Couples: The Truth

Kate Figes

Couples: The Truth

These days, many of us enjoy unrivalled freedom and equality when it comes to choosing and building a relationship. Yet new myths about how to live and love compromise that happiness. Kate Figes argues that, whether married or cohabiting, gay or straight, remarried or a couple living apart, the quality of our intimate relationship is fundamental to our long-term health and happiness, because our need for commitment and love hasn't changed. This is not a handbook. There are no easy 'Mars and Venus' universal recipes for success, because relationships are far too complicated, individual and important for easy answers. But learning how others sustain lifelong love, and what really goes on in other people's lives can help us to understand our own partnerships and take responsibility for making them work. 3.4 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
Couples: The Truth

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Family & Lifestyle
Format Paperback
Pages 416
RRP £14.99
Date of Publication January 2010
ISBN 978-1844084678
Publisher Virago
 

These days, many of us enjoy unrivalled freedom and equality when it comes to choosing and building a relationship. Yet new myths about how to live and love compromise that happiness. Kate Figes argues that, whether married or cohabiting, gay or straight, remarried or a couple living apart, the quality of our intimate relationship is fundamental to our long-term health and happiness, because our need for commitment and love hasn't changed. This is not a handbook. There are no easy 'Mars and Venus' universal recipes for success, because relationships are far too complicated, individual and important for easy answers. But learning how others sustain lifelong love, and what really goes on in other people's lives can help us to understand our own partnerships and take responsibility for making them work.

"The naked truth about couples" -- The Guardian, 16/1/10

Reviews

The Guardian

Susanna Rustin

Figes found her interviewees in "differing social classes and random areas of Britain", and if there is a bias in her sample, it is towards those already inclined to thinking and talking. Many of the studies she cites refer to the US and Europe, and while wholly sympathetic to the case she makes for the modern family, with all its complications, I wonder if the book underplays the destructive impact, particularly on children, of what she calls "our workaholic culture". But her interviews stick in the mind because Figes is right: addicted to an ideal of privacy, we don't share enough of what goes on in our relationships, our arguments, even our beds.

23/01/2010

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The Observer

Geraldine Bedell

Figes is a dedicated researcher and a compelling writer, and this is a very good book – the most comprehensive summary we currently have of the changing nature of relationships. All the same, it suffers from a basic problem: as Figes would be the first to admit, there is no single "truth" when it comes to relationships.

17/01/2009

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The Daily Telegraph

Cassandra Jardine

Perhaps because of her background, Figes is particularly acute on rows and divorce... Figes’s messages are often buried under a welter of research and she has a tendency to present opinion as fact. Her sample of interviewees is biased towards the like-minded… But this is a book that lingers in the mind, with a fundamentally upbeat message.

15/10/2010

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The Financial Times

Isabel Berwick

While the interviews give meat to Figes’s book, the sheer number of people involved makes confusing reading. The same couples pop up in different chapters and one struggles to remember which ones they were. At times the quotes feel repetitive. It is the author’s own thoughts on marriage and relationships that are most illuminating.

08/01/2010

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The Sunday Times

Eleanor Mills

Figes has a great premise and has done some serious research, but her book is far from readable.

17/01/2009

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