By: Sande Boritz Berger
Alex Pearl has it pretty good. She may be a bit bored but she’s happy and doesn’t want to rock the boat. In fact she wants to make the boat sturdier so she and her husband attend a weekend marriage retreat. Only her husband Donny finds a whole different idea of improving his marriage.
I guess he goes by the whole sharing is caring code. Even if it is a spouse.
I was very kindly provided an ARC of this one by Netgalley. It does not affect my opinion. This book came out in early June so I am getting a little better with my review timing here. 🙂
For the most part I enjoyed Split-Level. Alex is a relatable narrator and it’s not a subject that ever bothered me. Yes I know people will point out the deficits- basically everyone is a whiny, bored, middle-class white person- but as Alex’s story it worked for me.
I thought the author did a good job of finding that balance between someone who was torn between passion and normalcy. Between her all-consuming love for her daughters and her still-consuming desire to live her own life to the fullest and find that perfect mix to make both those things possible.
The problem for me was the ending felt too drug out. Alex’s decisions changed all the time. Donny (her husband) and her in-laws became a little too much to deal with and the affair felt as though it wasn’t even that realistic any longer. And I think the resolution suffered a bit from trying to have it both ways.
So Split-Level was mostly good and a little messy… You could probably make larger point about that and marriages period. It’s a good character study though even if you occasionally want to roll your eyes at or punch the characters.
Recommend: Yes. If you are looking for something more character based. But also keep in mind the subject matter if that’s going to bother you.