Excerpt from No Cheating, No Dying by Elizabeth Weil, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

No Cheating, No Dying

I Had a Good Marriage. Then I Tried To Make It Better

by Elizabeth Weil

No Cheating, No Dying by Elizabeth Weil
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Feb 2012, 192 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


We'd been married nearly a decade, yet we knew so little. Nobody else seemed to know much, either. When I looked around my block or my city, among my family and friends, I found many happy marriages, filled with qualities I envied, but not a single one for which I'd want to trade. Some had combustive chemistry but cycled through burnout and renewal. Others had financial security but had traded footloose selves for traditional roles, and that seemed hard, too. Becoming parents had helped nobody, and the standard remedies—the date nights, the weekend getaways—often felt cosmetic and under-gunned, like opening a beautifully wrapped and ribboned box to find one's own clothes. I felt changed by marriage, shaped by marriage, mostly for the better. But it also scared me. Dan was my "elected homeland of the heart," to borrow a phrase from Madeleine Kamman's When French Women Cook, one of his favorite books. I needed him. He understood me and he loved me—nobody else in the world offered both. Still the images of marriage I found most arresting I also found most troubling. Along with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, I adored John Updike's The Maples Stories, stories in which twelve years of marriage feel "almost too long" and Joan and Richard Maples are jaded and hard. In "Twin Beds in Rome," the couple flies to Italy to "cure or kill" their union. The whole vacation is a gauntlet thrown. "You're such a nice woman," Richard says to Joan as they unpack in their hotel. "I can't understand why I'm so miserable with you."

I didn't want this narrative—nobody did. Still, Dan was not completely enthusiastic about my marriage improvement concept, at least at first. He feared—not mistakenly, it turned out—that marriage is not great terrain for overachievers. That first night, in our bedroom, he met my marriage-as-waves-on-the-ocean analogy with the veiled threat of California ranch-hand wisdom: If you're going to poke around the bushes, you'd better be prepared to scare out some snakes.

Excerpted from No Cheating, No Dying by Elizabeth Weil. Copyright © 2012 by Elizabeth Weil. Excerpted by permission of Scribner. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Summer Before the War
    by Helen Simonson
    Set on the cusp of World War I, The Summer Before the War exudes strength and spirit as a small town...
  • Book Jacket: Lincoln in the Bardo
    Lincoln in the Bardo
    by George Saunders
    George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo is a philosophy discourse brilliantly disguised as a ...
  • Book Jacket
    Tender
    by Belinda McKeon
    Most of us have heard the slightly trite saying: "If you love something, set it free." But one can ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Sellout
by Paul Beatty

The first book by an American author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    A Piece of the World
    by Christina Baker Kline

    A stunning novel of friendship, passion, and art from the #1 bestselling author of Orphan Train.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    I See You
    by Clare Mackintosh

    A dark and compelling thriller about an everyday woman trapped in the confines of her everyday world.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Your F C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.