cover image Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage

Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage

Jenny Block, . . Seal, $24.95 (276pp) ISBN 978-1-58005-241-2

In this memoir of her open marriage, Block recounts how she leapt off the “Disney monorail of monogamous marriage” to pursue her own version of “happily ever after.” The author chronicles her growing awareness of the “social conditioning” that, according to her, defines marriage as the exclusive province of sex and intimacy. She writes movingly of how her perfect marriage unraveled due to her husband's low libido and how she and her husband negotiated a nonmonogamous partnership that saved their marriage. While Block is unstintingly honest in her depictions of an open marriage's sexual and emotional entanglements—the author and her husband share, swap and pursue other partners—she is not entirely convincing when she asserts that she, her husband and her committed girlfriend have the “perfect” arrangement. Block mentions troubling imbalances in passing while staunchly insisting, “We have it all... he is my rock and she is my sky.” Readers are likely to be challenged and provoked by this book's insights into the surprising fluidities in fidelity and sexuality, but might find its repetitive, slightly glib delivery better suited for a magazine article than a book-length manifesto. (June)