The Intermission (Hardcover)

By Elyssa Friedland

Berkley Books, 9780399586866, 368pp.

Publication Date: July 3, 2018



Have you ever had a secret so gut-wrenching you couldn't share it with anyone, not even the person who shares your bed? Told from the alternating perspectives of a husband and wife who both have something to hide, this incisive novel pulls back the curtain on a seemingly-happy marriage, posing the question: how much do we really know--and how much should we want to know--about the people we love the most?

After six years of marriage, the unshakeable confidence Cass felt on her wedding day is decidedly gone. Jonathan, on the other hand, is still smitten with Cass. It's true that the personality quirks he once found charming in his wife--her complexity, her high standards, her refusal to clean the dishes--are beginning to grate. But for him, these are minor challenges in an otherwise healthy relationship. So it comes as a complete shock to Jonathan when Cass suddenly requests a marital 'intermission': a six-month separation during which they'll figure out if the comfortable life they've built together is, in fact, the one they both want.

After Cass and Jonathan devise a jet lag-inducing plan to swap custody of their beloved dog every thirty days, they decide that the intermission will be a time for self-reflection (and not a time for talking). Being apart leaves Cass and Jonathan vulnerable in ways they don't expect: Jonathan slips into old habits with an ex, while Cass is ensnared by a powerful Hollywood producer with a familiar agenda. And, as the months pass, they both begin to see that the very worst of their problems are rooted in just these kinds of calculated silences--and in a delicate web of blistering secrets they may never be ready to share.

About the Author

Elyssa Friedland is a graduate of Yale University and lives with her husband and three children in New York. The Intermission is her second novel.