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This Side of Married

2.74  ·  Rating details ·  372 ratings  ·  79 reviews
The comedy of domestic manners gets a delightful update in this intoxicating novel that suggests a latter-day Pride and Prejudice transplanted to an affluent suburb of Philadelphia. Well-meaning but domineering Dr. Evelyn Rubin has one consuming wish, that her three daughters be happily married. Alice, the eldest, is about to tumble into a speedy engagement. Sensible Isabe ...more
Published by Blackstone Audio (first published May 24th 2004)
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Average rating 2.74  · 
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Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Even with Barbara Rosenblatt, not my cup of tea. I feel like lots of Pride & Prejudice remakes focus on too much of a superficial reading of the texts, and this is no exception. I don't expect every scene or character to have a parallel, but I do expect characters that can be liked and few plot points that shrivel off (like - the girls' "babysitter" - what was her role exactly? She could have disappeared and made the family seem less 1%ish and less racist, frankly.) I guess if I'd picked it up a ...more
Cara Hinton
Sometimes it's challenging to find a book that isn't political or educational. This book is just a good read. It's not outstanding, but it's an easy enjoyable book that takes you through the lives of three sisters who don't always get along. I felt like with the youngest sister the story wasn't finished, there certainly could have been more depth to the story, but as far as summer lazy reads go, this is a good one.
How many modern-day Pride and Prejudices can there be? A lot apparently. This one takes place in Philidelphia with an overbearing doctor mother dead set on marrying off her two remaining single daughters and a judge fater who is less-than-involved in their lives. Things fall even further apart for Dr. Rubin when her married middle daughter, Isabel, announces that she and her husband are getting a divorce. Now there are three single daughters and though there are potential mates, not all of them ...more
Sue Kozlowski
I liked it. Three sisters in Philly. Mother wants them married. One is married, younger sister has an affair with her husband!
Jul 31, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so ashamed to have been manipulated by the reference to Jane Austen on the cover: "Jane Austen's honey and vinegar spirit is alive and well in Rachel Pastan's delightful novel." Ugggh. I'm such a sucker. It was well written, at least, but that's all I can say good about it. I can't believe I read this. What an affront to Jane Austen. And to The Help as well, since there's a plot line about the nanny raising children that are not her own. There is absolutely nothing delightful about this. At ...more
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant and much needed light and witty read.
Barbara Cryer
A perfectly reasonable retelling of Pride and Prejudice.
Jobiska (Cindy)
This was a fun read. It did make me think about how much has changed in the world since 2004! There were a few distracting errors (pray tell, where is "Buck's County?") but overall I enjoyed it.
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I listened to this in audiobook - a great production, by the way. It's a modern take on Pride and Prejudice. I misunderstood at first (spoiler alert, not that the events are a surprise in any way - that's not the point!). At first I thought it was what happens ~10 years after the events of Pride and Prejudice (but set in modern times), after Elizabeth and Darcy's marriage is falling apart. I was a ways into the book before I realized I was wrong about who Darcy was - it's the actual events of Pr ...more
Apr 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that just doesn't seem deserving enough of 4 stars, but 3 is too low, so I guess it's in the middle. This book was enjoyable, a cute little read about the men/mother problems of three sisters.

There's Alice, the oldest, who is knocking on 40's door and has never been married, or even in a serious long-term relationship. Isabel, who after 12 years of marriage is second-guessing the whole arrangement, mostly due to the fact that they are seemingly unable to conceive. And
Published in 2004, this debut novel tells the story of three sisters, the daughters of two prominent, highly successful parents, with the “perfect marriage,” darting in and out of the themes of Jane Austen's “Pride and Prejudice.” Pastan soon takes the reader to the 21st century: are the challenges/choices facing women so much different than those facing Austen's characters?

The women are bright, yet so very different from one another, embracing their independence while acknowledging their desire
Feb 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This Side of Married reminded me a little bit of Laurie Colwin, although with a slightly bitter tinge to it that Colwin’s books never had. People in her books did things like have affairs, but the stories were about people’s deep attachments to each other, rather than about people being hurtful to each other. I’ve never felt entirely comfortable with those of Colwin’s books, actually, that had affairs at the heart of them – but I still find them satisfying to read. The books don’t entirely let t ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about this book. I was drawn to it by the description which talked of similarities to Jane Austen's writing. So I guess what happened was I had too high expectations (this happens a lot in my life actually). Towards the end I thought "yea, I guess this was kind of like Austen's storyline but not as good."

I have a few friends that think marriage is stupid and that all men are awful and cheat and I really hope that they never read this book. Every marriage seems to be immense
Aug 16, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If I had read this first novel by Ms. Pastan before reading Lady of the Snakes, I doubt I would have even tried the latter.

It is a good first novel, but nothing spectacular. Lady of the Snakes is amazing. Between the two, the author really narrowed down and fine-tuned her observations of relationships and marriage into perfect accuracy. This was a clumsy start, but the seeds of greatness are there.

This novel bored me, and I kept waiting for the wonderful storyline and writing to emerge that I sa
Natalie Shawver
Apr 25, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had something kind to say about this book, but it was just a major letdown. Three sisters: one is married, one who gets engaged, one who is single and pregnant. They have an interesting bond and a dramatic twist (SPOILER: it's almost so predictable it's not funny) brings them even closer...but in the fakest of ways. I was left scratching my head and wondering why there wasn't some sort of major blowout or argument. Instead, the book just kind of, well, ended. No clear conclusions drawn ...more
Feb 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-book, 2016
A pleasant if not compelling version of Pride and Prejudice. Austen's masterpiece is not one that readily translates to modern day. How many mothers are sitting around wringing their hands hoping their daughters find men to support them, after all? But the author finds a serviceable workaround for the problem by making the mother a career woman in her own right who just wants to see her daughters happily settled. Even then, the mother's reactions weren't always plausible, but it mostly worked. I ...more
Jennifer S. Brown
Sep 04, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My friend had this book on her Goodreads list, and it looked interesting so I promptly stole it for my own list. I can only say, don't waste your time. I love a good piece of chick lit, and this was not it. Supposedly a modern day Jane Austen tale, this novel is trite, one dimensional, and boring. The mother, a successful doctor, is trying to make sure her three daughters are all happily married. But the daughters are so single minded, I can't imagine who would want them. The twists are predicta ...more
May 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If I'm going to read Jane Austen, I'll read Jane Austen. This thing about rewriting classics baffles me - this book has a lot going for it except for 1. the deus ex machina of the former journalist who shows up and moves things along and 2. the unbearably happy ending -- in every single respect, except for boiling one particularly unpleasant character in oil. Love and families are messy and ambivalent and uncertain and Pastan, with her fabulous skills and characterization, could have done sooo m ...more
Jul 20, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: a person who has nothing better to read
What a disappointment compared to Lady of the Snakes, by same author
This is so predicatble in that you expect to read what you don't expect.
The only thing to keep you reading is that you (I) don't know exactly which unexpected thing is going to happen.
3 daughters born to a mother who is a doctor and father who is a judge.
And all about their family relationships but especially the romances of the 3 daughters and what mother thinks of them.
Maybe I should mark it as "didn't like it".
Jul 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not even close to being a latter day Pride and Prejudice- to suggest otherwise is doing a Jane Austen fan a real disservice. Plot is very slow going- at some points I wondered why I was still plodding along with it. Any supposed curveballs were fairly obvious and to be honest; I dropped the book in the lake on accident and was sad that someone fished it out for me. I wished for the time it took me to read it back.
I do understand their thoughts in it being a modern day Pride and Prejudice, but I feel it wold be better time spent to stick with the classic. What I fund redeeming in it was the discussion and discovery between the mother and daughter late in the book. It was the one part that brought me in as it was intrigued to listen to their plodding through the old tale of misunderstanding and assumption in families.
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
In going through the reviews, this is certainly ranked pretty poorly. But from my memory of reading it (all in one night three years ago), it was one of the first books that really woke me to the fact that society, and women themselves, still have a hard time recognizing themselves as whole without marriage.

The protagonist's infertility, for some reason, was really poignant to me at the time.
I read this book in two days. It is suppose to be a modern day version of Pride and Prejudice. I did see some relations but in the end they tied the book up too quickly and I was disappointed that they didn't give you more of a final answers to so many questions that were brought up. It did grab my attention right away and kept me through the book but the end not so great.
Apr 07, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book follows the story of three sisters, one who is 38 and single, one whose husband cheats on her with her younger sister, and the younger sister who gets pregnant and marries some distant cousin on the mother's side. Anyway, it was ok, there were a few nice moments, but mostly a snoozer....YAAAAWN.
May 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this book; it sounded like such a great story! However, the ending was very disappointing. It was so abrupt and I think there was much more story to tell. It was something I just picked up in the library without knowing anything about it or the author but I wouldn't go out of my way to read anything else by her.
Worthwhile for lovers of Austen. So many books claim to be "Austen-like" if they treat courtship and marriage but Janeites with a familiarity with P&P will either love or hate this one because it is so closely tied to its inspiration. I was thinking of this last night when I heard the lecture about rewritings of Austen. Still think "The Jane Austen Book Club" is one of the better ones. ...more
May 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book touched on several hot topics for women of today. Can I have a complete and fulfilling life if I don't marry or have a child? Do I work or stay home if I have a child? What should I do if my spouse cheats on me....with my sister?!?!? It was very interesting to hear the different points of view of the ladies in the book.
Melisa Kjellander
Eh. This was somewhere between chick lit and drama. it took me a while to read...following three sisters through singledom, marriage, divorce, etc. None of the characters were particularly compelling and it took me a while to read. I wouldn't really recommend it.
I listened to this book. It's pretty fluffy, but I surprised myself that I liked it so much. - For example: even though I finished this book over a week ago, I still think of the characters and wonder about them.
Very quick read - maybe 6 hours max. I liked that I started this book and finished it within a day or two. I needed something quick and girly. Something light while I'm trying to make it through Anna Karenina. I think I'm looking at years before I finish that one. ;)
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