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The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler
The Amateur Marriage spans several decades in the lives of Michael and Pauline Anton, from World War II onward. They met just before he went off to war. He was enamored with her beauty, and she wanted a gallant soldier on her arm. When he returned, they married. Although, deeply in love, they were mismatched as a couple. Anne Tyler chronicles their marriage over the years, both of them deeply aware that domesticity and children will never bring the bliss they believed love had promised. Pauline is quick-tempered, but also quick to let it pass. Michael is contemplative and shoves it all down inside, simply bearing the load the marriage has become. The Amateur Marriage has received mixed, although mostly positive, reviews. The Telegraph says, "But even a reader whose heart sinks at the very term 'dysfunctional' should enjoy Anne Tyler's portrait of a mismatched marriage, which is buoyantly witty and affectionate as well as bleak."