The Intermission by Elyssa Friedland

The Intermission

Elyssa Friedland

Cass and Jonathan go on an "intermission," a six-month separation to see if this life is the one they want. Told from alternating perspectives, this incisive novel pulls back the curtain on a seemingly-happy marriage.

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A HelloGiggles Best New Release
A PopSugar Best Book of July
A BookBub Editor's Pick
A SheReads Best Book of Summer
A GoodReads Buzzy New Release
A Mind Body Green Best Book of July
A PureWow Best Beach Read of Summer 2018

"An effortless page-turner, almost a movie treatment more than a novel...intelligent commercial fiction."--The Wall Street Journal

After five years of marriage, Cass Coyne has lost some of her boundless confidence. Her husband sees their ups and downs as normal challenges in a healthy relationship, but Cass lies awake at night wondering what you do when you need a break from your marriage?

It comes as a shock to Jonathan when Cass persuades him to try a marital "intermission": a six-month separation during which they'll decide if the comfortable life they've built together is still the one they both want.

Six months apart from their beloved dog is a different story, so they agree to meet once a month for a custody exchange. Time apart on opposite coasts makes the Coynes realize their problems may lie deeper than sweaty gym socks left on the bed and an empty container of milk put back in the fridge.

Can a marriage experiment go too far for two people who once thought they had it all figured out?

Advance Galley Reviews

The seven-year itch seems to be what is ailing Cass at year five in The Intermission by Elyssa Friedland. Unfortunately, neither Jonathan nor Cass are particularly likable characters in this character driven story. The consequence of that is that I end up not really caring about the outcome. The premise of the book seems to be about how well you really know your partner; the book goes more in the direction of how well do you really know yourself. Read my complete review at Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.

I adored this book, I was hooked from the beginning and it held my attention until the end. this is a book a lot of people can relate to especially ones who have been married for a long time. If more people could afford this type of lifestyle divorce attorney's would go broke. The plot moved along at a fast pace, the character's were likable, it's just a win, win as far as this reader is concerned. It's a great beach read, it's really a quite charming read.

I received this book through the Penguin First to Read. I started out reading about a third of the book. I just could not relate the the characters in this book. I put it aside and went on to other books. Again opening it back up only to find no matter how many times I tried this, I could not get into this book. Thus it was a DNF for me. I had heard a lot of good things about this book and it was featured in a lot of the newsletters I receive. Therefore I won't say it's a terrible book, it may just be that for me I was unable to finish. I gave it 2 stars because I think the author is a decent writer but just not a book I personally could connect to. I tried several times but just was unable to make myself finish.

The quirky book cover reflects the dynamics of their marriage, sleeping apart, bound only by Puddles, the unifying factor between Jonathan and Cass. The book is divided into three parts, with Act One – Together, Act Two – Intermission, and Act Three – After. It is written in the third person past tense point of view of both Jonathan and Cass, in alternate chapters. At first it seemed to me that the point of view should have been first person. But then I realized that the author’s omniscient PoV was better since they were not yet ready to come clean with each other. There were plenty of secrets that they were still in denial about. Secrets that they would have to come clean with. Secrets that we already know about thanks to the flashbacks neatly scattered throughout the story. Like any marriage, theirs begins with noble intentions. Cass tells herself that she will never say no to Jonathan for sex. But then married sex becomes a chore. And the irritations of daily life begin to sap their energy. The act of living with someone with different habits, eccentricities, and a whole different upbringing and background, takes a toll. As anyone who is married learns, not that we love our spouses the less, but that they irritate us the more. And eventually, the love gets tarnished by the constant abrasions. It got me thinking of the differences we bring to our marriage. How we never reconcile ourselves to them completely. How men and women are different. How each finds the other complicated. The burden of expectations weighs heavily. We come to know of the lies that are a part of every marriage. As outsiders, looking in, we can smile at the chinks in their marriage, particularly if we can relate to them. As insiders, spouses are often too busy trying to claw their way out. And so it is that we learn that Jonathan probably has a permanent indentation from biting his tongue. It comes from his tolerating her bad habits, while she is totally vocal about his. His silences, as much as her complaints, lead to resentments. The Intermission is not just about the marriage of Jonathan and Cass. We also learn more about the marriage of Jonathan’s parents, with his father’s constant affairs; Cass’ mother’s relationships with losers; the marriage of Jemima and Henry Wentworth. Through the wedding of Jonathan’s youngest brother, Michael and his fiancée, Jordyn, we see how cheesy weddings can be. It’s also a reminder of how over-prepared we are for weddings, and how ill-prepared we are for marriages. As characters, Jonathan and Cass are opposites not only in upbringing, but in the fact that their meeting years after college is serendipity, or so he thinks, while she knows that she engineered it. In Jonathan’s words, Cass is the type of woman who requires much work. This we know too. Losing her job after the agency where she works closes down when her boss dies of cancer, Cass begins to overthink, resulting in Death by Detail for us. Jonathan’s views encapsulate the belief that it doesn’t matter where you whet your appetite, just as long as you come home for dinner. On the other hand, Cass wouldn’t dream of looking at another man while she was married. During the intermission, Cass makes it clear that they are both free to sleep with whoever they want to. This time, it is Jonathan who finds the thought initially unpalatable. The six months, spread over 368 pages, felt too long. I could not understand Cass’ constant flip-flops over where their marriage was. I couldn’t wait for them to end, and by them, I mean the intermission and the pages. In the end, my sympathies were firmly with Jonathan. At one point, Jonathan feels like a yo-yo. So did I. Read full & detailed review at

I could not get this book to upload correctly to my reader.

An interesting premise... The first 100 pages were extremely slow, add that neither protagonist is really all that likeable and I was hoping the end would come quicker. I was hoping for snarky/witty comedy and it was just drawn out and boring. On paper they make the perfect happy couple. In real life her not cleaning the house and him being too positive about every little thing drives her crazy. They have both been keeping secrets and the silent space between the two has been growing rapidly. I can see where a lot of couples can relate to the characters, I just wish the book was a little lighter in mood, making fun of the differences and struggles would have made it easier and more interesting read.

An interesting premise that suffered from some unlikable protagonists. I started liking them just fine, but towards the middle of the book I could barely stand them. Sometimes that can be fun to read, but in this instance it stopped me from caring about what happened to them and if they resolved their issues. Didn't completely work. I think my favorite character was Puddles the dog, and he could have been mentioned more. He was mostly a simple plot device to keep them in contact, thanks to their ridiculous idea of exchanging him every month, even though it means a cross-country flight. What's good: it is a quick and easy read, and takes a closer look at a relationship that on paper, should be very happy. They have money, a nice place to live, share a dog they adore, and are planning on having a baby. As with a lot of relationships, little irritations about the other person start to stack up. If this were their only problem, it likely wouldn't be a big deal. But both Jonathan and Cass have been keeping secrets from each other that amount to more than just his constant snoring at night and her inability to pick up even a little around the house. Jonathan is blindsided when his wife of five years requests a break, or an "intermission". They'd been planning on trying for a baby, but Cass has cold feet. She's not completely happy in her relationship, and wants to make sure they're completely right for each other before they throw an innocent child into the mix. While he knew their relationship wasn't quite as perfect as all of their friends think, he is dismayed that she wants time apart. Before he even has time to wrap his head around it, his wife is across the country living a completely different life. She says they need six months, and a lot can happen in six months. Will they decide to work things out? Find new lovers, potential new partners? Divorce and move on? This one kept me interested, but more in a passive way. I would have enjoyed it more if I'd enjoyed the characters more. Their snootiness irritated me. It did come with some surprises, and I think a lot of fans of women's fiction will enjoy it.

I enjoyed reading this book and it was entertaining. I didn't like either main character very much and couldn't decide if I even wanted them to get back together, but it was realistic in showing a relationship between two flawed individuals.

I was very interested in this story line but it actually kind of fell flat. Cass is a very unlikable person and Jonathan has no backbone. The secrets they both held were really not that interesting. It was an alright read but seemed to miss that something to really keep me hooked.

Thank you to First To Read for the ARC in exchange for my review. I was excited to read this one. I enjoy a book told from alternating view points- seems to be a popular way of writing right now and this one was well written. However, the characters did not impress me. Both came off selfish and flat.

I received a free advanced copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed the dual perspectives in this book. It was neat getting characters' thoughts on what was happening. Although I did enjoy the story, both Jonathon and Cass came off as selfish and entitled to me. I wish I would've liked the characters more.

An interesting premise and compelling read -- lots of colorful side characters, though the neuroses and flashbacks of the main couple got in the way of the plot a bit, and they were so ambivalent about getting back together that a deus ex machina had to decide it for them. Other than that, colorful and entertaining, especially once they finally get on the emotional roller coaster of the intermission, and if you don't question plausibility too hard. Definitely good contemplation of identity and how it can exist by itself while your depending on (and pretending to be someone else or at least a better version of yourself) for another person.

Cass and Johnathan have been married 5 yrs and besides the small quirks that erk, which every person/relationship in world has some of... their marriage is near perfection.No matter how great a relationship is though, time brings changes. The kind that drive Cass to question her marriage to Johnathan, and their future together: Sending her brain, heart, emotions, senses, and finally but most damagingly - her insecurities, into overdrive. She questions everything to the point of obscurity until the only idea she can make any sense of is an "intermission". When Cass springs the idea of the separation on her unknowing-unsuspecting husband, they go from the bliss of their beautiful life together; to obtaining the space and insight thought needed to figure out what they really want out of life and what they need out of each other, all while moving on with their lives in every sense of the word. With their beloved dog Puddles trapped in the middle, they begin exploring different relationships as well as old flames, and new places. This story of this couples past, life, love, their trials together, and their lives together, as well as apart, is smartly told alternating narrators between both Cass and Johnathan which does wonders for this title. For one, it makes the pace of the book lightning fast and even more importantly, the reader is given the whole entire story by having the insight of both characters. Because of this split/alternating narative, the novel is never one sided. Which in turn, boosts the readers interest up, to a level equivalent to that of juicy gossip. The intermission starts a different journey of self discovery and a search for inner truth, but what will Cass and Johnathan discover? Will their marriage survive it? I would recommend Elyssa Friedland's 'The Intermission,'- a realisticly intimate, juicy portrayal of a marriage, to anyone looking for an easy to read heartfelt beach novel. This is my honest un-biased opinion and I give my Thanks to Penguin First To Read for an advanced copy of this novel!

Every once in a while I like to read different genres and let's be honest, I was super curious about the pup on the cover, do I decided to give "The Intermission" a chance. Cass and Jonathon have been married 5 years. They live in NY and to be honest, come across as a very posh, upscale couple. However, neither have been quite honest with each other. So one day, when Jonathan thinks they are finally going to try to start to conceive a family, Cass instead tells him she wants a break. She proposes they take a 6 month "intermission" from their marriage to make sure they are compatible before bringing a new life into the world. I think one of my main issues with this book is I didn't really like Jonathon or Cass. Now once they took the intermission, I saw some glimmer of hope regarding liking Jonathon, but it never lasted long. The both acted so immature and when Cass moves to California, they even exchange their poor dog Puddles, every month so they can each have their turn. I felt they both did things during the intermission which should have indicated to them they should not be together, and which to be honest, in my opinion, could never be forgiven (and I can be pretty forgiving at time - I know, shocker!). There was nothing wrong with the writing in this book, but overall, I just felt "meh" about reading it. I don't read a lot of contemporary and in the end, Puddles just wasn't in the book enough for me to find it enjoyable. I'm sure there are lots of people out there who will enjoy this book and I do think it was fall into the category of an enjoyable "summer read." I just couldn't deal with stupid people and at one point I remember telling my BFF that I was seriously cheering on them divorcing, and I don't think that was the point the author was trying to make.

This was a fun read. The narrator switches each chapter between the husband and wife characters that decide to take an “intermission” from their marriage, one remaining in New York City and and the other traveling to Los Angeles. This is definitely a plot-driven story, though it does dip deep into character psychologies. The most interesting part of this book is watching the misunderstandings occur between two partners, like two ships passing in the night.

The different perspectives of Cass and Jonathan strike you from the very first page. Told in alternating perspectives, we are able to see it all unfold. When they experience the same situations, the dual perspective allows us to witness where there are flaws, cracks, and where the other person mistakes them as such. We uncover resentments, hypocrisy, and those little mistakes that pile up. Their fears and needs are plainly spoken on the page, like diary entries and windows into their minds. You get in their head, between their sheets, nustled in the space between their fingers when they hold hands. The beauty of the way The Intermission unfolds is that we are back seat witnesses to all the ways the arguments, resentments and insecurities pile up. We are the bystanders to the unsaid unused excuses and apologies you never quite utter. Like water boiling, we see the moments building up, like water against a dam, the water steadily and dangerously creeping to the top. And this is the beauty of The Intermission.

Thank you First To Read for giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of The Intermission by Elyssa Friesland. Cass and Jonathon Coyne have been married for some time. During that time Cass has lost her job when her boss unexpectedly passes away, had a miscarriage and now that she is unemployed they are thinking of starting their family. However, with having some time on her hands Cass decided they need to take a break and make sure this is the right things for them to do. The story then takes you through their break/intermission. I was enjoying this read but was only able to make it halfway through the book but I will definitely be purchasing this book so that I can see how it ends.

The Intermission was a book that felt familiar to me. As I began reading, I realized it reminded me of a Taylor Jenkins Reid book I had read and loved. Unfortunately, in this story, I did not fall in love with the characters, or particularly care whether they ended up together, or even know if I felt they should be together or not! Even so, I did enjoy this story and had a hard time putting it down once I was halfway through the book. I am glad I read it and think it is a perfect beach read! 3.5 stars.

This was a unique story of how couple choose to find their selves. I found Cass to be unpredictable, but maybe we all are. And Jonathan mainly focused on his own needs, as we all can be at times. All relationships need to be evaluated regularly. I felt they needed to sit down and put their "cards on the table". But it would no longer be a novel, just a short story. Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others.

First I’d like to thank First Read by Random House Publishing, for my honest review. I found the book well written, however I have a very emotional dislike to Cassandra from the beginning, a;gone with her mother and dad Richard. I hated the way dick (Richard) treated most if not all the relationship with Cassidy, sad. His replacement family meant more then his eldest daughter, that said it all. I really had no emotional connection with Cassidy but I loved Jonathan, I also didn’t think he should have taken cass back after everything she put them through, I felt he was better suited with Brett. That’s just me thought. I enjoyed this book.

3.5 stars The Intermission peels back the layers of a marriage when Cass tells Jonathon that she wants a 6 month break in their marriage. Both Cass and Jonathon have secrets they are keeping from each other and both are tempted into relationships with other people. I had a hard time liking Jonathon even though he was the more emotional one of the two and also more vulnerable. I related more to Cass. I did find myself wanting them to end up together though I am unsure why.

What happens when you put a hard deadline on your marriage? What happens when the deadline that seemed so far away has arrived? Love - Marriage - Family but what happens if you are not sure you are ready for that Family? If you are Cass Coyne you ask your husband, Jonathan for "The Intermission" of your marriage and when your husband lovea you enough he goes along with the "six-month intermission" of your marriage. Another the marriage strong enough to survive? Or this is the end of your marriage? 3.5 stars, good read, a light story, but marriage is NEVER a light subject. Thanks to Penguin and First To Read for the ARC.

I'm so sad writing this because I REALLY wanted to like this book. I've been looking forward to it for months and was so excited when I saw it here on as a First to Read offer. I made it 89 pages before I decided to DNF. I wish I liked this, but I don't. For one, I don't like Cass. It's one thing to not like her, but I don't find her interesting which is critical for an unlikable character. They can be terrible, but I can be interested in their journey. She's just annoying to be honest. I'm just not into this and I'm moving at a super slow pace. I was so looking forward to this so I'm disappointed. I may give it another shot when the actual book comes out since sometimes I need to hold the physical book in my hands. Such a bummer.

Cass and Jonathan may have come from different backgrounds but fate brought them together-twice. Blissfully married and writing down bets how long they think the newlyweds will last at weddings, things are going well. Or so it seemed. Secrets build into the shape of an elephant in the room and Cass demands a six-month intermission from their marriage. Can they work through the secrets or has their marriage crumbled? The Intermission is told in alternating narratives flipping from Cass to Jonathan by chapter. This created two timelines which helped with the pace of the book, however, made the supporting characters' identities (and significance) confusing. Furthermore, neither Cass nor Jonathan are characters of integrity. They are both equally entitled, immature, manipulative, and narcissistic. Their characters do not develop throughout the book and the ending was irritating to me because it felt like their behaviors were excused without consequence. Additionally, the book seems to gloss over the importance of communication and mental health. On the other hand, the book is very well paced and it was easy to read quickly. The environments of Los Angeles and New York City helped distinguish the plotlines and the (albeit grandiose) "Puddles exchanges" helped with direction. I also did appreciate the several surprises sprinkled throughout the story. For those who may be triggered or offended, there were graphic sexual scenarios, foul language, divorce, miscarriage, graphic violence, cancer, and infidelity. Please note: an electronic copy of this book was generously provided through the Penguin Random House First To Read Program in exchange for an honest review.

A financially affluent, upwardly mobile couple hits the five year mark in their marriage, the interval that they had proposed starting a family. Cass sees her dr, discusses plans and gets the green light. On the night that babymakng should have taken place, Cass tells Jonathon her husband that she needs a six month separation to see if they truly knew one another and were happy together before starting a family. An intermission, so to speak, as Cass does design and media for the theatre. She had actually targeted her husband as an approved spouse that met many criteria and had strategically placed herself in his path for their chance meeting. Her childhood had been deplorable and she did not intend for her adult life to be the same. Guilt was now eating at her because of these actions and so the intermission. So much results from this as she and Jonathon navigate this new reality. Cass moves temporarily to the west coast and begins a life becoming enmeshed in the glitzy film industry. Jonathon, a hedge fund manager from an upper class family begins to have business issues and restarts a relationship with an old high school girlfriend. He has secrets of his own? This is so refreshingly written, each chapter alternating characters, points of view, secrets, lies and most of all love. There is a lot to take in. Well worth the time, it is a great read!

This was such an interesting concept and I found myself wondering... if everyone was required to have an "Intermission" before having a baby, it might actually not be a bad thing! You hear so much about people thinking children will bring couples back together after a relationship begins to stale, when sometimes it's the wedge that eventually drives them apart ... hence skyrocketing divorce rates? It seems that people are finally waking up and realizing that just because its a social norm, does NOT mean you HAVE to get married, and it certainly doesn't mean that just because you DO get married, that the required next step is having children. Some people just shouldn't have them. No judgement - just reality. OK rant over. :) Cass and Jonathan seem like a total power couple that shines like the golden twosome they emit on the outside. On the inside there seems to be some cracks in that gold, and we learn that the tarnish of that shine is just beginning. The seven year itch is creeping like a bad rash, and before they embark on the journey to become parents, Cass wants a break. Jonathan is dumbfounded at the idea and resents Cass's decision, but the Intermission is on. The character development here is pretty good. We learn a lot of who these two are, where the come from, their insecurities, and their secrets as we go back and forth between the two during their split, on separate coasts and in equally separate mindsets. I found myself reading easily, and quickly, and eager to find out if the split has staying power, or if these two can find each other again. Some of the decisions and paths these two take are pretty random and questionable, but any outsider looking in on a relationship that isn't their own, is always set up to be judgemental, "I would NEVER do that!" I certainly found myself thinking that quite often but hey, this story isn't about me! Overall, I really liked the story, the concept and the characters were interesting and it was written pretty well.

I didn’t enjoy the book. I had a hard time identifying with the characters.

I read "The Arrangement" by Sarah Dunn last year, and the concept behind "The Intermission" is nearly identical. However, in "The Arrangement," there is more depth to the characters, more understanding of why they need a separation and why they do the things they do. In "The Intermission," neither Cass nor Jonathan are very likable, in my opinion, and if they were both honest with little things, they wouldn't be having the problems they are having. They like to pretend they are a golden couple, with an enviable marriage, but that's far from the case. There are secondary characters that are introduced and then forgotten about. Those relationships could have been developed more in order to add to the story. Overall, it was a light, easy read. Thank you to Penguin Books and the First to Read program for letting me read an advanced copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

This was a good book

I didn’t love this book but it did get better as I moved through. I was curious enough to see how it ended, though it was predictable. Definitely not real life, but that’s not always necessary when you read..... sometimes it felt a little repetitive, like literally verbatim paragraph repeats.

Let me start with the end: when's the movie coming out, because it would be a fun and romantic one if you add a little bit more comedy to the lines. Or this was my thought as I finished the book. Although I had a little trouble starting it - not sure it was the evolution of the characters or the writing, once I passed half of it I actually devoured it. I empathized with the characters and some of their struggles as man and woman vs. the "couplehood" as they are spot on for a modern relationship. It's an easy summer read with an (un)expected ending so as to not spoil it for you...too much.

Note to Penguin Random House, supplier of the review copy provided: All this talk of diversity in books, yet where is the diversity in setting? Must every work of women's fiction be set in New York City? Can we have stories about people who aren't jaded, entitled and whingeing over trivialities? I slogged through one-third of THE INTERMISSION before I realized I was wasting valuable reading time on something not worth the investment. Again, yes again, the acquisitions editors at Penguin Random House have found another manuscript that speaks to them, young professionals in New York City with psychoanalysts on retainer, spending every waking minute analyzing the minutia of life and believing that these thoughts are deep, relevant, and of vital interest to the rest of the world. Our characters are a pair of well-heeled New Yorkers, five years into a marriage, and wouldn't you know it but the wife is up to the usual examination of her existence because she has little else to do. No one in these novels ever considers volunteering at a soup kitchen, to be surrounded by characters with far greater problems. That's not how modern publishing works. Poor Cass is so burdened by the weight of entitlement that she must take a break from marriage and so she proposes an intermission (not a trial separation. That's so last century). And where does she jet off to, to find meaning in her empty life? She doesn't land on Mother Teresa's doorstep. No indeed. Our Cass goes all the way across the USA to Los Angeles, that other bastion of entitlement. Where she finds an affordable flat in West Hollywood. Is this historical fiction, you might ask, or do the entitled think $2000 per month for a dump is affordable? But what of the novel? Does Cass find herself and heal her marriage? I don't care. I have given up on her tale of self-centered woe. I cannot finish this novel full of emptiness. Author Elyssa Friedland can string words together to make sentences, but that's not enough to compose an entire novel that is enjoyable or enlightening or entertaining. Diversity in publishing, please. There is an entire world outside of Manhattan, beyond Park Slope, and surely there is the next Ivan Doig seeking publication.

Though I finished this book, I had a hard time getting into it. I felt like I had a hard time liking either of the main characters, and though the ending was expected, I felt like I was surprised because I found it hard to root for them as a couple by the time the book ended. Thanks to First To Read for the advance copy

I appreciate love stories that are realistic. Too many "love stories" are filled with some minor tension/conflict that ultimately ends in a happily ever after. I thought this book would be different because of the premise. The main characters spent 80% of the book on their own, trying to find themselves and figure out if they still wan to be in a relationship. The author didn't show many moments of true love or happiness between them, so the ending felt odd to me. We didn't have many reasons to root for them as a couple. Honestly, I might have preferred the book if the couple did break up at the end. Instead, the ending felt too rushed and unearned.

I had a difficult time getting into this book. Although I have tried a few times over the course of the last few weeks. I am putting it on pause as I thought the narritive structure was good, but a bit dry for me. Thank you to First to Read for advance copy.

This book irked me. When you and your spouse are planning a time line, mile marker, to change your mind at that moment/due date is selfish and inconsiderate. Especially the baby making due date. To have an intermission in your marriage so you can go find yourself is stupid. I know it’s a work of fiction, but as Cass’s friend divorcing her husband, probably did spur on Cass’s decision, it probably struck some cords in unhappy women readers to consider the same thing. I don’t care who you are or what religion. You marry: ONCE. It’s for life. “Until death do you part”. I will not be recommending this book, mentioning this book ever again. If you have issues, you don’t give up. When you’re sick, you don’t just haul off and off yourself. You take the meds and get better (generally speaking). I was just 18 kinds of upset with this book. Well written sure. I did enjoy the chapter switch between husband and wife. Not to say that Hubby made any better decisions. He led off to believe he was the sweet caring husband who would empty his bank account to make his wife happy…ugh, just ugh.

I thought this story was very well written and I will most certainly look for more by this author. The intermission was a compelling, well paced read and kept me entertained. I do wish I would have liked the couple a little better. Both seemed a bit entitled and selfish, but still enjoyed the story.

The intermission was a very strangely perplexing book. After years of marriage, Cass and Jonathan decide to try for a baby. All seems well and dandy until a friends recent and shocking divorce sends Cass into a panic. She begins to dissect her own marriage and explore the idea of divorce and realizes the ugly reality of how a child could complicate the process. Needing to be 100% sure about their relationship before bringing a child into the world, Cass asks Jonathan for an intermission from their marriage- to press pause on their relationship and take the time to figure themselves out. During 6 months they must find a way to accept the flaws of their relationship and confront the secrets they've been keeping from each other. This will be the key in making a happier future- either together or apart. Overall its an interesting concept, one that wouldn't go over well in real life but it made the story interesting and enjoyable, so kudos to the author. It made me think of and examine my own marriage and thank my lucky stars that my husband and I have such a tight bond. In a way this contrast and compare I was able to make made the book all the more fun since my own marriage was not at risk and I could watch someone else make this crazy unheard of exploration. It was a little far fetched that there were no consequences to this 6 months separation. Its hard to believe that if they decided to get back together there would be no jealousy or resentment towards each other for seeing other people and living completely separate lives. That is enough to put a strain on even the healthiest of marriages. The one thing that bothered me the most, probably the silliest thing, was the dog exchange they would do every month. Jonathan stayed in NYC and Cass in LA and they would waste their money every month flying to the other to hand off a dog....I get they are supposed to be well off but DAMN! I was getting anxiety over their frivolous use of their money so i guess you can't say I wasn't into the book. It is nothing crazily profound to pass down to all your friends but it does make a nice beach read. Its an enjoyable and easy read, just try not to get bogged down in your hate for Cass at the beginning, middle and parts of the end.

The Intermission has some good points--the seemingly realistic dialogue, thoughts about marriage, the love for a furry child. The problems; characters marginal--not loved, not hated; after only 5 years, that really isn't a LONG time in married life; and the "games" used as singles, and as a married couple--well, kind of normal. Five years, without children, albeit with busy careers doesn't allow a couple to really have the time to question the total relationship. After Cass quit her job, and her friend "came out," that was when Cass began to question her motives (guilt) in "landing" Jonathan as her husband for life. Guilt seemed like a strange reason to try an intermission, especially since Cass seemed to be a lazy butt (couldn't even wash a dish) and Jonathan went along with it--wish I had a husband who would come home from work and wash all the dishes. I liked the way each character had his/her own chapters, and the reader could see what was going on in each character's head. Not a bad story, just a bit slow--glad I was able to read the galley copy. Don't think I would have picked it out at the library or purchased it.

I could not get into this book. Cass was just too hard for me to like, at all. Their entire relationship was based on her lie. She has a devoted husband, who thinks fondly of when they first got together, and it was all a construction of Cass's scheming. Once she snags him, she treats him quite awful. The writing is a bit dry for my taste, this was one of those rare books that I just don't finish.

I had issues with getting this one to open. :( I will look for it when it comes out.

After a few years of marriage, Cass wants an intermission. While the characters were not easy to like, it was an interesting and fairly true representation of probably many marriages. I enjoyed the story and the ending was not what I expected.

Unpleasant protagonists make this foray into the ups and downs of a relatively young marriage hard to enjoy. Each of the partners is, in their own way, entirely too entitled, their individual concerns too narrow to hold anyone’s interests other than their own. Sadly, I would include my own interests as well, the book just didn’t capture my attention and it was a struggle to keep reading.

I did not like this book. I wanted to, but I couldn't. It wasn't just because I couldn't stand either of the main characters (I've enjoyed many novels where that is the case), I simply couldn't believe that Jonathan would tolerate being treated so poorly by Cass for so long. What was the attraction? That was never made clear to me, and the ending was particularly hard to swallow.

This book provides an accurate portrayal of how marriage can reach plateaus - the day to day grind of just living with one another and needing to create excitement to keep the relationship going. I had a hard time liking or relating to Cass - regardless of her upbringing, her Intermission was not something I’d expect a spouse to accept and live with. Even though Jonathan had his faults, I found myself looking forward to the sections written from his perspective. I was anxiously awaiting the end to see how it was going to be resolved, and while it seemed very cookie cutter and easy, I still enjoyed it. The book was well written and kept me reading.

The writing for this book is good but I just didn't enjoy the storyline and I didn't like the characters. I have trouble getting into a book if I don't find the main characters likeable and I had a hard time finishing this book. I will checkout the author's future books because I think she has good potential.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. First let me say that I did enjoy the alteration between the characters in the delivery of the story. I felt that the dog was the only thing forcing them to refocus throughout, but was a necessary part if it was truly to be an intermission and not a “turn your back and walk away” event. The ending was not particularly based in reality for me, but just what the story needed. So much time was spent on each character by themselves that it overshadowed the marriage itself which I felt was rather addressed only superficially. I thought it dragged on a bit at times but it did keep my interest throughout and was a good read for an afternoon.

Cass and Jonathan Coyne have been married for 5 years and appear to have it all. But Cass feels like their marriage no longer has that exciting spark as it did when they were newlyweds. So she suggests to Jonathan they do a trial separation (aka intermission) for 6 months in which they are allowed to see other people. As the months pass, they both reflect on the secrets they kept from one another that contributed to the downfall of their marriage and contemplate whether this is a marriage worth saving. In order for this story to completely work for me, I really needed it to feature characters who I actually liked, instead at first Cass and Jonathan were just a tad unlikable but as the story progressed I found them to be pretty horrible people. One character in particular I really struggled to find any redeemable qualities. With that being said though, I still had an interest to find out what was going to happen with their marriage and the author did a good job keeping me on my toes with some twists within the story. I personally didn't enjoy the ending but I'm probably in the minority there. While I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this book, I would check out future books by the author as she is talented at telling an interesting story. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! All views expressed are my honest opinion.

A fast paced read that pulls you in from the beginning. Cas and Jonathan have decided its time to try to have a baby but they aren't always on the same page about things. Its never anything big, but small little things that cause friction within their relationship. The characters were never super likable so I had a hard time rooting for their relationship. however I did enjoy the back and forth between the two characters. It's a good read despite the characters.

This book gives us two unlikable protagonists and their alternating personal narratives. It was a quick read that kept me engrossed enough to finish it in one go, and make me think about complacency and honesty in relationships. Thoroughly enjoyable for a beach or snow day.

Enjoyable. Similar to 2017’s The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn. However, the book is different enough as it plays out that it didn’t seem like a complete retread. Decent beach read.


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