One could argue that this is a novel "where no relationship works." Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 05/19/11
Join Date: 04/21/11
Join Date: 06/13/11
In the real world some work and some don't. I believe Miranda's relationship is working at the end of the book and it explains why all of her male relationships went nowhere. If all three women would have fallen in love with their first attraction, I would have stopped reading the book and slotted it in the chick lit, fairy tale category. I kept reading because the characters seemed real as well as flawed as all of us are.
Join Date: 10/20/10
What does it mean to say a relationship "works"? For me, all these relationships "work" in their own way, even if they are not meant to last forever. Betty and Josie's marriage seemed to work just fine for almost fifty years. The fact that they're not together at the end of the book doesn't mean the relationship didn't work for those years, in my opinion. Same with Kit and Miranda. Their relationship made them happy and filled some need for a finite period of time. It worked for awhile. Relationships are dynamic. What works one day might not work the next, and what doesn't work at first may eventually be exactly what we need (see, e.g., Annie and Roberts)!
Join Date: 10/16/10
@Gendolyn: You raise a good point. There should be different measures of how a relationship works or fails. Popular culture and fairy tale argue for the"happily ever after forever scenario," but that might be unrealistic. One could argue that Josie and Betty's relationship was successful for a time, as you said. I do think, though, that the book pushes us to analyze what about relationships can make them successful - either in the short or long term. Clearly, love doesn't have much to do it, but respect, similar world view, etc may. I think that is a point Schine is trying to make. Using this criteria, few of the relationships work. What do you think?
Join Date: 05/19/11
Gwendolyn and Sarah make good points--there were several good relationships especially Betty's. The fact that it ended abruptly didn't mean the relationship was bad, rather it was due to Josie's immaturity and the "menopause" that many men seem to go through in suddenly needing a younger woman
Join Date: 08/14/11
I definitely don't agree that "no relationship works" in this novel. I think Betty's relationship with her daughters is a good one, even if they occasionally fall back into their traditional roles. As for romantic relationships, that's a bit trickier with this book, but even there I'd argue against the statement. Some things aren't meant to last forever, so just because there isn't a successful relationship at the moment, doesn't mean that the relationship never worked. I agree with Gwendolyn and Sarah on this.
Join Date: 04/15/11
How about the relationship between Miranda and Henry? I think that one helped heal Miranda after her failed career and impending lawsuits. It brought out her nurturing side, and she truly adored Henry. Relationships don't always mean it will lead to "adult" love.
Join Date: 05/28/11
Join Date: 07/20/11
Each of the main characters seemed to end up in disappointment and relationship failure, in my point of view. I thought that of the three main characters, at least one of them could have found a more meaningful relationship. The book is funny, which gives it a light-hearted feel, until the end, with its disappointment and grief.
Join Date: 08/17/11
Join Date: 06/16/11
I don't agree that none of the relationships work. As others have commented above, relationships work for a while and then change, for the better or worse. Relationships with the opposite sex seemed to be no more difficult than relationships with siblings or parents. All the characters had relationships that had shaped them, and continued to shape them. They all seemed to learn from them as well. I think Josie learned too late that he had a relationship that had worked. Annie was just opening herself to a relationship at the end, and Miranda had begun a new relationship. For all these characters, the care and feeding of relationships is an ongoing theme.
Join Date: 05/14/11
This depends on the relationship. If you mean between husband and wife, then I would answer, "No". We never find out if the Robert and Anne relationship works. The only relationship that worked in marriage was between Cousin Lou and Rosalyn.
Now the child parent relationships all worked from Rosalyn and Mr. Shpuntov thru the mother and daughters, and mother and sons.
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