Listen to the Marriage: Book summary and reviews of Listen to the Marriage by John Jay Osborn

Listen to the Marriage

by John Jay Osborn

Listen to the Marriage by John Jay Osborn X
Listen to the Marriage by John Jay Osborn
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Oct 2, 2018
    208 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A riveting drama of marital therapy.

Gretchen and Steve have been married for a long time. Living in San Francisco, recently separated, with two children and demanding jobs, they've started going to a marriage counselor. Unfolding over the course of ten months and taking place entirely in the marriage counselor's office, John Jay Osborn's Listen to the Marriage is the story of a fractured couple in a moment of crisis, and of the person who tries to get them to see each other again.

A searing look at the obstacles we put in our own way, as well as the forces that drive us apart (and those that bring us together), Listen to the Marriage is a poignant exploration of marriage - heartbreaking and tender.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Osborn's (The Paper Chase, 2004, etc.) fly-on-the-wall approach offers a certain voyeuristic pleasure but seems primarily designed for didactic effect." - Kirkus

"At its best, this an emotionally intelligent and deeply felt consideration of the realities of marriage. But it is not consistently at its best." - Publishers Weekly

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Reader Reviews

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Daryl B. (Poolesville, MD)

Good quick read
I really enjoyed this book. I found the characters to be intriguing, especially Sandy. I would have liked to hear more about her life as the author gave us just enough on her to pique my curiosity. I think all marriages have their own issues and can benefit from learning better communication skills. So I would recommend this book to anyone that is married or in a long term relationship. It was not only entertaining but therapeutic. I loved the idea of the marriage being it's own entity. I found myself cheering for Gretchen and Steve. Good read!

Diane H. (Leawood, KS)

Totally Engrossing Read
This book captured my attention right from the first page. I felt like an interloper during the marriage counseling sessions of Gretchen and Steve There were times that I grew quite impatient with each one of them but I could also empathize with their struggle.The importance of honest communication in a marriage is highlighted amazingly well.

Having been a counselor, I could relate to many of the scenes in the book.

Start to finish, it is a great read

Gale A. (Chico, CA)

Listen to the Marriage
I loved this book! It's a little different in that there are only four characters: the husband, the wife, the therapist, and, yes, the marriage. And the whole book takes place in the marriage counselor's office.

The husband and the wife were, to me, immediately likable. I wanted to hear their stories and I cared about how their problems were resolved.

Sandy, the counselor, was also likable and interesting. Hers is the only voice we hear aside from what was said out loud in the office.

Short chapters and lots of dialog make this a quick, snappy read. Good for people interested in character development. There is no plot other than the resolution of the marriage problems. But that's enough. You really do come to care for this couple and want to know if they can make it together.

Shirley L. (Norco, LA)

An Interesting Approach
I am a Marriage Therapist and was intrigued as soon as I heard the premise of this book; the entire story takes place solely in the therapist's office. This is a slice of the life of a particular marriage and illuminates the inner psychological worlds of the husband and wife as well as that of the very clever therapist. There is little drama and heart racing plot twists in this book. The transformation of the parties is subtle, slow and inconsistent but absolutely amazing in its own soft way. Not a read for everyone. I loved it, raced through it and plan to immediately reread it more slowly and contemplatively.

Sarah H. (Arvada, CO)

Fiction Therapy
To hold a reader's interest and keep them engaged with such a simple premise takes skill. In reading the premise of the book, I thought it could either be really intimate and engaging or, really really boring. Osborn absolutely achieves the former, with characters you care about and themes you can relate to, and if in a relationship, can also apply to your own life. A very enjoyable read!

Bridget C., works in local library, Devon, PA

The Triangle
The story of a couple's journey to either end or save their marriage takes place entirely in their marriage counselor's office. Through her questions, she pushes each person to be honest about their own feelings while getting them to explore their partner's perspective. As they navigate the separation and subsequent issues (many associated with co-parenting), the couple slowly progresses. You find yourself both cheering for them to resolve their differences and also hoping that they forge new lives apart. Honest dialogue keeps the story moving. I would have liked a little more of the counselor's personal story. Overall, a thought provoking look at what it takes to keep a marriage together.

...17 more reader reviews

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Author Information

John Jay Osborn

John Jay Osborn graduated from Harvard Law School in 1970. He wrote The Paper Chase while he was a full-time law student. Osborn has clerked for the United States Court of Appeals, practiced law in New York City, taught at the University of Miami School of Law, and practiced in the estate-planning field, as well as giving advice and representation to artists and writers. He is the author of four novels and has written episodes for a variety of television shows. Since 1991 he has been a lecturer at the law school of the University of San Francisco.

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