Review: Monogamy, by Sue Miller

‘Love isn’t just what two people have together, it’s what two people make together, so of course, it’s never the same.’

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release date: 8th September 2020

Pages: 352

Representation: NA.

Trigger warnings: Infidelity, Death, Death of a parent.

Summary: Annie and her second husband, Graham, have been married for over 30 years. They have a child together, and their lives intertwine in every way possible. It’s perfect, or so she thinks. Only when he’s gone does the thread start to unravel…and Annie starts to wonder if she ever really knew the man she loved.

Purchase the book using the following links to support Indie bookshops, and me:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Monogamy is a story that shows us that love goes beyond what we know, and it stays around even when we least expect it.

Monogamy isn’t the classic contemporary marriage story; there’s no dramatics, no big shocks or reveals. Instead, the entire story is clouded in grief. It’s the tale of a life reduced to false memories.

There wasn’t a particularly active plot. The book focuses on Death and the grief that comes with it; How it affects those around you, and how we can get to know a person more after they’re gone. We see the story of Annie’s life and how Graham, and the life he lived beyond her, engulfs everything she does. It’s a book focused on the realisation of emotion over time, and we read through the processes of these characters coming to their final realisations.

The characters were realistic; Annie was entirely self-absorbed. It seemed to take place in a world where everything revolved around her, and others could not consider anything but her emotions. It took away their likability because the entire situation needed more than entirely Annie-centric perspectives. I didn’t particularly care about any of them, but I could empathise with their struggles.

It had some memorable, brilliantly written moments. Miller can make mundane prose feel like poetry. It also has some points where I felt like it wouldn’t end soon enough. It was the perfect example of a very ‘middle of the road’ book, one that wouldn’t have suffered from being 100 pages or so shorter.

Shining glory: It offers a realistic, unmatched portrayal of grief. It takes us through stages and back again; we get to read suffering that isn’t linear.

Fatal flaw: It’s slow-paced and repetitive, making it harder to read than it needs to be.

Read this if: You enjoy emotional, realistic contemporary that understands our emotions are beyond our control. You want a love story that shows that sometimes we’ll keep loving someone, even when we wish we could hate them.

Skip this if: You want a fast-paced or plot-driven adventure. You don’t like reads with complicated themes and prefer characters with obvious progression or black and white Hero/Villain dynamics.

Purchase the book using the following links to support Indie bookshops, and me:


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