In Split-Level, set as the nation recoils from Nixon, Alex Pearl is about to commit the first major transgression of her life. But why shouldn’t she remain an officially contented, soon-to-turn- thirty wife? She’s got a lovely home in an upscale Jersey suburb, two precocious daughters, and a charming husband, Donny. But Alex can no longer deny she craves more—some infusion of passion into the cul-de-sac world she inhabits. After she receives a phone call from her babysitter’s mother reporting Donny took the teen for a midnight ride, promising he’d teach her how to drive, Alex urges they visit Marriage Mountain, the quintessential 1970s “healing couples’ sanctuary.” Though Donny accedes, he becomes obsessed with the manifesto: A Different Proposition—and its vision of how multiple couples can live together in spouse-swapping bliss. At first Alex scoffs, but soon she gives Donny much more than he bargained for. After he targets the perfect couple to collude in his fantasy, Alex discovers her desire for love escalating to new heights—along with a willingness to risk everything. Split-Level evokes a pivotal moment in the story of American matrimony, when it seemed as if an open marriage might open hearts as well.
Available May 7, 2019
Pre-order now on Amazon.
“How impressive Split-Level is: wonderfully rich with details, fluent and fluid, with an inevitable-yet-unexpected ending, inspired throughout is its portrait of a woman whose essential life is an unconscious double-ness/split-ness.”
— Joyce Carol Oates, author of We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde
“Split-Level is a literary novel that navigates intimate struggles with unforgettable style.
Sande Boritz Berger sets a 1970s Jersey housewife on a provocative collision course in Split-Level, a sharp portrait of female empowerment. Through sensitive insights, a woman finds an honest version of herself after realizing that her ideas on the nuclear family have made her erase vital parts of her identity.” Read More
— Karen Rigby, book reviewer, Foreword Reviews
“Ah, the 1970s. Mini- skirts. Suburbia. Tie-dye and the freewheeling era of the so-called open marriage. Boritz Berger’s sly, smart second novel, written in prose as glorious as the era’s iconic Tequila Sunrise, gives us an on-the-verge-of-an-adventure heroine, who comes to realize that sometimes having the life you desperately need means giving up the life you desperately want.”
—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times Bestselling author of Pictures of You and Is This Tomorrow