good marriage kimberly mccreight
Book Review / Kimberly McCreight / Reviews with Spoilers

Kimberly McCreight | A Good Marriage

good marriage kimberly mccreight

The Book: 

A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight, 2020

The Characters: 

Lizzie and her husband Sam
Zach and his wife Amanda


The Plot (from Goodreads):

Lizzie Kitsakis is working late when she gets the call. Grueling hours are standard at elite law firms like Young & Crane, but they’d be easier to swallow if Lizzie was there voluntarily. Until recently, she’d been a happily underpaid federal prosecutor. That job and her brilliant, devoted husband Sam—she had everything she’d ever wanted. And then, suddenly, it all fell apart.

No. That’s a lie. It wasn’t sudden, was it? Long ago the cracks in Lizzie’s marriage had started to show. She was just good at averting her eyes.

The last thing Lizzie needs right now is a call from an inmate at Rikers asking for help—even if Zach Grayson is an old friend. But Zach is desperate: his wife, Amanda, has been found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their Brooklyn brownstone. And Zach’s the primary suspect.

As Lizzie is drawn into the dark heart of idyllic Park Slope, she learns that Zach and Amanda weren’t what they seemed—and that their friends, a close-knit group of fellow parents at the exclusive Grace Hall private school, might be protecting troubling secrets of their own. In the end, she’s left wondering not only whether her own marriage can be saved, but what it means to have a good marriage in the first place.

Click here for book spoilers for A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist:

Amanda’s friend Carolyn was already dead, as was her father. As a teen, Amanda had caught her father assaulting Carolyn. Carolyn was already dead when Amanda showed up, but she murdered her father with a straight razor in an attempt to save Carolyn. It was ruled self defense.

Maude had snuck into Amanda and Zach’s house the night of Amanda’s death. She had figured out that Zach was responsible for the school’s data breach and was looking for evidence. While she was there, someone else had come into the house, and then Amanda came home. Maude heard a struggle, took Zach’s golf club to defend herself, and came downstairs to find Amanda dead and another man running away. She knew it wasn’t Zach but couldn’t identify him.

Kerry had killed Amanda. He testified that it was an accident–that he was trying to surprise her but she fell and hit her head, then slipped in her own blood and hit her head again. Maude called her husband to help Amanda, but he was too late. 

The Ending: 

Zach was cleared of the murder charges but admitted to Lizzie that he was blackmailing people with the information from the data breach. She reported him for that. Lizzie’s husband finally went to rehab.

The Review: 

I enjoyed this twisty legal thriller. It was full of secrets, marital drama, addiction, scandal, and trauma from past abuse. Some complex topics, but all well-handled in my opinion. 

I preferred Amanda’s POV to Lizzie’s, even though we know she dies. She felt more relatable to me than Lizzie–many of Lizzie’s early chapters were too focused on how Lizzie didn’t want to take the case and her stress over her marriage. Amanda seemed more sweet and interesting. I liked how grateful she was to be accepted by the other moms. I did wish she would stand up for herself more, but you could tell she was building the courage to do that! 

There were a lot of characters to keep straight. I found myself confusing Sarah and Maude and their husbands, and even confusing Lizzie and Amanda at times. 

Overall, a compelling legal thriller with a satisfying ending.

good marriage kimberly mccreight

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