The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor
Published by Algonquin Books
Publication Date: May 5th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
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Hannah was the kind of woman who turned heads. Tall and graceful, naturally pretty, often impulsive, always spirited, the upper-class girl who picked, of all men, Lovell--the introverted climate scientist, the practical one who thought he could change the world if he could just get everyone to listen to reason. After a magical honeymoon they settled in the suburbs to raise their two children.
But over the years, Lovell and Hannah’s conversations have become charged with resentments and unspoken desires. She’s become withdrawn and directionless. His work affords him a convenient distraction. The children can sense the tension, which they’ve learned to mostly ignore. Until, after one explosive argument, Hannah vanishes. And Lovell, for the first time, is forced to examine the trajectory of his marriage through the lens of memory--and the eyes of his children. As he tries to piece together what happened to his wife--and to their lives together--readers follow Hannah through that single day when the smallest of decisions takes her to places she never intended to go.
With the intensity of The Lovely Bones, the balance of wit and heartbreak of The Descendants, and the emotional acuity of Anne Tyler’s work, The Daylight Marriage is at its heart a novel about what happens when our intuitions override our logic, with a page-turning plot that doesn’t reveal its secrets until the very end.
So here is the story of two totally different people from vastly different backgrounds who make a hasty decision to marry. She has led a privileged life, one with no obligations or responsibilities, while he, a scientific-nerd, has had to work for everything he ever had.
Fast forward sixteen years and two kids later. Now we find the couple as we expected – a marriage that is unfulfilled, lacking and hanging by a single delicate thread. Then an intense argument irrupts which plunges the couple into a downward spiral that leads to her disappearance and him with a family that is rapidly disintegrating before his eyes.
When I first picked up this book, I immediately pictured Gone Girl and was thrilled. I wanted to tell all my bookish friends that I had found the next fantastic read – that gripping psychological thriller with the same sharp intensity that kept me reading non-stop until the end of the book. Unfortunately, I didn’t find The Daylight Marriage to be that intriguing or intense. I never had that desire to keep reading and found myself laying the book down often as it just didn’t hold my attention. Believe me, I really WANTED to like this book.
In the end, I found The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor to be a book about a troubled marriage, filled with characters that I really couldn’t connect with and a plot that slowly dragged me along. It isn’t that I disliked the book or found it to be a waste of time. I just feel that if you are hoping to find the next Gone Girl you need to keep looking. This is NOT that book.