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Book Review: Soulmates by Jessica Grose

Everything happens for a reason – or does it? This is a question philosophers and theologians have debated about for a long time. On the one hand, it seems as though there is a divine order to the universe – things cannot be merely coincidental. On the other hand, things can be so random that it’s hard to believe that there’s any sort of order to the universe. Soulmates by Jessica Grose takes a sneering, biting hit at new-age spirituality in its own answer to this question. 

As a Christian who dabbled in Kabbalah, Buddhism, Wicca, and other spiritual paths, I was intrigued by the premise of the novel: A woman’s ex husband ran away with a yoga instructor after the modern wistfulness for a more peaceful existence through new age spirituality. The novel is as much of a mystery as it is a satire. It’s great fun to read, and I had a rough time putting it down. It’s a novel about how sometimes the people we think we know the best can be the people we know the least because we’ve already made up our minds about who that person is. 

About Soulmates

• Paperback: 320 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 13, 2017)

“For anyone who has ever suspected something sinister lurking behind the craze of new-age spirituality, Jessica Grose has crafted just the tale for you. With the delicious bite of satire and the page-turning satisfaction of a thriller, Soulmates is a deeply compelling, funny and sharply observed look at just how far we will go to achieve inner peace.”—Lena Dunham

A clever, timely novel about a marriage, and infidelity, the meaning of true spirituality, perception and reality from the author of Sad Desk Salad, in which a scorned ex-wife tries to puzzle out the pieces of her husband’s mysterious death at a yoga retreat and their life together.

It’s been two years since the divorce, and Dana has moved on. She’s killing it at her law firm, she’s never looked better, thanks to all those healthy meals she cooks, and she’s thrown away Ethan’s ratty old plaid recliner. She hardly thinks about her husband—ex-husband—anymore, or about how the man she’d known since college ran away to the Southwest with a yoga instructor, spouting spiritual claptrap that Dana still can’t comprehend.

But when she sees Ethan’s picture splashed across the front page of the New York Post—”Nama-Slay: Yoga Couple Found Dead in New Mexico Cave”—Dana discovers she hasn’t fully let go of Ethan or the past. The article implies that it was a murder-suicide, and Ethan’s to blame. How could the man she once loved so deeply be a killer? Restless to find answers that might help her finally to let go, Dana begins to dig into the mystery surrounding Ethan’s death. Sifting through the clues of his life, Dana finds herself back in the last years of their marriage . . . and discovers that their relationship—like Ethan’s death—wasn’t what it appeared to be.

A novel of marriage, meditation, and all the spaces in between, Soulmates is a page-turning mystery, a delicious satire of our feel-good spiritual culture, and a nuanced look at contemporary relationships by one of the sharpest writers working today.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Judith Ebenstein

About Jessica Grose

Jessica Grose is a writer and editor. She was previously a senior editor at Slate and an editor at Jezebel. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Glamour, Marie Claire, Spin, and several other publications, and on Salon.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

Find out more about Jessica at her website, and connect with her on Twitter.

2 Comments

  1. ” the people we think we know the best can be the people we know the least because we’ve already made up our minds about who that person is” … oh my gosh this is SO very true! I hadn’t thought about it that way before.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

    • Thank you for having me on the tour!

      It’s an interesting way of thinking of things – I think because of my natural analytical nature stemming from my philosophy background.

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