Thursday, May 19, 2011

For Better by Tara Parker-Pope

Title: For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage
Author: Tara Parker-Pope
Publisher: Dutton
Source: Library

What's the Story?: 

From "We’ve all heard the statistic: Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. It’s enough to make many couples give up when the going gets rough, thinking that’s what everybody else does. But what if it weren’t true? What if, in fact, it’s not only possible but often easier than you think to save a seemingly troubled relationship? These are the questions leading New York Times blogger Tara Parker-Pope asked herself after her own divorce. An investigative journalist on the health and wellness beat, she turned to some of the top biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and other scientists for the facts about marriage and divorce. 

Those facts were more positive and provocative than she’d ever expected, and For Better offers page after page of astonishing, eye-opening good news. Parker-Pope presents the science behind why some marriages work and others don’t; the biology behind why some spouses cheat and others remain faithful; the best diagnostic tools created by the most cutting-edge psychologists to assess the probability of success in getting married, staying married, or remarrying. There are questionnaires to uncover potentially damaging hidden attitudes toward spouses. There are tools to show the impact of routine, fresh activity and how small adjustments can make a huge difference. Tara Parker-Pope’s genius is for exploring the science behind the big issues that affect our lives every day and translating that science into advice that we can use—every day."

My Two Cents: 

I was compelled to read this book after hearing about it on one of my favorite relationship blogs, A Practical Wedding. Being a newlywed, I thought I could find something useful in the book. Now let me just say, self-help type books are just really not my cup of tea so I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this book. 

I could see how this book would be more helpful if you were in a relationship where you weren't really sure where your relationship was going or if you potentially had doubts about your relationship. For myself personally, I feel like I have a good handle on my relationship and I know where we stand so a lot of the pseudo quizzes throughout the book were not that enlightening.

This book definitely could have used some tighter editing. I found it very repetitive, sometimes almost word for word, which really took away from the book overall. 

This book was not for me but maybe someone else may get more out of it. 

My Review:
2 out of 5 stars


  1. Ugh...hate it when I read a dud. Thanks for giving us the heads-up!

  2. Books filled with repetitive writing can be so irritating. To me, that just shows a lack of writing ability, or lack of subject matter. The jacket copy is kind of sounds like the book would be more focused on the science and less on the self-help element. I can see how this wouldn't be a very enjoyable read. Thanks for the honest review.

  3. @Jenna (Literature and a Lens) The version of "science" in the book seems to be limited to surveys. I'm not sure how scientific that really is.


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