Other People's Marriages

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 February, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 February, 2006, 12:00am

Other People's Marriages

by Shane Watson

Pan, $90

Shane Watson says that 'singleton envy' is a 21st- century syndrome. Gone are the days when Bridget Jones types were considered amusing curiosities, as smug marrieds see the benefits of a selfish life. A columnist for Elle magazine and The Sunday Times, Watson attempts to address this shifting sentiment in Other People's Marriages. But she also explores a new 'them and us' feeling: just as couples fantasise about flying solo, singles covet the idea of a lifelong mate. Anna is writing a book about relationships and has no shortage of friends eager to be case studies. There's the boho pair, the conventional couple with two kids, the divorcees and the protagonist, who somehow feels fat in her metro-sexual partner Richard's minimalist flat. Although The Mirror described the plot as 'guessable', the novel received an overall thumbs up for being 'decidedly cosy'. How to get back at unmarried friends? 'Ask them to take your children to the park,' Watson wrote in The Mail on Sunday, because they will 'end up feeling inadequate and not quite adult (a big fear for grown-up singletons)'.



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