At once sexy and feminist, this is a story of a woman who decides to fight for her marriage after her husband confesses to an affair with a notable politician Juliette, a computer engineer, and Olivier, a journalist, have two young children and the busy lives of a modern Parisian couple. On a beautiful spring day, while sitting by the river watching her children play, Juliette's cell phone rings. It is her husband. When Olivier confesses to having an affair, Juliette's world is shattered. How do you survive betrayal? Can a couple ever be united again? What lengths would you go to in order to save your marriage? These are the questions that this novel, with great intelligence, honesty, and humor, tries to answer. In its acute depiction of intimacy, Couple Mechanics exposes the system of forces at work in a marriage, the effects of the inevitable ebb and flow of desire, and the difficulty of being a man today.
"A wise novel...Couple Mechanics offers a keen look at the work of love at that point-tough for everyone-when passion must be replaced by will." - The Economist "A gripping and darkly comic psychological thriller . . . Refreshing . . . Brave . . . the sexual accounting is masterly." -Times Literary Supplement "This novel packs a surprising emotional wallop, raising questions about the natures of passion and marriage." -Kirkus Reviews "An intimate...compulsive read." -Library Journal "'[T]he age someone is now doesn't obliterate the other ages they've been'... Nor, would it seem, do the humiliations one endures eradicate the memories of previous indignities. Most beautiful where it's most brutal, Nelly Alard's Couple Mechanics is an unflinching examination of a marriage at the height of crisis. The predicament itself is unremarkable; affairs are as commonplace as the lassitude that so often initiates them. But the real plot of the novel takes place on a psychic stage. In lesser hands we'd be left with melodrama. But the author's eye for fine-grained detail and her blunt-force delivery of the cruel truths by which lovers traumatize each other lift this extraordinary novel into the realm of the sublime. It is a relentless, breathtaking book." -Jill Alexander Essbaum, New York Times best-selling author of Hausfrau "In her study of the reverberations of betrayal in a troubled Parisian marriage, Nelly Alard attains a level of emotional intimacy which is almost too much to bear. Not since Jane Smiley's novella The Age of Grief has adultery seemed such a vital subject for fiction." -Dan Pope, author of Housebreaking "Vive la France. Nelly Alard is at the top of her game in this page-turner with her direct, fluid prose and her exploration of a modern couple in crisis." -Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don't Get Fat "Nelly Alard delves into the core of infidelity with wry observation and subtlety. Riveting, beautifully detailed and totally addictive. You won't be able to put this down." -Tatiana de Rosnay, New York Times best-selling author of Sarah's Key "A story of love and resilience. Juliette is the epitome of the woman, unique yet close, complex, and lucid. Her strength will amaze you, her humor will break your heart, and she will stay with you long after you've turned the final page." -Marc Lévy, author of If Only It Were True "Audacious, tender, and compulsively readable, this is a deep dive into a modern marriage that will leave you gasping for air." -Courtney Maum, author of I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You "In Couple Mechanics we witness the autopsy of a love betrayed . . . Nelly Alard builds a breathless romance with suspense worthy of the best thrillers... With her drive to perfectly capture opinions and emotions in all their nuances, the author recalls, with intelligence and elegance, how intolerable it is to love, to no longer love, to doubt one's own feelings, to suffer, to cause suffering." - Le Figaro "Manipulation, a war of words, delusions, and passion set the rhythm for Couple Mechanics , a universal story of betrayal that the author presents with sincerity, humor, and heart, without ever falling into melodrama." - Le Parisien "The novelist knowledgeably weaves her web, embroiling her heroes and her readers in a fatal liaison that verges on nightmare, playing with the cold and the hot. Of a rare relevance, Couple Mechanics confirms its author's powerful analytical and storytelling talents." - Lire "In an unconventional style . . . [Alard] firmly leads her protagonists and the reader through an infernal spiral by which one cannot help but be fascinated." - L'Express "Here you will find the unprecedented, modern, and unexpected. What is new is the massive introduction of electronic communication in adultery." - Le Journal du dimanche