Beth C. (Sioux Falls, SD)
Mating for Life
To paraphrase Tolstoy's opening in Anna Karenina, happy families are all alike, but every unhappy family suffers in its own way. In Mating for Life, Marisa Stapley introduce an extended family with multiple dysfunctional characteristics. Helen, the matriarch, has always been a free spirit - a woman who loved men, but didn't care to marry them. Thus, each of her three daughters had a different father - none of whom are currently in the picture at all. Now, as adults, each of the girls is struggling with their own marriages and/or relationships as well as their connections to each other and Helen. Each chapter of the book deals the issues from a different person's perspective. The chapters are also prefaced with a telling, biological description of the mating habits of birds and other wildlife.
The characters are interesting and well drawn, although their issues tend to be problems of their own making rather than tragedy brought on by outside interests.
I would recommend it to women's book groups and an enjoyable read and discussion subject.
Susan F. (Louisville, KY)
Separating throughout Life
What an ironic title for a novel about a beatnik hippy, Helen, who wanted nothing to do with monogamy. Her three daughters, from three different men, are all struggling with relationships in single life, married life, steamy affairs, and waning careers.
While the story has a lot of potential, I was disappointed in the lack of depth of the characters, I didn't feel like I knew them. Reading is a passion for me, and I long for a book that draws me in from the beginning and keeps me enthralled throughout. Sadly, this is not one of those novels.
Beth B. (New Wilmington, PA)
MATING FOR LIFE -- Immerse yourself in this one!!
WOW!!! This book is a winner, one I will definitely recommend to anyone who wants to listen to my effusive praise. Marissa Stapley is certainly an author who can build characters, fleshing them out so that you know them and would even want to meet them -- perhaps have cocktails on a patio or deck. Conversation would not falter!! Families, love, relationships, the force of the past and how early years affect individuals, how we are and how others see us are themes that permeate this masterfully created novel.
Diane M. (Walden, NY)
mating for life
A heartwarming story of the a mother and three daughters.Their relationships, dating, infidelities and secrets all intertwine to make this a very touching book that most women will be able to relate to.
Sandra L. (Delray Beach, FL)
Mating for Life
Love, love, love this book! As a former 'flower child' I can relate to Helen's mind-frame (as the author so skillfully presents her). Every last character is extremely well developed. I think there is enough meaty insight in this book to last a life time and will recommend it to my book club and to women of all ages. Great read!
Nancy L. (Zephyrhills, FL)
Mating for Life
Mating for Life by Marissa Stanley has a lot going for it. We follow three sisters and their mother as they navigate their way through broken marriages, short-lived flings, and new loves. Early on, I became attached to these women and, at times, they felt like my friends. I loved their feistiness and their courage as they struggled with their relationships. At times I wanted to slap some common sense into them, while at other times I cheered for them as they came to an important decision.
There is something here for everyone, including family secrets, passionate affairs, sweet romance a rustic cottage on the lake, and a family matriarch who is always addressed as "Helen", never "Mom" or "Mother". I didn't want the book to end. I wanted to know what the future holds for these strong women.
Laura L. (Providence, RI)
Not as deep as the title
I choose to review this book as the title interested me, but I found that the story lacked depth. I am drawn to stores that go deep into the characters thoughts and this book did not satisfy me. There were several characters and the stories were similar so at times I had to look back to see which character was talking. I also feel that it lacked what it advertised, an understanding of mating. Instead it focused on why people separate. It is not a book I would have continued to read if I didn't have to finish it for this review. I rated it a three as I think a lot of people might like this light read, it just was not for me.