"Open: Love, Sex & Life in an open marriage", by Jenny Block, Seal Press, (c) 2008, ISBN 978-1-58005-241-2, 276 pages.
This is a very easy read, well written and literate. It is first an autobiographical story of a woman and why she eventually chose to open up her marriage with her husband. It is a touching and very human narrative.
It is also a polemic - the author is bitter about the cultural brainwashing that forced her into a monogamous marriage which did not well serve her. It also rails against the bigotry that she has faced from people who find out about her marriage. (She lives in the south of the USA.)
The author's experiences are very different from those of me or my wife. This limits the enthusiasm that I can bring to this book. After the 10th time she talks about society programming her and other young girls I felt, "I got the message, move on please". However, I totally understand her reasons for this strategy. She demolishes the fables used to prop up the standard reasons / dreams supporting the 'get married to the right guy and living happily ever after' myth.
It is an fun read. Mixed in with her interesting and human story are references to scientific studies. She has an opinion and is not afraid to do the leg work to find evidence to prove it.
Another thing that I very much like about this book is an after-word by her husband. After hearing her side of the story for a couple hundred pages, it was touching to have him have a say.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who feels that society is this weight squeezing them into a place that they are not happy about. It also gives a practical example of a fairly conservative, open marriage.
I do not think that this book is the only book someone who is interested in polyamory should get. There are many issues that it does not discuss. (The author spends almost no time talking about jealousy as it was not a big problem in her relationship, for example.) However, for what it sets out to do, it does very, very well.
Warm regards, Rick.