Books Magazine

Til Death Do Us…Fight.

By Crossstitchyourheart @TMNienaber

Review of  The War of the Roses by Warren Adler

Til Death do Us…Fight.
I decided to give this book a try after it showed up on my “book a day” calendar as one of the most memorable books detailing modern life and the quintesential divorce novel. So as i seemed to be an icon of the chronicles of suburbia (and cheap in its kindle version) I picked it up to see what all the talk was about.  Jonathan and Barbara Rose are the perfect couple, with the perfect life, in the perfect house. But as we’ve all come to know from anything we’ve ever seen detailing the perfectness of suburbia, things inside the house are rarely as perfect as the world outside seems to think. Jonathan and Barbara met in college and have since fought for their perfect life together as 
Til Death do Us…Fight.
Barbara gave up her dreams to support her husband in his law career while filling their house with precious antiques and children. But now the struggle is over and the house is complete and Barbara is wondering what the hell she did with her life.

As Barbara starts up a gourmet catering company in her home’s phenomenal kitchen she begins to wonder if getting married at all was a good idea. She wants freedom. She wants independence. But more than anything…she wants the house.  As the Roses embark on their embittered divorce it all comes down to one point: who gets the stuff. Neither party is willing to concede even the smallest bit of territory and it leads them on the chaotic and destructive fight for what each one believes they deserve.

Til Death do Us…Fight.
While at its surface this is simply the story of a divorce Adler stretches the fight out to the point of satire. He takes what would have been a shallow novel about the disillusionment of a marriage and turns it into a commentary on the state of our lives as suburbanites. What’s more important: love, life, family, or stuff? Can we really separate one from the other? Can we separate who we are from what we own? Adler does a good job of building a scene and getting the reader to think about these important questions but, if I’m being honest (which I do try to do in my reviews) the novel was a little frustrating. I guess that’s kind of the point, the purpose of the novel wouldn’t work nearly as well if you actually liked any of the characters and maybe what I’m frustrated with is really the fact that these kinds of people exist. However, the more blown up the characters actions became, as the story turned from reality to the satire, I stopped caring about what happened to both Barb and John. I didn’t care what became of their house or their children. I really didn’t even care how their story came to an end.

Finishing this novel turned into a chore and the only redeeming feature was the very end which, while still satiric, made the whole thing come full circle and

Til Death do Us…Fight.
made all too much sense.  I still can’t decide quite what to rate this novel. I enjoyed some of it, but didn’t enjoy all of it, and getting to the finishing lines was a struggle. I guess I’d recommend if you’re looking to read some novels that have become “icons” of modern American literature, but necessarily if you’re just looking for pure entertainment or a juicy divorce tail.


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