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In his soggy family-falling-apart melodrama, The Divide, Nicholas Evans dissects the marriage of Ben and Sarah Cooper, a prosperous suburban Everycouple with the glossily perfect facade contemporary novelists so love to strip away. Their house is ”exquisite,” their teenage children adorable, and Sarah looks ”like she’d stepped out of a Ralph Lauren ad.” Which turns out to be code for ”frigid and controlling.” When, on a dude-ranch vacation in Montana, Ben meets Eve, a sexy, soulful artist, that’s all she wrote for the Coopers. Soon, Ben is living with Eve in New Mexico, brittle Sarah is touring churches alone in Venice, and their daughter, Abbie, has become an ecoterrorist on the lam from the FBI — a sensationalistic twist that turns a tidy, trite domestic tale into a preposterous, bloated saga.

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