Marry Me is subtitled “A Romance” because, in the author’s words, “people don’t act like that anymore.” The time is 1962, and the place is a fiefdom of Camelot called Greenwood, Connecticut. Jerry Conant and Sally Mathias are in love and want to get married, though they already are married to others. A diadem of five symmetrical chapters describes the course of their affair as it flickers off and on, and as their spouses react, in a tentative late-summer atmosphere of almost-last chances. For this is, as Jerry observes, “the twilight of the old morality, and there’s just enough to torment us, and not enough to hold us in.”
About John Updike
John Updike was the author of more than sixty books, including collections of short stories, poems, and criticism. His novels have been honored with the Pulitzer Prize (twice), the National Book Award, and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Hugging the Shore, an earlier collection of essays and reviews, received the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. He died in January 2009.
“Marry Me is superb, sharp, witty, perceptive, honest. . . . With keen intelligence, Updike has cut a slice of life the width of one town, the height of one feverish summer, the depth of four people trying to understand why their center does not hold—and turned it into a mirror of our modern popular wisdom.”—Chicago Daily News
“Updike’s most mature work . . . His writing has deepened, grown wiser and funnier, like a face that is aging well.”—The Atlantic
“It is, quite simply, Updike’s best novel yet.”—Newsweek