The Marriage Club
By Kate Legge
They say no one really knows what goes on behind the closed doors of a marriage, and this novel discusses that mystery thoroughly. How well do you know your husband? How well do you know your friends?
Leith Kremmer is a woman with secrets. But before we can discover her plans, she is killed at the hands of her husband. Her lifelong friends wonder if it was an accident, or if things were really so bad in their marriage. The Marriage Club examines the questions of who we marry, why and whether you can ever really know another person.
This novel is hard to put down, even if a little sad sometimes, as it delves into the lives of a group of women, all members of a book-club, who have been friends for many years. Leith Kremmer is the central character who to the outside world has the picture-perfect life with the very big house, two grown up sons, and of course her successful marriage to George Kremmer, famous family court Judge as icing on the cake. But when Leith unexpectedly dies they are all interviewed and begin to examine not only their own friendship with Leith but their own relationships and some find things not quite as they would have liked.
This novel by Kate Legge is quite confronting and even depressing in some parts as you begin to feel that all long-term marriages must be doomed to a life of boredom. Must we accept that long term marriages over several decades, especially once the children have gone, are generally loveless and quite lonely? Hopefully not!
One of the best things about this novel is the depth of characters and the way in which each of them has a very different perspective on life, relationships and love and what has happened to their friend, Leith. If you are a keen people-watcher and love dissecting human relationships then you will find this book well worth reading. But if you are after some light and fluffy entertainment to read with a happy ending then maybe this is not your cup of tea. Book-clubs all round Australia will have a field day with the discussions this novel throws out…
Kate Legge is an award-winning journalist who has covered politics and social affairs in Australia and the United States. She edited The Australian’s Review of Books in 1997 and now writes for The Weekend Australian Magazine. She is married with two children and lives in Melbourne. The “Unexpected Elements of Love” is her first novel. It was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award.
The Marriage Club has only just been released so go out and read it now and don’t forget to come back to Shesaid and tell us what you thought.