A couple determined not to end up like their divorced friends try a radical experiment—and get in way over their heads—in this hilarious, heartfelt novel from the author of We’re All Damaged.
New York Post’s Best Books to Read in Our Age of Social Isolation • “[Matthew] Norman’s funny and feeling writing makes for an irresistible read.”—Esquire (Best Books of 2020)
The Core Four have been friends since college: four men, four women, four couples. They got married around the same time, had kids around the same time, and now, fifteen years later, they’ve started getting divorced around the same time, too. With three of the Core Four unions crumbling to dust around them, Jessica and Mitch Butler take a long, hard look at their own marriage. Can it be saved? Or is divorce, like some fortysomething zombie virus, simply inescapable?
To maximize their chance at immunity, Jessica and Mitch try something radical. Their friends’ divorces mostly had to do with sex—having it, not having it, wanting to have it with other people—so they decide to relax a few things. Terms are discussed, conditions are made, and together the Butlers embark on the great experiment of taking their otherwise happy, functional marriage and breaking some very serious rules.
Jessica and Mitch are convinced they’ve hit upon the next evolution of marriage. But as lines are crossed and hot bartenders pursued, they each start to wonder if they’ve made a huge mistake. What follows is sexy, fun, painful, messy, and completely surprising to them both. Because sometimes doing something bad is the only way to get to the heart of what’s really good.
About the Author
Matthew Norman lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife and two children and holds an MFA from George Mason University. His previous novels include We’re All Damaged and Domestic Violets.
“In [Matthew] Norman’s funny and heartwarming novel . . . a Baltimore couple tries to head off the demise of their marriage with an unusual arrangement. . . . Norman skillfully uses his gift for gentle humor to prod at the foibles and joys of marriage, parenthood, and love in this endearing charmer.”—Publishers Weekly
“Norman writes characters that are so relatable, you feel like they are people you know. His dialogue seems like he has eavesdropped on people at the table next to him in a restaurant. He had me laughing out loud . . . and then in the next paragraph you feel sorry for the characters. Last Couple Standing is a cautionary tale for married adults, where you find that the grass isn’t always greener.”—The Citizen (Auburn, N.Y.)
“This warm and witty tale of a devoted couple willing to throw out that pesky ‘forsaking all others’ rule in order to stay together crackles with fierce energy and emotional truth.”—Judy Blundell, New York Times bestselling author of The High Season
"Nothing is left off the table in Matthew Norman’s Last Couple Standing, an equal-parts funny and heart-pinging novel that will be achingly relatable to both the married and the divorced—or to anyone who’s ever contemplated being either. Norman’s trademark humor and wit make this a page-turner you’ll want to read with your funniest friend, then discuss over a couple of stiff martinis.”—Sarah Jio, New York Times bestselling author of All the Flowers in Paris
“Only Matthew Norman can make divorce fun and funny. I smiled straight through this book, enjoying every fumbling sexual encounter, every tormented marriage, every strange neighbor. In the end, as with all of Norman’s books, there’s loads of heart and tenderness peeking out from behind the great comic writing.”—Jessica Anya Blau, author of The Trouble with Lexie
“The funniest book I've read in a long time. In Last Couple Standing, Matthew Norman has written a heartfelt, perceptive, and thoroughly entertaining novel.”—Richard Roper, author of How Not to Die Alone