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Mating for Life: A Novel by [Stapley, Marissa]
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Mating for Life: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Length: 352 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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“The women in Mating for Life are clever, honest, funny, and forever analytical as they stumble through the search for love. Each new chapter brings a wise and tender look at single life, dating rituals, and marital unease. This is one of the most charming novels I’ve read in years, and I loved every last page.” (Jennifer Close, New York Times bestselling author of Girls in White Dresses)

"An immensely readable novel, with smart, engaging characters who come to life on the page -- the sort of characters you miss long after you've put the book down. You will see yourself in these women."
(Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Maybe in Another Life)

"An absorbing and entertaining meditation on romantic love, but, even more so, on the nature of motherhood and sisterhood." (Maclean’s)

“The pages fly swiftly as each woman’s individual drama unfolds.” (The Globe and Mail)

“[An] intriguing and heartbreaking debut novel…Told from multiple points of view as the characters walk tightropes of tragedy, the novel carefully illustrates the power that each of us has to define who we are and who we can become.” (Publishers Weekly)

"This novel does a fine job of exploring the complexities of modern relationships.” (Booklist)

"An absolute feat of storytelling, Mating For Life not only features sisters, friends, mothers and confidants – it feels like one itself; a living, whispering, shouting, beauty of a book that bypasses easy answers and cracks open the deepest, most contradictory longings in all of us. Stapley is an heir to the likes of Wolitzer and Atwood, with an eye that misses nothing in the way we love, hurt, leave, support and sabotage each other and ourselves. This is vital and vibrant writing born of true insight into the human heart." (Grace O'Connell, bestselling author of Magnified World)

"I felt like I was sitting on the dock at a cottage, eavesdropping on the neighbors. Mating for Life is like overhearing all the juiciest family drama—without any fear of hearing your own name. I found myself slipping away at every spare moment to turn the next page. Marissa Stapley has created an interconnected story of unique, believable, relatable women. I absolutely loved this book." (Chantel Guertin, bestselling author of Stuck in Downward Dog)

"An addictive, enthralling read, full of authentic, hopeful characters, each on a quest for their own version of true love." (Hannah Tunnicliffe, author of The Colour of Tea)

"Honest and tender, heartbreaking and irresistible. An absolute must read for every woman who has ever been swelled, or felled, by love." (Tish Cohen, bestselling author of The Truth About Delilah Blue)

"Heartwarming and insightful, Marissa Stapley's unmissable debut is a sensitive, timely and compassionate exploration of family, friendship, self-discovery and the issue perhaps more at the crux of modern womanhood than any other - the struggle to keep hold of who you are while letting love in." (Abigail Tarttelin, author of Golden Boy)

“Heartbreaking and strikingly honest. Stapley challenges entrenched ideas of what it means to be a wife and mother, explores how modern women often struggle to maintain their own identities in the face of societal expectations, [and] excels at bringing the reader into the lives of these women.” (Quill & Quire)

Product Description

Maine meets Girls in White Dresses in this Globe and Mail bestseller about three very different sisters, their feminist mother, and what it takes to love someone—whether it be family, friends, or spouses—for life.

Former folk singer Helen Sear was a feminist wild child, raising three daughters, Liane, Ilsa and Fiona (each by different fathers) largely on her own. Now in her sixties, Helen has fallen in love with a traditional man who desperately wants to marry her—and while she’s fearful of losing him, she’s equally afraid she’ll betray everything she’s ever stood for if she goes through with it.

Her youngest daughter, Liane, is in the heady early days of a relationship with the love of her life. But he has an ex-wife and two daughters—and her new role as “step-something” doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Ilsa, an artist, is fervently hoping her second marriage will stick. Yet her world feels like it is slowly shrinking, and she realizes she may need to break free again, even if it means disrupting the lives of her two young children. And then there’s Fiona, the eldest sister, who discovers her husband has been harboring a huge secret, which makes her own past harder to ignore. To regain stability, she must face some hard truths, and alter her impossibly high expectations.

Through these alternating perspectives, and with pitch-perfect honesty and heartwarming humor, Stapley explores sex, marriage, and how the many roles that women play are often at odds with each other. Ultimately a celebration of the redemptive power of love in all its forms, Mating for Life is a stunning, memorable debut.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2305 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (June 24 2014)
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #184,491 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

By TheBookChick TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on Jan. 3 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Free-spirited former folk singer Helen Sear raised her three daughters- with three different fathers- primarily on her own and largely by choice. Uninterested in traditional marriage, Helen is now in her sixties and has fallen in love with a man to whom marriage is important. She's torn- she doesn't want to give up the values that she has always stood for yet she doesn't want to lose this man.

Her eldest daughter Fiona is about as different from Helen as can be. She runs her household with military precision and is happily married with several children. When it is revealed to her that her husband has been harboring a large secret Fiona's carefully ordered life falls apart and she is forced to re-examine her life and how she chooses to live it.

Ilsa, an artist and a free spirit like her mom, is married and has two young children whom she adores. The problem is that she has discovered that marriage- and monogamy- are not a good fit for who she is and she feels her lifestyle slowly suffocating her.

Liane, Helen's youngest daughter, is dating someone whom she is madly in love with, but the new relationship is not without baggage. Her new boyfriend comes with an ex-wife and two children, none of whom come with an instruction manual, and none of whom are warming up to her presence in their lives.

Set in both Toronto and idyllic Muskoka, Mating for Life is a reflection on marriage, sisterhood, motherhood and loving someone for life.

What I enjoyed the most about this book was how realistic it was. The women in this book are far from perfect and it shows in every facet of the story, yet they are all women that I wished that I could know in real life. Their flaws are what made them so easy to relate to.
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By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 30 2014
Format: Paperback
Mating For Life is Marissa Stapley's absolutely wonderful debut novel.

Former folk singer Helen has three daughters, Liane, Fiona and Ilsa. They all have different fathers and very different lives. But all four women have one thing in common. They are all facing changes, crossroads and crises in their lives.

Helen has eschewed matrimony her whole life. Now at sixty, she's found the man she would like to grow old with - but he wants marriage. Liane too, is contemplating marriage - but is she in love? She's attracted to the man on the next dock, but discovers he is married. Ilsa is on her second marriage, but her eye is wandering also. What is she willing to gamble - and what is she prepared to lose? Fiona is the one everyone can count on - to do the right thing and have everything planned. Her marriage is seemingly perfect. Seemingly - until a secret her husband has kept for many years is finally exposed.

There are many other women in the novel as well - acquaintances, friends and other family members - each with their own set of circumstances that Stapley brilliantly examines through actions, conversations and self examination.

The women's conversations and emotions were honest and believable, providing much food for thought in the reader's own lives. Fidelity, friendship and family and most of all, finding one's self and roles in life, are the focus of Stapley's evocative debut.

Stapley has a wonderful way with words. . I found myself rereading a few passages as I enjoyed the ideas and imagery so much....

"...she kept driving, turning her head to look out at the water, knowing she should be focusing on the road but unable to remember the last time she had driven along a road with no particular destination. Maybe never.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Mating For Life is a richly textured and interwoven novel. Marissa knows how to keep readers on the edge - each chapter moves elegantly into the next, characters coming alive one by one, evoking a deeply sympathetic response. Thoroughly enjoyable and beautifully written!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Intensely plot-driven, featuring a family whom I related to instantly in a "I know them!" kind of way. A novel that deftly makes subtle statements about how we get type casted into our own lives, explores the notion of sisterhood, and ultimately, brings it home--what happens when we make life happen, instead of waiting for it to happen? Refreshingly removed from our electronic age, I wanted to be at that cottage, looking out over a dock, just 'being' while I enjoyed this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Mating for Life brings us into the lives of sisters Fiona, Ilsa and Liane and their aging hippy-esque mom Helen. With an insightful portrayal of the roles we all inevitably find ourselves slip into with family, Stapley skillfully reveals how those very roles shape these women's lives and how that ripples out to their mates - for better or for worse.

I loved this book and would recommend it to the romantic, relationship dysfunctional and realists alike.
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Highly engaging and well written, Marissa Stapley’s ‘Mating for Life’ is a novel I will always remember. Stapley is a perceptive, intelligent and witty writer who, truly, ‘gets it’ about life, love and relationships. I connected deeply with many of the characters and their respective situations and felt as if I was right there at the cottage with Helen and her three daughters Liane, Ilsa and Fiona. I was drawn to keep reading to find out how each of their life choices and situations would evolve and how these story lines would eventually intersect. The descriptions of animals and their mating habits that introduced and then paralleled each storyline intrigued me and provided a unique story-telling element that I found both informative and original. I actually read the book twice I enjoyed it so much! I would highly recommend this book as a fantastic read that is both entertaining and inspiring. ‘Mating for Life’ gives the reader hope that as one navigates life’s journey, coming to terms with oneself and one’s life choices, one will experience the soul serenity inherent in this self acceptance.
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