cover image What Makes a Marriage Last

What Makes a Marriage Last

Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue. HarperOne, $29.99 (512p) ISBN 978-0-06-298258-2

Actor Thomas and talk-show host Donahue, married since 1980, mine the long-term love lives of 40 celebrity couples in this delightful and instructive volume. The authors interviewed couples and found various patterns. Some fall under the “opposites attract” concept, namely Democratic political strategist turned LSU professor James Carville and his Republican wife, Mary Matalin (married in 1993), who explain, “we have feelings and relationships... politics are what we do for a living.” Others embody the spirit of “for better, for worse,” such as actors Michael J. Fox, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1992, and Tracy Pollan (married in 1988), who advise couples “to give each other the benefit of the doubt. Know that you love this person and they love you.” Former president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn (married since 1946), counsel that they decided long ago not to go to sleep in the same bed angry with each other. Actor Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka (who had been together for years before marrying in 2014) teach that the little things, like date night, can help keep love burning bright. Love and understanding shine through in this inspiring collection. (May)