Molly Roden Winter was a mom of two young children in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with a husband, Stewart, who often worked late. One night when Stewart missed the kids' bedtime, again, she stormed out of the house to clear her head. At impromptu drinks with a friend, she met Matt, an unbelievably hot younger man. When Molly told her husband that Matt had asked her out, she was surprised that he encouraged her to accept.
So begins Molly's unexpected open marriage, and with it a life-changing journey of self-discovery. Molly and Stewart, who also begins to see other people, set ground rules to start: Don't date an ex. Don't date someone you work with. Don't go to anyone's house. And above all, don't fall in love. Spoiler alert: They end up breaking most of their rules, even the most important one.
Bound to be passed furtively from friend to friend and gobbled up after the kids go to bed. It will make for an electrifying book club pick ... Winter never shies from the truths and challenges of a long-term relationship, specifically a heterosexual monogamous marriage ... Winter feels the need to detail how much she loves her children and loves being a mother, even on the worst days. I’ve come to think of this as the Mother Tax of memoir writing.
Roden Winter is writing in unstinting detail about the mechanics of her marriage’s transition from monogamous to open (some sex on the side) to fully polyamorous (in which couples are allowed to have full-fledged concurrent relationships). She holds nothing back, even when she should ... Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of More is how closed-minded it feels about many things besides open marriage. Divorce, for instance ... While I appreciated her lack of shame about desire (including the desire for validation), I couldn’t help wishing that she possessed the same candor around the economics of her marriage ... The memoir takes a long time to finish, not unlike a bad Ashley Madison hookup, but not before Roden Winter offers closing remarks in defense of open marriage. She echoes the common refrain expressed by proponents of polyamory that the life style represents an abundance-oriented mind-set, whereas monogamy is a symptom of scarcity culture ... It’s worth remembering that revolutions don’t fail; they get co-opted—often by people who can afford co-ops.
An unsparing account of a polyamorous life ... The result of a long-gestating obsession with authenticity and individual self-fulfillment ... Despite the book’s slick marketing—which takes great care to cast the author as a 'happily married mother'—Molly’s polyamorous journey toward self-actualization does not seem to bring her much happiness ... A near-perfect time capsule of the banal pleasure-seeking of wealthy, elite culture in the 2020s, and a neat encapsulation of its flaws ... Though Molly may tell herself and her readers that she is on a journey of learning and growth, the ugly truth is that More feels like a 290-page cry for help.