Book Review: An Open Marriage by Tess Stimson



Imagine this: You are happily married for eight years. A husband who’s calm, and collected. A seven-year old daughter. You left your career as a fast-track journalist to settle with him, renounce the American Flag and accept the Queen and the Union Jack. You are happy, you keep telling yourself. But really, you are. It’s just sometimes it gets boring after doing the same  work-at-home blogger for eight years, in a new country with no friends.

Then you meet Charlie, who’s the exact type of woman you’d love to befriend. She’s your husband’s boss, she’s married and also has a kid. For nineteen years she’s also been doing this marriage thing after giving up her career for a more settled life with a husband who nags too much.

Set up play-dates for the kids, and make weekends couples dating. You are loving this whole foursome friendship thing. Food, wine, laughter, then one (really-drunken) night truth and dare and sex on the same couch.

Strange but sextastic. Your husband says don’t think too much of this. But really, how does this foursome thing go? It’s nice doing it with your husband, but locking eyes with another woman’s husband as you come (while he makes his wife come) is… fucking amazing! Yet, strange.

Rules are to be set. What are the limitations? No one said twosomes, or threesomes, or pushing your husband off you as things are getting more exciting. Before you know it all lines have been crossed. Your relationship with your husband, your friend, and his husband is at stake. Every couple is fighting. Then you begin to think, really, was it all worth it?

Mia and Charlie lives summed up for your delight in their very open friendship.

I loved, loved this book. So you know in this review, I’ll be screaming at you to get it!

(I was reading this book with a permanent smile on my face, then, “Oh, oh, oh, really? Wow.” I began lowering in my seat).The storyline is amazing! You all know I’m such a sucker for never-been-done storylines. Woman leaves career for another country, married for eight years, happy but marriage is in a rut, bored for monotony, seeks variety, meets husband’s boss who seeks variety too, couples on couch, couples on bed, dysfunctional relationships, disintegrating marriage…. Freaking fantabulous! It’s so new. I’m sure even if is there is a book (on this topic), there can’t be any book well-executed like Tess Stimson did this. I just jumped the band-wagon into Tess Stimson’s fan base (realizing she writes very unique Women’s Fiction). Throw clich├ęs out the door!──

(There are some characters you’d love to watch. There are other characters you’d love to do. There are also other characters you’d love to watch do.) I so freaking loved Mia and Charlie if all friendships were like this, I do not know what would become of the world. But sometimes people have weird bonds (or bands for this matter) they share, and I loved how Tess Stimson portrayed the whole shebang of their partly dysfunctional, partly warm friendship. She nailed it when she represented their point-of-views in first-person descriptive. Two different women with different personalities but similar tastes. Tess Stimson splits them apart with first-person descriptive it’s so hard not to like them, and so difficult to even judge them. There’s no ‘Other-woman’, just another couple.── ★★

(Sometimes, men do play a key-role in society, “Atta husbands!”) The other mates of this scrumptious foursome, make this book worth reading. Kit and Rob, both different men. One going all the lengths to please his wife, the other going all the lengths to make his wife please him. I’ve never hated a character, ever, as much as I hated Rob. God, sometimes listening to him rant just made me feel like hitting my head against my study desk repeatedly. It’s amazing how Tess Stimson can portray one character very intensely to make you bloody-boil with anger. A star to fantastic supporting-character development.── ★★★

[Coworker: “Kobby, why are you smiling?”. Me: “It’s a great day after all.” Coworker: “Kobby, why are you smiling into the book and making thrusting moves with your pen’s flicker?” Me: “Gee, can anyone have some privacy in this office for once?” (storm out of the office)] The sex deserves a star. Really, it does. I’m the king of appreciating a good experimentation. ── ★★★★

I was practically on the edge of my seat from the suspense (what with the great sex and all too?). You never see any part of this book coming, Tess throws them at you so skilfully you never get to recover before another punch comes your way.
The lessons in this book, are off the roof! So many lessons Tess Stimson imparts with this story, and the very depressing thing she teaches that you just have to go along with because you have no choice (thanks to her excellent writing), is that no one should judge another. She lets you deduce your own lessons from this book with your own understanding/ life-experiences, but she kind of makes it difficult for you to judge anyone in such marital position because you really never know what’s with someone unless you be them. (And she makes you ‘be’ her two main characters by presenting the story in their point-of-views in first description). This is the book you women would all be discussing at your brunches, trying to shed more insights under hushed tones so people at the neighbouring tables don’t give you strange stares.── ★★★★★

I could go on and on, on reasons why you all should rush for a copy of this book. But aren’t the above reasons enough to tell you, you need a paperback of this book on amazon. Kindle really doesn’t do it justice. It’s the kind of book you would need to pick up from your shelf and hug once more.

My rating: Five stars.

You can get Tess Stimson’s amazing An Open Marriage on amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to try something new. Anyone who loves their Women’s Fiction steamy and packed with lessons all women could relate to. Anyone who has even considered doing the Open thing or not. Anyone who’s a Tess Stimson fan as she doesn’t disappoint in this title too.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.


  1. Thank you so much, Kobby! You brought a smile to my day, and made all the late night rewrites and hair-pulling crises worth it. Hugs.xxxxxx

    1. Hugs back! I can't say I loved this book to pieces in reply to your comment after this review. That would be a crime. But you are daring and aweeessoome!!!