Title: Modern Marriage
Author: Filip Vukasin
Publisher: Affirm Press, South Melbourne, Vic
Publication date: 2021
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Reviewer: Jill Fulcher
In this debut book Modern Marriage written by a Melbourne doctor, Klara and Dante are a professional couple with a happy marriage who are talking of babies.
Klara works as a cosmetic doctor with her best friend, Tomas, in his clinic.
Everything is thrown into chaos when Klara gets a phone call saying her husband, Dante, has been found unconscious in a gay sauna.
The story is told from 3 points of view – Klara, Tomas, and Rachel (Klara’s sister-in-law and a hard character to like).
Klara begins to question everything in their marriage, trying to find a clue as to Dante’s homosexuality.
When Dante dies, she decides to keep the information about where he was found to herself and not share it with his family.
This leads to the sister-in-law believing Klara is hiding a secret from the family and that she will be the one to find out what it is.
Dante’s secret leads to unbearable stress and angst for Klara which then leads to her self-harming.
The chapters are kept short and absorbing and told from the point of view of each of the three main characters.
The book, Modern Marriage, is set in suburban Melbourne in 2017 during the same-sex marriage debate and plebiscite.
This is a confronting read with many topics that may trigger strong emotions – death of a spouse, cheating, suicide, homophobia, and self-harm to mention a few.
I found the family relationships, with their flaws and insecurities, to be accurate.
I won’t say I love it, but the book certainly kept me turning the pages.
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