'Portrait of Our Marriage', by Martha Emms'Portrait of Our Marriage', by Martha Emms'Portrait of Our Marriage', by Martha Emms
The black and white reworked into a kaleidoscope of complex colour.

Portrait of Our Marriage very cleverly draws the line between what should be acceptable in a relationship and what shouldn’t be. The clever part, though, is how faintly the author traces that line. Let’s face it, don’t we all love to convince ourselves – particularly one another – every other day, in some form, that we have a strong handle on what we perceive to be a perversion? And, in some cases, sexual perversion. It may be the fella who lives down the street, what he’s been up to; it may be someone’s escapades in a soap opera – oh, they’re easy-meat, ’should be hanged, end of !

But again, let’s face it, deep down, we all know that life isn’t so black and white, far from it, and that, were we not so insecure in ourselves, which we all are, we wouldn’t take this black and white view, but have to courage to affront life, for all its complexities. Well, the author of this novel has done just that – and I, personally, have yet to see it done elsewhere, books that approach the subject of porn addiction. She’s done it superbly.

We know from the outset that the marriage has hit the rocks, so I’m giving nothing away there, but, suffice it to say, the wife has it all; Brett, the loving, understanding hunk; the kids et al… except the husband isn’t so understanding when it comes to that little bugbear: porn. Furthermore, he just may not understand that he has an addiction, “may” being the operative word – does he have selective hearing? Selective understanding?

Or, to really throw the cards up in the air, might I suggest that Nicky, the narratorial wife, is a little too highly strung? I may just be playing devil’s advocate here, but my point is that anyone reading this novel, male and female, must, at some point at least, question themselves with regard to how they might behave in a similar situation at home – indeed, some might just be in a similar situation at home…

Of course, it takes more than subject matter for a reader to be posing pertinent questions. The writer must draw that reader in first of all, which the author succeeds in doing with grace.

And this, I might add, is her debut work. What a start. Bravo!

You can buy the book here <<