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Split-Level

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  114 reviews
In Split-Level, set as the nation recoils from Nixon, Alex Pearl is about to commit the first major transgression of her life. But why shouldn’t she remain an officially contented, soon-to-turn-thirty wife? She’s got a lovely home in an upscale Jersey suburb, two precocious daughters, and a charming husband, Donny. But Alex can no longer deny she craves more—some infusion ...more
Kindle Edition
Published May 7th 2019 by She Writes Press
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Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  167 ratings  ·  114 reviews


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*TUDOR^QUEEN*
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

Thank you to the publisher She Writes Press who provided an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

I was drawn to this book because of its setting in the 70s, the decade in which I primarily grew up. I love both the music and films from this decade. I also love reading about stay-at-home mothers, because I always wished to be one of those but couldn't. However, I'd be lying if I didn't confess to being lured in by the provocative nature of this storyline- a married couple ex
...more
Amalia Gkavea
What an absolutely beautiful cover…

The 70s atmosphere and the suburban setting were excellently depicted. The character of Alex had some potential but the marital issues of a couple facing a thing called ‘’7-year-itch’’ and the swingers ‘’aesthetic’’ have little to do with what I consider Literature. I don’t read these…’’books’’ so I dare say I was slightly deceived by the blurb. Atrocious dialogue, zero character development. It’s a pity, really, because the prose and the setting were really pr
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This book is a marriage tale from the 70s with suburbia and open marriage and guilt and consequences.

All of it is from one of the women's points of view as she juggles motherhood and a "hobby" (ie: creative job that brings in extra cash) while worrying about her relationship. It was strange how instead of the open marriage feeling empowering, it felt like something happening TO her, orchestrated by the men. It felt pretty anti-feminist in the context of the book, and I definitely didn't like tha
...more
Bridgett
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals...
--Anais Nin

This was such an interesting, captivating read...one I won't quickly forget. The emotional upheaval it caused almost made me feel like an angsty teenager in high school.

Come on, don't play coy--you know exactly what I mean.

Those moments when everything felt so very important and life-altering. Those moments when you felt your emotio
...more
Tammy(PeaceLoveBooks)
As a child of the 70's, I jumped at the chance to read Split-Level. What happens when a married couple decide to have an "open" marriage and become swingers? I have often wondered how marriages can survive without monogamy. Sande Boritz Berger gave me a though provoking glimpse into a life style completely different than my own. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this captivating novel! ...more
Deanne Patterson
Set in the 1970's world of pot roasts,tupperware and avocado kitchen appliances.
Can a New Jersey couple make an open marriage work?
Published May 7th 2019 by She Writes Press.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you.
All opinions expressed are my own.
...more
Dawnny
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous read!
Alex Pearl is almost thirty. Has a beautiful home, two beautiful girls and a loving husband. Yet, Alex longs for more. For some excitement in her hum drum New Jersey neighborhood. She craves passion. She wants to feel alive. When she and her husband Donny attend Marriage Mountain, a couples sanctuary after an incident with baby sitter,Donny becomes obsessed with the idea that couples can live together, swapping spouses and live happily ever after. After all it is the swinging 1970'
...more
Michele Benchouk
May 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
I did not enjoy this book. I am a child of the 70s and thought that the nostalgia would be fun, but I couldn't get past the fact that the characters were so unlikable. I found the main couple to be whiny and immature, with very little perspective on how to deal with problems (in a relationship, on the job, finding one's identity) without involving very young children. While I understand that "swinging" was thing for some back then, and I don't want to tells others how to live their lives, I agai ...more
Jennifer Gaarder
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review:
Split-Level By Sande Boritz Berger

A young wife in the mid-seventies tries to mend a marriage in desperate ways while making sure her children are the top priority in this heartwrenching drama by the renowned scriptwriter and author, Sande Boritz Berger. Split-Level highlights what it means to make desperate attempts to make a marriage work when all else fails. During a time of free love, multiple partners, marriage retreats, swingers and partner swapping, the Pearls find that maybe they c
...more
Lisa Aiello
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: womens-fiction
I really enjoyed this flash back to the 70's. Remember things like wall phones, and console TVs, and pot-smoking/music listening neighborhood parties, and uhhhh wife-swapping? Okay, so maybe I don't remember the wife-swapping part so much. This was, however, a very engaging read. It's the story of Alex, who is kind of the perfect 70's mom. 2 awesome well-adjusted kids, lovely home, seemingly perfect marriage. Just a little something is missing. A bit of restlessness. Then she finds out her husba ...more
Karyl
I don’t doubt that it was difficult to be a young adult in the 1970s. Children of the Greatest Generation, all grown up but living in a totally new world, one where the old rules had been discarded by the wayside.

Alex and Donny have been married for seven years and have two small daughters. Afraid of the 7-year-itch, Alex signs them up for a marriage retreat to reconnect. There her husband is given a book on wife-swapping by another of the participants, and it is this that sends the Pearls down
...more
Rachel
May 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
This had a very juicy premise: swinging couples in the 70s. This is subject matter ripe for exploration, but we never go deep with anything. The MC, Alex, and her husband are incredibly unlikable. She has zero personality and I have no idea how she inspired a book to be written in first person. We never truly get to know her. She’s full of random quips and we get lots of flowery, overwritten sentences in the middle of sparse writing. Inconsistent is the word for this book.

The husband, Donny, is
...more
Giulia
May 15, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars rounded up because I loved the nostalgia and it got me remembering my 70's childhood. The "open marriage" trend I could do without. Judy Blume has done this already--remember reading Wifey when you were 14?? I did like Sande Boritz Berger's writing style, she gives good details and the writing flows. However, I did not like the main characters-not a one.. nor any of the minor characters. Alex and Donny's kids were the only ones I liked and they are small children tossed around between ...more
Julie
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sande Boritz Berger hits it on the mark with her latest novel. "Split-Level" details the seventies and all the intricacies of the human heart that go with it. When two couples with children fall into a "swapping partners" game, complications arise that confuse, irritate and exhilarate them. What Berger does is take this novel to a higher level via suspense on the page. She turns what could have been a hum-drum cliche and twists it into a tension-filled, anticipatory narrative. Her writing pops o ...more
Jena Henry
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What makes a book “wow, what an amazing story! You have to read this!” For me, it can be an unforgettable character, a page-turning thriller, or a creative non-fiction that teaches me something new. Then there are those special books that delight me because of the writing- the fresh way the author chooses each word, unexpected, new and keenly correct. Words that open me up to both old memories and new feelings and thoughts. This is such a book- a story where word gems create a treasure chest of ...more
Linda Zagon
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Linda's Book Obsession Reviews "Split Level" by Sande Boritz Berger, She Writes Press, May 2019

Sande Boritz Berger , Author of "Split-Level" has written a unique, thought-provoking and entertaining novel. The Genres for this Novel are Fiction and Women's Fiction. The timeline for this story is in the 1970s after Nixon was President. The story takes place mostly in an affluent community in New Jersey. The author describes her dysfunctional cast of characters as complex and complicated.

This is a N
...more
Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition
This was a good, quick read with some fun 1970's nostalgia. The author touched on the popular trends of couples retreats to strengthen relationships and "swinging" parties to swap spouses.
The characters and dialogue was realistic - I grew up in NJ & NY around that time period, so I can attest to that.
It was interesting to see how the protagonist grew from a young newly wed and matured into an independent woman in the '70's.
Overall, it was a good book, but I couldn't help thinking that if she h
...more
Tonya
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Split-level by Sande Bortiz Berger is set in the 70's and features Alex Pearl, a woman who is struggling with feeling quite different than everyone else. Swinging is slowly introduced into their lives. Alex and her husband Donny are often hard to understand or like in this novel that is more appropriate for beach reads than in depth thought. Although there are times that Alex is hard to relate to, there are other times when she is easy to relate to.

Overall, I thought the pace was slow, there di
...more
love2read
Set in the 1970s a wife named Alex find out what it means to be in an open marriage. Can a marriage stand this transgression from both Alex and her husband Donny?
Micah Daniel-Gause
"But I am just a housewife, I remind myself -- a housewife painting in torn underwear, worn inside out. I throw off my robe and grab the blue denim work shirt hanging on the back of the door. I've kept this ragged shirt since college -- a promise to myself I'd never give up." -Alex Pearl

Sande Bortiz Berger takes us on a journey into the Pearls' last-ditch effort to salvage their quickly staling marriage where instead we find a delightful coming of age story of Alex Pearl, a housewife fighting fo
...more
Linda Zagon
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Linda's Book Obsession Reviews "Split Level" by Sande Boritz Berger, She Writes Press, May 2019

Sande Boritz Berger , Author of "Split-Level" has written a unique, thought-provoking and entertaining novel. The Genres for this Novel are Fiction and Women's Fiction. The timeline for this story is in the 1970s after Nixon was President. The story takes place mostly in an affluent community in New Jersey. The author describes her dysfunctional cast of characters as complex and complicated.

This is a N
...more
Melissa
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Sande Boritz Berger’s own words, Split-Level is the “tale of a young woman lost in the mire of ideas others had conjured for her future.”

Alex Pearl lives what seems an idyllic 1970s housewife life. She did all the “right” things and even has a small business to keep her artistic side happy, but at nearly 30, Alex seems naive about the way the world really works and dissatisfied with the path her life has taken.

The book begins rather slow, building the picture of what I imagine life was like f
...more
Lavender
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Split-Level captured my attention because of the way it's written. It's from the point of view of Alex Pearl, a housewife whose relationship with her husband is turbulent at best. Although it is a little slow paced, I didn't mind spending the time with Alex's thoughts. It's extremely well-written. I didn't live through the 70s, but I could vividly picture every moment with the minute details that add just the right amount of description. It has a small number of characters and they leave strong ...more
Lourdes
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a child of the 70's, I wanted to read Split-Level. What happens when a married couple decide to have an "open" marriage and become swingers? Will it survive. Back in the 70's things were a bit different.. but still in today's world. About the same.

Alex, tells us her story in the first person. The writing was great, I really enjoyed this book, my first time reading from this Author.

It will bring you back to that ERA, and always the spouse wants to sway away from his marriage or try something
...more
Stella
May 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Split-Level is a world that seems to have that hazy filter that so many movies of the 70s had. Think about how glowy The Stepford Wives or Carrie was - that's what reading this was like. Additionally, Wifey by Jude Blume already talked about marriage and the sexual revolution - and that book blew my mind the first time I ready it ....at age 14.

Split-Leve...did not. While the story is familiar - family, 1970s, wife-swapping, etc etc etc - it just kind of was blah for me. It just kind of gave me b
...more
Lourdes
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a child of the 70's, I wanted to read Split-Level. What happens when a married couple decide to have an "open" marriage and become swingers? Will it survive. Back in the 70's things were a bit different.. but still in today's world. About the same.

Alex, tells us her story in the first person. The writing was great, I really enjoyed this book, my first time reading from this Author.

It will bring you back to that ERA, and always the spouse wants to sway away from his marriage or try something
...more
Melli
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to net galley and the publisher for allowing me to read this Arc. However I just couldn’t get into it. It’s not my normal type of read but I wanted to branch out and I’m disappointed that I didn’t enjoy it.. i know it’s about a different time a whole different socioeconomic period but I just couldn’t relate. The main character I found annoying and a little maybe paranoid Also just a bit submissive and dumb. The writing was ok and the flow of the story was good but I just couldn’t conne ...more
Karen Green
May 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, 2019, net-galley
This was a quick read for me and kept me occupied on a 4-hour train ride. The setting and plot have a lot of promise, and I love the era the book was set in, but unfortunately it felt quite unpolished. I could never get a handle on the husband--or really, any of the main characters. I think they were fully formed in the author's mind, but something just didn't translate to the page for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and She Writes Press for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest revi
...more
Amy Sunshine
May 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This just wasn't the right book for me. It appealed to me because I'm a child of the 70's and the concept of "spouse swapping" always makes for good drama. But I really disliked every single character in this book. I found them all self-centered and unsympathetic. Other than the children, I really didn't care what happened to any of them.

...more
Robin
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC. Set in the 70’s, 2 couples explore wife swapping. The story is told through one wife, who is conflicted about this arrangement. In this story we see her find her voice and take control of her choices. I wasn’t empathetic toward any of the characters and did not like them. But the writing kept me engaged in the story, I wanted them all to find their way by the end.
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After two decades as a scriptwriter and video/film producer for Fortune 500 companies, Sande Boritz Berger returned to her passion: writing both fiction and non-fiction full time. Her stories and essays have been published in The Rambler Magazine, Every Woman Has a Story by Warner Books, Ophelia's Mom by Crown Publishing, Aunties: Thirty-five Writers Celebrate Their Other Mother by Ballantine and ...more

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