State of the Union: A Marriage in Ten Parts

State of the Union: A Marriage in Ten Parts

by Nick Hornby


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A heartbreaking, funny, and honest look inside of a marriage falling apart and the lengths a couple would go to in order to fix it from the bestselling author of About a Boy and High Fidelity

Now an Emmy award winning SundanceTV series starring Rosamund Pike and Chris O'Dowd

Tom and Louise meet in a pub before their couple's therapy appointment. Married for years, they thought they had a stable home life—until a recent incident pushed them to the brink.

Going to therapy seemed like the perfect solution. But over drinks before their appointment, they begin to wonder: what if marriage is like a computer? What if you take it apart to see what's in there, but then you're left with a million pieces?

Unfolding in the minutes before their weekly therapy sessions, the ten-chapter conversation that ensues is witty and moving, forcing them to look at their marriage—and, for the first time in a long time, at each other.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593087343
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 235,845
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Nick Hornby is the author of several internationally bestselling novels including High Fidelity, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down, as well as several works of nonfiction, including Fever PitchSongbook, and Ten Years in the Tub. He has written screenplay adaptions of Lynn Barber’s An Education, which was nominated for an Academy Award, Cheryl Strayed's Wild, and Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn. He lives in London.

Date of Birth:

April 17, 1957

Place of Birth:

Redhill, Surrey, England


Jesus College, Cambridge University

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State of the Union: A Marriage in Ten Parts 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
cloggiedownunder 8 months ago
State of the Union is the eighth novel by award-winning British author and Bafta winner, Nick Hornby. Tom and Louise are having marital therapy. The state of their marriage is the result of a number of things including, but not limited to, “a spot of infidelity”. Tom is an unemployed music critic; Louise is a gerontologist; they meet at the pub across the road from the counsellor’s rooms before each session. Over an ale (Tom) or a white wine (Louise), they talk about what they will or won’t be discussing with their therapist, Kenyon; they examine their marriage and wonder if therapy can repair the damage; they talk about what went on in the previous session; and, as they watch them exit the rooms and sometimes enter the pub, they speculate on the lives of the couple whose session precedes theirs. Each of the ten chapters covers one such encounter at the pub. Some readers may find this little book difficult to read. The problem won’t be the issues raised, although they can be thought-provoking. Rather, it’s that the reader will often be laughing so much that tears fill the eyes, and make it hard to focus on the print. Thus the standard warning about reading the book in the Quiet Carriage on Public Transport, where other commuters may be disturbed by readers rolling on the floor laughing. Those with continence issues should also consider themselves forewarned. But for all that humour, there's wisdom and insight too. Much of the conversation between Tom and Louise will instantly strike a chord with married couples of a certain vintage. Tom manages to tie himself into several conversational knots. Brexit somehow gets in there, as does the possible gender bias of the counsellor, the offending lover, a fake cast, online dating, crosswords, sex, Rupert Murdoch and imaginary future partners. Apparently it's now a TV series: it would definitely translate well to the screen, so that is worth researching. A very entertaining read. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Penguin Random House.
JennyLibrarian More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy from NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review. I'd give this book 3.5 stars. I enjoyed this light read, except for the difficulty reading the dialog. It was often hard to tell which member of the married couple seeking counseling was speaking, because the speaker was not identified. This is the first book I've read by Nick Hornby and I'd be willing to read another. The device (a couple meeting in a pub before their counseling sessions) was interesting and I liked the characters.