Have you ever had a secret so gut-wrenching you couldn’t share it with anyone, not even the person who shares your bed? Told from the alternating perspectives of a husband and wife who both have something to hide, this incisive novel pulls back the curtain on a seemingly-happy marriage, posing the question: how much do we really know–and how much should we want to know–about the people we love the most?
After five years of marriage, the unshakeable confidence Cass felt on her wedding day is decidedly gone. Jonathan, on the other hand, is still smitten with Cass. It’s true that the personality quirks he once found charming in his wife–her complexity, her high standards, her refusal to clean the dishes–are beginning to grate. But for him, these are minor challenges in an otherwise healthy relationship. So it comes as a complete shock to Jonathan when Cass suddenly requests a marital ‘intermission': a six-month separation during which they’ll figure out if the comfortable life they’ve built together is, in fact, the one they both want.
After Cass and Jonathan devise an absurd and jet lag-inducing plan to swap custody of their beloved dog every thirty days, they decide that (aside from their monthly canine exchange) the intermission will be a time for self-reflection–and not a time for talking. Being apart leaves Cass and Jonathan vulnerable in ways they don’t expect: Jonathan slips into old habits with an ex, while Cass is ensnared by a powerful Hollywood producer with a familiar agenda. And, as the months pass, they both begin to see that the very worst of their problems are rooted in just these kinds of calculated silences–and in a delicate web of blistering secrets they may never be ready to share.
“Intelligent commercial fiction… The snappy dialogue makes this an effortless page-turner, almost a movie treatment more than a novel.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Friedland craftily divulges how a relationship-turned-marriage-built-on-lies can turn from bad to worse over the course of just six months…Expertly paced and eerily realistic, this novel will make readers think twice about the line between deception and mystery in any relationship.” —Booklist
“This entertaining marriage saga … unravels the minutiae of everyday life in a broken marriage. Friedland insightfully dissects motives, lies, and love in this engrossing deconstruction of a bad marriage.” —Publishers Weekly
“Cass and Jonathan must decide what’s more important—a “perfect” marriage in which no one is honest or being truly open and vulnerable in front of the person you love. Friedland paints a picture of a complex marriage between two flawed human beings. A multifaceted look at the difficulties and rewards of marriage.” —Kirkus
“The Intermission deftly pulls apart the puzzle of one couple’s marriage and lays the pieces bare, posing the question: would you walk away from your marriage in order to save it? A provocative, insightful look at the intricacies of marriage, the role of fate, and the unpredictable nature of love.” —Jamie Brenner, bestselling author of The Husband Hour
“I absolutely loved The Intermission. This smart, thoughtful exploration of the nature of marriage and relationships is the perfect summer read.” —Brenda Janowitz, author of The Dinner Party