How to stay married. (Don’t get divorced)

Ada Calhoun has written a witty, cautionary and hard-headed reflection on marriage. She talks about why the couples who endure are not always the most compatible – or the best behaved

“I give them five years,” announced a bridesmaid. Ada Calhoun agreed with this cruel prophesy about the couple whose wedding they were about to celebrate, but she was not going to share her gloomy thoughts – not out loud, anyway. Instead, being a smart New York journalist, she has written Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give, her witty take on marriage – her own and other people’s. It takes the form of a memoir that leaps about in time, topic and tone.

Her book is not a guide, but it offers guidance. With marriage, you have to suck it and see; if it sucks, you may not want to see it through. Ada, 41, married at an “immature” 19 so that Nick, her Canadian boyfriend, could work in the US but, gradually realising that his feet were fidgeting, she threw him out. “A couple of years and several musicians later, I met Neal.”

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