Recipes for a Perfect Marriage
By Morag Prunty Thorndike Large Print, (2006)
Reviewed by Laura Hortz Stanton - October 5, 2006
>From the outside Tressa Nolan, a 38 year old food writer living in New York City, and her deceased grandmother, Bernadine Nolan from Ireland, have little in common. Tressa is a career driven woman who has been around the block a few times on the dating scene in search of true love. Tressa has a whirlwind romance with Dan, her building super and before she knows it, she's married and living in Yonkers. But Tressa quickly realizes that she moved too quickly and that she hasn't found her true love in Dan. Reluctant to fall into the ranks of the divorced, Tressa finds herself in the emotional upheaval of a rocky marriage.
Bernadine, Tressa's grandmother, grew up at a different time and on a different continent from her granddaughter but their stories of love and marriage mirror each other. As a young woman in Ireland, Bernadine's parents arrange her marriage to the town schoolteacher, James Nolan. For Bernadine this is not a love match but she is determined to be a proper wife and James in turn respects and cares for her as he promised her parents that he would.
Bernadine and Tressa's are both stories about how love can grow between two individuals. Neither of the women have marriages where they were madly in love with their partners but both become dedicated to their marriages and to their lives together. Recipes for a Perfect Marriage is a novel that reflects the reality of marriage for so many couples. Marriage is not always a perfect union, but one that can be made to work with time, dedication, and understanding. Today, when individuals quickly give up on the life long commitments they have made, this novel should be required pre-marriage reading.
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