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
"With humor and poignancy, Berger brings us to the depths of how frightening it is to lose all trust in those we love, and the uncertainty that all we thought we had might slide away."
—Nahid Rachlin, author of Persian Girls and Foreigner
"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
"In her latest novel, Split Level, Sande Boritz Berger paints a vivid picture of the early 1970s, a time when the sexual revolution was making its way through the suburbs of America. With equal parts humor and heart, Berger explores the anguish of a marriage coming apart and how some will go to any lengths to mend it."
—Laurie Gelman, author of Class Mom