren float in and out of the storyline and by the time you've figured out how old they are in ten years have gone by and they seem like completely different people. A daughter runs away and we don't know her well enough to care whether she's coming back. A grandson who lives with the main characters and is very important to both of them, is like a shadow that crosses through the prose here and there--the segment in which he speaks the most is the one in which he's pulling away. The climactic moment when they all come back together again shows the main characters at the periphery if at all--we're supposed to care how these characters we hardly know react to each other?I will admit, too, that I'm not crazy about lifespan books. Some authors love to follow characters through until the end of their lives but I like to be left with a little lift, a moment to wonder what will happen next. This book left me with nothing but relief that it was over.
segal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was a big fan of Tyler's earlier books, then lost interest. This is the first one I've liked in a while--about a girl and boy from different backgrounds who fall in love and marry during World War II, have three children, move to the suburbs and eventually split up. As usual, Tyler creates a wonderful background with the Baltimore setting.There are so many wonderfully observed moments and, as usual, I love the Baltimore setting.
acadiagirl_05 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really throughly enjoyed this book, I think mainly because the characters seemed so realistically obnoxious and annoying. At some points you feel like slapping them, but for the most part you think "people are like this" and it saddens you. But overall I think Anne Tyler did a great job with this book.
dianaleez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tyler at the height of her powers; a novel that rings true. But so sad.
mhgatti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ah, it's the classic story: Boy meets Girl, Boy marries Girl, Boy and Girl have a family, Boy and Girl spend thirty years questioning their decisions and wondering why they ever married each other.Okay, maybe it's not a classic love story, but it does serve as the basis for Anne Tyler's novel The Amateur Marriage. It's the story of a couple who fell in love shortly after Pearl Harbor and did what all young couples did back then, they got married and started a family. Friends and family see them as the perfect couple - an example of opposites (he rational and introverted, she flighty and extroverted) attracting, but their differences often cause arguments and doubt. Do other seemingly "normal" couples have these same doubts?The book takes you completely through their story, from the 1940's to present day, sometimes in his voice, sometimes hers (and later from a grown son's point of view). As the decades roll by the book stops at major events in the life of this family and their impact on an already precarious relationship.While there's no doubting that this is an Anne Tyler novel (Baltimore setting, family story, dead-on dialog), the almost total lack of optimism kind of threw me. No matter how bad things got in other stories of hers, like Breathing Lessons, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, and The Accidental Tourist, there was always hope, but for most of this book you don't feel hopeful. Those novels also had their moments of humor, something else that is missing from The Amateur Marriage.And yet this novel is a good read not in spite of what it's lacking, but because of it. It's the story of two people who probably should have never gotten married, and that's not very hopeful or humorous. So it's not a happy story, but that doesn't mean it's not an interesting one. Tyler spends most of the time inside these people's heads and does a fantastic job getting both side's thoughts. You never blame one spouse over the other because neither is completely bad or completely good, they're just wrong for each other. It's not an easy story to tell, but I think Tyler does a good job tackling a tough subject.
SeriousGrace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book I will definitely read again someday. When thinking about this review I wanted to box this story into a corner and call it a sad book, but I couldn't. It's such an accurate portrait of how a marriage (and ultimately, a life) can end up that I can't just call it "sad." How can I when it's beautiful, funny, tragic, infuriating, intelligent, frightening and honest all at the same time?Michael and Pauline are two teenagers whose lives collide at the start of World War II. Their romance is the result of a marriage between a fear of the future and the desire to be someone else at that very instant. Michael wants a girlfriend, any girlfriend. Sensing Pauline's fascination with the war effort he spontaneously enlists. Pauline wants a soldier for a boyfriend. Any soldier. The culture and uncertainly of the times have thrown these two people together in such a way that neither of them can back out, despite the growing realization they were never meant to be together.One things leads to another and soon thirty years have gone by. Pauline and Michael divorce and life goes on. And on. While the marriage didn't survive more than halfway through the novel, Michael and Pauline go on. Their relationship from beginning to end and beyond is captured beautifully.
sapsygo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I gave this book four stars, but I can't quite put my finger on why. I think this is a book where the sum is greater than the parts. The characters were decent (although sometimes quite obnoxious) and the story was reasonably compelling, but there was something about how it was all put together that made it more readable and interesting than it seemed like it should have been.