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Marrying it All  -  Diana Button
 

 

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A story about a woman's journey back to life.

 

Marrying It All
by Diana Button

US price: $14.95    UK price: £12.99
German price: Eu13.63 approx
Format: Paperback
Size: 6 x 9
Pages: 212
ISBN: 0-595-29156-2
Published: Sept-2003

 

This is an intriguing journey into the capital city of Luxembourg, European life and the heart of the protagonist, Sabina, as she embarks on a personal quest to cure herself of ‘life deficiency’.
 
Book Description

At the stroke of midnight on the Millennium New Year, Sabina's bathroom mirror miraculously transforms into a beast, smacks her in the face and tells her that her identity, vitality, and joy have disappeared down the plug hole along with her foundation cream, mascara and blusher. Determined to cure herself of her ‘life deficiency’ before she turns forty, she visits a mysterious dress designer who claims she not only transforms people's outward appearance but also gives them a new lease of life

In a land where nothing is as it appears and there are no words for the phrase ‘I love you,’ it is not just the story’s heroine Sabina who is whisked away on a journey in which reality and fantasy, past and present, comedy and tragedy become inextricably intertwined; we all are—characters and readers alike. And the answer to the journey’s question is both a question and an answer: Marrying it all?

By incorporating contemporary issues into modern myth, the novel hopes to tell a universal tale of our very human need to break free of the roles society can impose on us, find our purpose in life and create our own happiness. On the surface, Marrying it All is about a woman's attempt at dealing with ageing, letting go of the past and coming to terms with her role in life. Below this, it traces a journey through the human psyche and the rising to consciousness of the feminine spirit. This novel builds on dialogue and wit to show the character's humanness, make the story come alive and shed the heaviness that can sometimes burden stories which reach down into the depths of the unconscious. Though essentially a woman's book, it will also attract men who are on a personal search for the meaning of life. The central themes of 'seeking the truth' and 'creative living' extend the book's relevance to the areas of 'psychology' and 'spirituality' and could make it appealing to anyone eager to discover self-knowledge and increase awareness. The message to women as well as men is that our inner human resources of intuition and wisdom can be tapped and channelled into the creation of personal freedom and new consciousness.

About the author

Born in Great Britain, Diana Button’s career began in the world of translation and computing but changed course when she began writing. Writing is now an integral part of her life together with painting, teaching creativity and free-style jazz dance. She currently lives in Luxembourg with her husband and two children.

 

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Reviews and comments on Marrying It All:

Susan Tiberghien, author of Looking for Gold (Daimon, 1997), Circling to the Centre (Paulist Press, 2000), writes:

Diana Button has created a well-crafted, intriguing novel which builds contemporary issues into modern myth. Sabina's story is insightfully related. She wins the reader's heart by her trust in human nature - right from her confrontation with her spiked-hair son to her encounter with Anastasia, and finally with her self. Button's writing is sharp with a strong voice and fast-paced dialogue giving life to the story and making it live on in the reader's mind.


Charles Muller, author of Fiction Studies (McGraw-Hill, 1982), A Twist in Time (Writers Club Press, 1999), writes:

The Victorian novelist Charles Reade used to keep a notebook labelled Foemina Vera (“The True Woman”), in which he collected various tidbits of information he believed related to the essence of womanhood. As a documentary novelist he used to consult this (and other notebooks) when he engaged in the creative activity. No doubt his methodical documentary approach might explain why some of his female characters were rather wooden creations who uttered what Reade regarded as typical female statements!

Whatever research or creative process Diana Button used, it has certainly resulted in a portrayal of the true woman—truer than any woman Reade ever created, and, indeed, in her female protagonist Sabina she has created a woman who is as real and convincing as Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. And like Virginia Woolf, she has conveyed her character through a carefully controlled, unobtrusive stream-of-consciousness technique, the narrative dipping occasionally into the minds of the other characters on which Sabina impinges in her quest for self-fulfilment. As Sabina approaches her fortieth birthday party she needs to re-invent herself—or, at least, come to terms with this traumatic passage or transition from youth to middle age.

The novel becomes more and more absorbing as one reads. Indeed, the author really seems to be well established in the Bloomsbury group, since I can't help thinking of Mrs Dalloway who journey’s through a day in London—but this is Mrs. Dalloway in Luxembourg, and the Luxembourg landscape is as important to the progress of the story as are the London landmarks for Mrs. Dalloway. The trivial, prosaic details and phobias certainly loom large in Sabina's hectic world. This, after all, constitutes the real everyday fabric of life for a woman approaching forty! Sabina has real substance, and no doubt many women readers will relate to it—and not just women readers! I like the thinking—the philosophy—behind the novel, and the shafts of light it casts through Sabina's revitalized discovery of herself, and of life itself.

This is a voyage of discovery. James Joyce used Ullyses, or the Odyssey, to foreground his protagonist's journey, whereas Diana Button has used Pandora's Box! Joyce set his anti-hero's journey of discovery in Dublin, Virginia Woolf set hers in London, and Diana Button has set hers in the affluent, perhaps decadent environment of Luxembourg.

Well done, Diana! This is a real tour de force that has given us a genuine insight into the heart of the true woman!


S.V. Seale, Luxembourg, writes:

Diana Button plunges us into the unavoidable realm of mid-life crisis with humor and gusto. All of us women can identify with parts of this somehow very familiar story! And men might get an insight into the feminine soul and her struggle to slip serenely into the second half of life. Diana also portrays so well the complex struggle of human relationships in our busy and speedy modern world, which refuses to acknowledge and value irrationality as a fountain of rebirth and joy...

A thrilling page turner, where one cannot wait to discover the end, Marrying It All delights us readers and makes us discover the city of Luxembourg in a light that many Luxembourgers themselves have never had!

S.V. Seale, Psychoanalyst, C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich; 
M.A. Dance Therapy, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).   November 2003.

 


Original oil painting entitled ‘Flying on Joy’ by Diana Button, 60cm X 80cm
which was used in the cover design for
Marrying It All

Front cover of the February 2004 edition of
the Luxembourg English journal "352":