The Best Marriage eBooks




The Beginner's Goodbye
by Anne Tyler
The Beginner's Goodbye

Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances — in their house, on the roadway, in the market.
Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, self-dependent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace.
Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye.
A beautiful, subtle exploration of loss and recovery, pierced throughout with Anne Tyler’s humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles.


 



Weekend Agreement
by Barbara Wallace
Weekend Agreement

Some deals were meant to be broken…

Cynical billionaire Daniel Martinetti works hard; plays harder and has one ironclad rule. Never trust a woman. Bad news for historian Charlotte Doherty who shows up at exactly the wrong time. Like every other woman in Daniel’s life, Charlotte wants something from him–the deed to her family farm. Daniel agrees, but only if he gets something in return: Charlotte’s company for the weekend!

The property is Charlotte’s only link to the mother she never knew. Desperate to keep her history alive, she’ll accept Daniel’s indecent proposal, but not without a few terms of her own. Namely, a propriety clause. No flirting. No kissing. No sex.

Daniel has no intention of honoring her conditions, but after one weekend with Charlotte leaves him hungering for more, he can’t help wondering if she could be the exception to his unbreakable rule…


 



All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps
by Dave Isay
All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps

In ALL THERE, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay shares stories of love and marriage from the revolutionary oral history project, revealing the many and remarkable journeys that relationships can take.

In stories that carry us from the excitement and anticipation of courtship to the deep connection of lifelong commitment, we discover that love is found in the most unexpected of places — a New York tollbooth, a military base in Iraq, an airport lounge — and learn that the course it takes is as unpredictable as life itself. As the storytellers in this book start careers, build homes, and raise families, we witness the life-affirming joy of partnership, the comfort of shared sorrows, and profound gratitude in the face of loss.

These stories are also testament to the heart’s remarkable endurance. In ALL THERE IS we encounter love that survives discrimination, illness, poverty, distance — even death. In the courage of people’s passion we are reminded of the strength and resilience of the human spirit. This powerful collection bares witness to real love, in its many varied forms, enriching our understanding of that most magical feeling.


 



Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship & Life Together
by Mark Driscoll, Grace Driscoll
Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship & Life Together

Most marriage books assume the author did it right. Most marriage books barely mention friendship. Most marriage books use intimacy as code for sex. This is not one of those books.

In Real Marriage, Pastor Mark Driscoll and his wife, Grace, share how they have struggled and how they have found healing through the power of the only reliable source: the Bible. They believe friendship is fundamental to marriage but not easy to maintain. So they offer practical advice on how to make your spouse your best friend and keep it that way. And they know from experience that sex-related issues need to be addressed directly.

Five chapters are dedicated to answering questions like: Should I confess my pre-marital sexual sin to my spouse? Is it okay to have a work spouse ? What does the Bible say about masturbation and oral sex?

Stunningly honest and vulnerable, Real Marriage is like a personal counseling session with a couple you cannot surprise, you cannot shock into silence, who will respond to every question with wisdom, humility, and realism.

If you want to have a long-lasting, fulfilling marriage you should read this book. Wrestle with this book. Pray over this book. Share this book. And discover how God can use it to change your life.

Endorsements

If you re married or plan to be someday, do yourself a favor and read every page of this book. DRS. LES & LESLIE PARROTT Founders of RealRelationships. com and authors of Love Talk

Whether engaged, newlywed, or veteran, Real Marriage will serve as an invaluable resource. I highly recommend this book. ANDY STANLEY author of The Grace of God and Senior Pastor, North Point Community Church

"One of my greatest concerns is that culture is going to continually define and redefine what marriage is and is not, and the church is going to simply sit on the sidelines and react rather than seeking to actually become proactive by confidently teaching what the Bible has to say about it. That is why I am so thankful that Mark and Grace Driscoll wrote this book. Their approach to marriage, its benefits and challenges are transparent and challenging and I honestly believe that every married couple who will work through what they lead us through in this book will not just merely have a marriage that survives in this world but rather thrives in it." PERRY NOBLESenior Pastor, NewSpringChurch

"Our thanks to Mark and Grace Driscoll who have served this generation well by tastefully but boldly addressing the real issues facing real marriages. Taking the unchanging truth of God s word and sprinkling in is the story of God s mercy in their own marriage they have filled every chapter with real helpfulness. This book is powerful, biblical, practical and healing for marriages that hurt. My wife and our adult children read it to great profit." DR. JAMES MACDONALD Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel and Bible teacher for Walk in the Word"


 



The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband
by David Finch
The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband

At some point in nearly every marriage, a wife finds herself asking, What is wrong with my husband?! In David Finch's case, this turns out to be an apt question. Five years after he married Kristen, the love of his life, they learn that he has Asperger syndrome. The diagnosis explains David’s ever-growing list of quirks and compulsions, his lifelong propensity to quack and otherwise melt down in social exchanges, and his clinical-strength inflexibility. But it doesn’t make him any easier to live with.

Determined to change, David sets out to understand Asperger syndrome and learn to be a better husband — no easy task for a guy whose inability to express himself rivals his two-year-old daughter's, who thinks his responsibility for laundry extends no further than throwing things in (or at) the hamper, and whose autism-spectrum condition makes seeing his wife's point of view a near impossibility.

Nevertheless, David devotes himself to improving his marriage with an endearing yet hilarious zeal that involves excessive note-taking, performance reviews, and most of all, the Journal of Best Practices: a collection of hundreds of maxims and hard-won epiphanies that result from self-reflection both comic and painful. They include "Don’t change the radio station when she's singing along, " "Apologies do not count when you shout them, " and "Be her friend, first and always." Guided by the Journal of Best Practices, David transforms himself over the course of two years from the world’s most trying husband to the husband who tries the hardest, the husband he’d always meant to be.

Filled with humor and surprising wisdom, The Journal of Best Practices is a candid story of ruthless self-improvement, a unique window into living with an autism-spectrum condition, and proof that a true heart can conquer all.


 



The Odds: A Love Story
by Stewart O'Nan
The Odds: A Love Story

The beloved Stewart O'Nan, author of the bestselling Last Night at the Lobster and Emily, Alone, returns with another bittersweet gem.

Jobless, nearly homeless, and with their marriage on the brink of collapse, Art and Marion Fowler flee their Cleveland home for one last Valentine's Day hurrah at Niagara Falls. Their days are spent sightseeing, but at night they risk what dwindling resources they have left at the roulette wheel to fix their finances.

A tender yet honest exploration of faith, forgiveness and last chances. The Odds is a reminder that love and life are always a gamble.


 



The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters
by Jeffrey Zaslow
The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters

The New York Times bestselling journalist and author of The Girls from Ames, Jeffrey Zaslow, takes us to a multi- generational family owned small-town bridal shop to explore the emotional lives of women in the 21st century. You may not have heard of Fowler, Michigan, much less Becker's Bridal. But for the thousands of women who have stepped inside, Becker's is the site of some of the most important moments of their lives-moments that speak to us all. Housed in a former bank, the boutique owners transformed the vault into a "magic room, " with soft church lighting, a circular pedestal, and mirrors that make lifelong dreams come true.

Illuminating the poignant aspects of a woman's journey to the altar, The Magic Room tells the stories of memorable women on the brink of commitment. Run by the same family for years, Becker's has witnessed transformations in how America views the institution of marriage; some of the shop's clientele are becoming stepmothers, or starting married life for a second time. In The Girls from Ames, beloved author Jeffrey Zaslow used friendships to explore the emotional lives of women. In The Magic Room, he turns his perceptive eye to weddings and weaves together secrets, memories and family tales to explore the hopes and dreams we have for our daughters.


 



Cool, Calm & Contentious
by Merrill Markoe
Cool, Calm & Contentious

In this hilarious collection of personal essays, New York Times bestselling author Merrill Markoe reveals, among other things, the secret formula for comedy: Start out with a difficult mother, develop some classic teenage insecurities, add a few relationships with narcissistic men, toss in an unruly pack of selfish dogs, finish it off with the kind of crystalline perspective that only comes from years of navigating a roiling sea of unpleasant and unappeasable people, and — voilà! — you’re funny!

But in Cool, Calm & Contentious, Markoe also reveals something more: herself. This is by far her most personal, affecting collection yet — honest, unapologetic, often painful, but always shot through with the bracing, wicked sense of humor that has made her such a beloved and incisive observer of life, both human and canine. In Cool, Calm & Contentious, she goes there: from the anal-retentive father who once spent ten minutes lecturing Markoe’s forty-year-old, Ph. D. -wielding brother on how to fold a napkin, to the eternally aggrieved mother who took pleasure in being unpleasant to waiters and spent most of her life, Markoe says, in “varying degrees of pissed off”; from the way she surrendered her virginity as a freshman in college (to her, it was “something to be gotten rid of quickly, then never discussed again, like body odor”), to why, later in life, she ultimately came to find dogs so much more appealing than humans, Markoe holds nothing back. It’s all here, in all its messy, poignant glory, and told the way only Merril Markoe knows how — with honesty, wit, and bite.

Cool, Calm & Contentious offers something for everyone — fans of humorous essays, fans of memoir, fans of great writing and finely drawn characters, fans of dogs, fans of talking dogs, and fans of reading about mothers who are so difficult and demanding they actually make you feel good about your own life. But most of all, this book is for the many fans of Merrill Markoe, who will finally get a chance to learn what makes her tick — and what makes her so funny and wise.


 



Wife by Wednesday
by Catherine Bybee
Wife by Wednesday

Blake Harrison:
Rich, titled, and charming… and in need of a wife by Wednesday. Blake turns to Sam Elliot, who isn’t the businessman he expected. Instead, Blake is faced with Samantha Elliot, beautiful and feisty with a voice men call 1-900 numbers to hear.

Samantha Elliot:
Owner of matchmaking firm Alliance and not on the marital menu…that is, until Blake offers her ten million dollars for a one-year contract. And there’s nothing indecent about this proposal. The money will really help with her family’s medical bills. All Samantha will need to do is keep her attraction to her new husband to herself and avoid his bed.

But Blake’s toe-curling kisses and sexy charm prove too difficult for Sam to resist. It was a marriage contract that planned for everything…except falling in love.


 



The Grief of Others
by Leah Hager Cohen
The Grief of Others

Is keeping a secret from a spouse always an act of infidelity? And what cost does such a secret exact on a family? The Ryries have suffered a loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth. Without words to express their grief, the parents, John and Ricky, try to return to their previous lives. Struggling to regain a semblance of normalcy for themselves and for their two older children, they find themselves pretending not only that little has changed, but that their marriage, their family, have always been intact. Yet in the aftermath of the baby's death, long-suppressed uncertainties about their relationship come roiling to the surface. A dreadful secret emerges with reverberations that reach far into their past and threaten their future.

The couple's children, ten-year-old Biscuit and thirteen-year-old Paul, responding to the unnamed tensions around them, begin to act out in exquisitely- perhaps courageously-idiosyncratic ways. But as the four family members scatter into private, isolating grief, an unexpected visitor arrives, and they all find themselves growing more alert to the sadness and burdens of others-to the grief that is part of every human life but that also carries within it the power to draw us together.

Moving, psychologically acute, and gorgeously written, The Grief of Others asks how we balance personal autonomy with the intimacy of relationships, how we balance private decisions with the obligations of belonging to a family, and how we take measure of our own sorrows in a world rife with suffering. This novel shows how one family, by finally allowing itself to experience the shared quality of grief, is able to rekindle tenderness and hope.


 



Birds of Paradise
by Diana Abu-Jaber
Birds of Paradise

A multilayered, beautifully textured novel about family and self, self-indulgence and generosity, against the vivid backdrop of contemporary Miami.

In the tropical paradise that is Miami, Avis and Brian Muir are still haunted by the disappearance of their ineffably beautiful daughter, Felice, who ran away when she was thirteen. Now, after five years of modeling tattoos, skateboarding, clubbing, and sleeping in a squat house or on the beach, Felice is about to turn eighteen. Her family — Avis, an exquisitely talented pastry chef; Brian, a corporate real estate attorney; and her brother, Stanley, the proprietor of Freshly Grown, a trendy food market — will each be forced to confront their anguish, loss, and sense of betrayal. Meanwhile, Felice must reckon with the guilty secret that drove her away, and must face her fear of losing her family and her sense of self forever.

This multilayered novel about a family that comes apart at the seams — and finds its way together again — is totally involving and deeply satisfying, a glorious feast of a book.


 



The Little Bride
by Anna Solomon
The Little Bride

When 16-year-old Minna Losk journeys from Odessa to America as a mail-order bride, she dreams of a young, wealthy husband, a handsome townhouse, and freedom from physical labor and pogroms. But her husband Max turns out to be twice her age, rigidly Orthodox, and living in a one-room sod hut in South Dakota with his two teenage sons. The country is desolate, the work treacherous. Most troubling, Minna finds herself increasingly attracted to her older stepson. As a brutal winter closes in, the family's limits are tested, and Minna, drawing on strengths she barely knows she has, is forced to confront her despair, as well as her desire.


 



The Secret Lives of Wives: Women Share What It Really Takes to Stay Married
by Iris Krasnow
The Secret Lives of Wives: Women Share What It Really Takes to Stay Married

A bestselling, groundbreaking author investigates successful long term marriages, interviewing wives and their uncensored strategies for staying married. America's high divorce rate is well known. But little attention has been paid to the flip side: couples who creatively (sometimes clandestinely) manage to build marriages that are lasting longer than we ever thought possible. What's the secret? To find out, bestselling journalist Iris Krasnow interviewed more than 200 wives whose marriages have survived for 15 to 70 years. They are a diverse cast, yet they share one common and significant trait: They have made bold, sometimes secretive and shocking choices on how to keep their marital vows, "till death do us part, " as Krasnow says, "without killing someone first."

In raw, candid, titillating stories, Krasnow's cast of wise women give voice to the truth about marriage and the importance of maintaining a strong sense of self apart from the relationship. Some spend summers separately from their partners. Some make time for wine with the girls. One septuagenarian has a recurring date with an old flame from high school. In every case, the marriage operates on many tracks, giving both spouses license to pursue the question "Who am I apart from my marriage?" Krasnow's goal is to give women permission to create their own marriages at any age. Marital bliss is possible, she says, if each partner is blissful apart from the other.

A fascinating window on the many faces of modern relationships, The Secret Lives of Wives brims with inspiring and daring examples of women who have it both ways: a committed marriage and personal adventures in uncharted territory. For anyone who wants to stay married and stay sane, this is the book to read!


 



A Small Hotel
by Robert Olen Butler
A Small Hotel

Set in contemporary New Orleans but working its way back in time, A Small Hotel chronicles the relationship between Michael and Kelly Hays, who have decided to separate after twenty-four years of marriage. The book begins on the day that the Hays are to finalize their divorce. Kelly is due to be in court, but instead she drives from her home in Pensacola, Florida, across the panhandle to New Orleans and checks into Room 303 at the Olivier House in the city’s French Quarter — the hotel where she and Michael fell in love some twenty-five years earlier and where she now finds herself about to make a decision that will forever affect her, Michael, and their nineteen-year-old daughter, Samantha. An intelligent, deeply moving, and remarkably written portrait of a relationship that reads as a cross between a romance novel and a literary page turner, A Small Hotel is a masterful story that will remind readers once again why Robert Olen Butler has been called the “best living American writer” (Jeff Guinn, Fort Worth Star-Telegram).


 



The American Heiress
by Daisy Goodwin
The American Heiress

Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts’, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.


 



To Be Sung Underwater
by Tom McNeal
To Be Sung Underwater

Judith Whitman always believed in the kind of love that "picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio." Long ago, she once experienced that love. Willy Blunt was a carpenter with a dry wit and a steadfast sense of honor. Marrying him seemed like a natural thing to promise.

But Willy Blunt was not a person you could pick up in Nebraska and transport to Stanford. When Judith left home, she didn't look back.

Twenty years later, Judith's marriage is hazy with secrets. In her hand is what may be the phone number for the man who believed she meant it when she said she loved him. If she called, what would he say?

'To be Sung Underwater' is the epic love story of a woman trying to remember, and the man who could not even begin to forget.


 



The First Husband
by Laura Dave
The First Husband

A savvy, page-turning novel about a woman torn between her husband and the man she thought she'd marry.

Annie Adams is days away from her thirty-second birthday and thinks she has finally found some happiness. She visits the world's most interesting places for her syndicated travel column and she's happily cohabiting with her movie director boyfriend Nick in Los Angeles. But when Nick comes home from a meeting with his therapist (aka "futures counselor") and announces that he's taking a break from their relationship so he can pursue a woman from his past, the place Annie had come to call home is shattered. Reeling, Annie stumbles into her neighborhood bar and finds Griffin-a grounded, charming chef who seems to be everything Annie didn't know she was looking for. Within three months, Griffin is Annie's husband and Annie finds herself trying to restart her life in rural Massachusetts.

A wry observer of modern love, Laura Dave "steers clear of easy answers to explore the romantic choices we make" (USA Today). Her third novel is packed with humor, empathy, and psychological insight about the power of love and home.


 



The Ninth Wife
by Amy Stolls
The Ninth Wife

What sane woman would consider becoming any man's ninth wife?

Bess Gray is a thirty-five-year-old folklorist and amateur martial artist living in Washington, DC. Just as she's about to give up all hope of marriage, she meets Rory, a charming Irish musician, and they fall in love. But Rory is a man with a secret, which he confesses to Bess when he asks for her hand: He's been married eight times before. Shocked, Bess embarks on a quest she feels she must undertake before she can give him an answer. With her bickering grandparents (married sixty-five years), her gay neighbor (himself a mystery), a shar-pei named Stella, and a mannequin named Peace, Bess sets out on a cross-country journey — unbeknownst to Rory — to seek out and question the wives who came before. What she discovers about her own past is far more than she bargained for.

The Ninth Wife is a smart, funny, eye-opening tale of love, marriage, and the power of stories to unlock the true meaning of home and family.


 



The Arrivals
by Meg Mitchell Moore
The Arrivals

It's early summer when Ginny and William's peaceful life in Vermont comes to an abrupt halt.

First, their daughter Lillian arrives, with her two children in tow, to escape her crumbling marriage. Next, their son Stephen and his pregnant wife Jane show up for a weekend visit, which extends indefinitely when Jane ends up on bed rest. When their youngest daughter Rachel appears, fleeing her difficult life in New York, Ginny and William find themselves consumed again by the chaos of parenthood — only this time around, their children are facing adult problems.

By summer's end, the family gains new ideas of loyalty and responsibility, exposing the challenges of surviving the modern family — and the old adage, once a parent, always a parent, has never rung so true.


 






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