Jenny Block is your average girl next door, a suburban wife and mother for whom married life never felt quite right. While many books on this topic presuppose that the reader is ready to embrace an “alternative lifestyle,” Block operates from the assumption that most couples who are curious about or engaged in open marriages are in fact more like her—normal people who question whether monogamy is right for them; good people who love their spouses but want variation; capable parents who are not deviant just because they choose to be honest about their desires.
In Open, Block paints a down to earth picture of how an open marriage can work, and specifically why it works for her and her husband. In dissecting other people’s strong reactions to her choice, she explores the question of why cheating is more socially acceptable than open marriage. In part, she concludes, the lack of models for successful functional open marriages is such that the general public is not yet equipped to handle treating it as anything other than abnormal.
Open challenges our notions of what traditional marriage looks like, and presents one woman’s journey down an uncertain path that ultimately proves that open marriage is a viable option, and one that’s in fact better for some couples than conventional marriage.
About the Author:
Jenny Block writes for Women’s Health, The Dallas Morning News, American Way, ellegirl.com, BeE, bRILLIANT, People Newspapers, Stone, Where, and D. She also has work in the books It's a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters (Seal Press, 2006) and Letters to my Teacher. In addition, her writing has appeared in Chow, Pointe, Virginia Living, Style Weekly, Tango, Richmond Magazine, and Literary Mama. The inspiration for Open stems from the piece “Portrait of an Open Marriage,” which ran in Tango and was reprinted by Cosmopolitan Germany and The Huffington Post. Jenny was also interviewed about the story on Chick Chat Radio and for the daily newspaper a.m. New York.
Jenny holds both her Bachelor’s and her Master’s in English from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she taught composition for nearly ten years. She has also taught at the University of Richmond and Strayer University, as well as lectured at academic conferences across the country. Jenny has written numerous academic ancillaries for the Newsweek Education Program, Addison Wesley Longman, and Simon and Schuster.