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The Starter Marriage

3.03  ·  Rating Details ·  244 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Tess Leonard thought her marriage vows to Barney were for life. But when he leaves her for a busty young secretary, Tess realizes that she needs to rethink her idea of happily-ever-after.

Tess is falling apart-until she sees a life raft on the horizon. It's called the Divorce Survival Class-something like boot camp for the broken-hearted. As Tess gets to know her classmates
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 5th 2005 by NAL (first published January 21st 2005)
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Jan 02, 2009 Amy rated it liked it
Read this in a day while up at our cabin in the mountains of Georgia. I thought it was well told and thoughtful in the writing. I certainly don't know how I'd do if shoved out into the world of single-dom again. Harrison has given depth to her characters, letting them evolve and grow. Glimpses of all the different marriages that touched the story only made me more grateful for the wonderful relationship I am in. No doubt about it-- marriage is work but it is definitely worth it (IMHO).

One of the
Jan 30, 2010 Ringthebells rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 06, 2012 Miki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review was first published on my blog Lecture Toute une Aventure

Kate Harrison seems the best author of chick lit for me so far. I love her writing style so fresh and moving with some funny moments and characters so interesting.
It’s, by far, my favourite chick lit book at the moment ; though I concede that after only 3 I still don’t have a lot of experience but at least this time I was completely in it and I wanted to finish the book

Tess in a wonderful character: teacher in her mid thirti
Hsiau Wei
Nov 21, 2011 Hsiau Wei rated it it was ok
This book tells the story of Tess who struggle to overcome and accept the separation and betrayal from her husband found her lifeline when she attended a divorce survival class. The plot mainly focused on the members of the class; i.e. William , the organiser, Carol Ann, Jo, Natalie, Rani, Aaron, Tim and Malcolm where the author narrate their story. Each of this characters have their own story which i find it interesting. However, it is worth noting that the plot was rather slow and at times, it ...more
May 21, 2009 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
I really enjoyed this one. Like another reviewer- I enjoyed the references to places around Birmingham. The Starter Marriage by Kate Harrison
Jan 06, 2016 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, bc-09
I read this enjoyable little story while on vacation. It was an okay romance/chick-lit type book, nothing that was spectacular, but still an enjoyable read.
Dec 29, 2013 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goodreads didn't include the version of the paperback book that I read, and that's a shame. The version of The Starter Marriage shown would have never swayed me to pick it up impulsively with the lame, wispy flowers arranged to form an outlined, cloying heart on a dull, ecru background.

I picked my book impulsively from a Half Price Books bookstore because of it's compelling cover art. My version features the 90's ubiquitous magnetic poetry segments chunkily spelling out the title of the book an
Sep 21, 2015 Babs rated it liked it
The book charts the life of Tess (aka "Tip Top Tess") from her initial reaction to discovering her husband of 17 years is abandoning her for a curvier, younger model, through to the completion of the "Divorce Survival Class" she was forced into attending by a well meaning friend. The book is scattered with interesting characters, from Tess' own friends through to her work colleagues and fellow "Divorce Survivors".

If I had any criticism to make it would be that the love interest was a little con
While I enjoyed the growth and change of the character in this book there were a few other aspects of the story that didn't sit so well with me.

For one, the absolute pathetic desperation Tess felt when her husband left. I understand that it was part of her character and that after seventeen years, sure, she's going to be hurt and depressed but HE cheated on HER. I just don't get how she could pine for him after he was such a... lets just say horrible person... to her. For another thing, the mot
While this was an easy book to read, I did have some reservations about the main character. Her husband leaves her after several years of marriage and she falls apart understandably. She finds help with a support group for divorcees, a workshop if you like. Her character develops well, but in the last third of the book, she meets another man and by he end planning on moving her life to his part of the country. Ok nothing wrong with that, except I felt that this was rather rushed, we don't see ...more
Apr 08, 2012 Holly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, I can't say that this was as good as it looked when I bought it...

While I enjoyed it whenever I picked it up, it wasn't really one I couldn't put down. It took me ages to read, because I read it while I had nothing else to do - on the bus, on a break at work, etc, rather reading for an hour before bed, or choosing to read it over watching a film or something.

If you contemplate taking this on holiday, then I say do it, cos by a pool, you'll have finished in a couple of days and it
Aug 07, 2012 LindyLouMac rated it it was ok
So much better than her previous novel 'Old School Ties' Journal entry one outlines the story of this bitter sweet read. I hope neither of my daughters ever have to go through what the heroine Tess has to! I have to say that I do not like the title of this book at all. Call me old fashioned but I find the phrase Starter Marriage in its self distasteful. A different title may well have made the book seem more appealing?
Mhairi Simpson
Apr 08, 2011 Mhairi Simpson rated it really liked it
I loved this book. What fascinated me as a writer was the use of POV: 1st person present for one character, and 3rd person past for another. As a reader I loved how a large cast of characters was well developed through two different characters' points of view, and the variety of personal circumstances displayed through the cast was wonderfully detailed. I laughed out loud more or less once every two or three pages and I'm looking at the book now with a silly grin on my face. A great novel.
Jan 15, 2014 Chana rated it it was ok
I think this came to me via a Little Free Library.
After 17 years together Tess's husband leaves her for a younger woman who works in his office. Tess is devastated and non-functional for a few months. A friend suggests a divorce survival course. The course proves helpful and by the time her husband realizes his mistake and wants her back she has realized that she doesn't want him back. She makes a lot of new friends and finds a new love interest.
Jan 19, 2010 Sharon rated it liked it
Shelves: 2-3-times, chick-lit
I had read this before, but didn't remember it. It was one of those books, where even when you pick it up for the second time, you don't remember the whole plot. It just came back to me piece by piece. The story of a suddenly divorced woman and her time in a divorce recovery group. Leavened by the other members of the group. I don't know why I read so many books about divorce. Just gloating, I guess?
Celia Powell
Jul 26, 2008 Celia Powell rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction
I should have known from the set-up - a therapy class for divorcees - that this was going to be fairly trashy chick-lit, and yep, it was. I kind of liked our heroine for most of the story, particularly when she stood up to her ex, but most of the other characters were so cardboardy and stilted that it really spoilt the story for me. I hated the therapist dude. I'd probably check out another one of Harrison's books, if I wanted something light to read, but I'd do it warily.
I stole this book from Katweeble (my sister) on our family trip away and read it on the run up to christmas. It was a great book - I really enjoyed it despite it's slightly depressing subject of Marriage break-ups. What I really liked was all the refernces from places I know in Birmingham- Harborne, Hudsons, 5 ways, and my personal favourite, Bobby Browns and the dance floors on different levels.
I don't care for Harlequin romances, but once in a while I like to read something like this. A woman finds love after a "starter marriage" doesn't work out. It's outside my own experience, so I'm sure I learn something about what others' lives are like, which is a lot of the reason to read any fiction.
Jun 29, 2009 Annelise rated it liked it
Pretty chick lit-ish for something in our collection. Very British. School teacher Tess has just been left by her husband for his curvy secretary. Her best friend convinces her to attend a divorce survival class. Adventure ensues. Not always the most believable plot, but it would certainly make for an entertaining British sitcom.
Kate Millin
Sep 09, 2016 Kate Millin rated it really liked it
A book passed to me by Molyneux (another book crosser) on a ring - based in Birmingham and about Tip Top Tess who is going through a divorce. Some bits I recognised myself in, others irritated me, like the thought you are only ok if you go out to find another person straight away
Melisa Kjellander
Oct 08, 2007 Melisa Kjellander rated it it was ok
Shelves: drama, chicklit
well, it kept me engaged, but not at the edge of my seat. A bit depressing, it follows a bunch of divorcees through the aftermath. Of course my favorite parts were when the main character was being a teacher and not a divorcee. Eh.
Rasha Dbakrly
May 27, 2013 Rasha Dbakrly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book! I liked most the writting style, the technique in the narration and of couse above all Kate Harrison's artisitic & witty sense of humour! Highly recommend for reading especially ladies.
Oct 23, 2007 Judy rated it it was ok
This book didn't do much for me. Perhaps it was because I could not relate; but the chapters seemed very drawn out during their weekly meetings.
Good quick read, perfect to take on holiday. It was fairly predictable how things would turn out, but that didn't spoil my enjoyment of the character's journey there.
Mar 26, 2013 Stephanie rated it it was ok
This book is boring boring boring. Tess is dull. I have up on this book half way. It's lacking in many ways
Laura Leigh
Jul 04, 2008 Laura Leigh rated it liked it
Maybe I was in the mood to read something a bit more serious, but this was still a fun, well-written book.
Jan 25, 2008 Saskia added it
Bit frothy, but not badly written. The end was a bit too good to be true but that's what you'd expect for the genre.
Aug 15, 2007 Shauna rated it it was ok
I didn't really like this book for some reason. I just felt like I couldn't get into it. I may give it a go at a later date, but I really just couldn't get into it like I would have liked.
Feb 08, 2009 Liz rated it really liked it
I picked this one up a couple of days ago because it looked light and fluffy and I needed an easy read. I am done with it two days later. It was very good. Very feel-good.
Read this ages ago and really liked it. The author is also supportive of bookcrossing and I read this on a 'ring'.
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Kate was born in Wigan, and lived in more than a dozen places when she was growing up, including England, Scotland, and the Netherlands. She trained as a print journalist and then worked for the BBC as a reporter and Education Correspondent, before switching to behind the scenes producing on programmes including Newsround and Panorama. Her final 'proper' job involved coming up with TV programme ...more
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