Our Review

‘I ached. My joints. My head. My heart. I ached with emptiness and helplessness. The pain was physical.’

And THIS, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why we fell in love with CD Reiss’ writing years ago. She’s a master story teller. Her command of the written word can be extraordinary, raw, gritty, poetic, beautiful, powerful, hard, soft and ugly depending on what she’s wanting you to feel, experience and embrace. Demanding your full attention and participation, as her words travel from the pages into your heart and mind.

“You tell me where you went wrong. Were you not good enough? Or was this just not what I wanted for you.”

Marriage Games felt unique and had a -rough feel- deliberately so, we feel. It showcased the layers that make up a person as a whole touching on each yet never fully unravelling to the core. Nearly, but not quite. We suspect the complete naked scrutiny will continue in order to fully expose two people’s very being to understand more of the why’s, the motivations and the stripping down to basic, in order to embrace identity and to grow.

‘She’d become immune to the venom of her detachment, and I kept on asking for the sting.’

Can you truly supress a part of your being and be happy for more than a moment in time? Can you make yourself believe that this hidden side of you won’t transfer into your actions, participation and way of living through behavioural patterns like withdrawal, mood and outward projection? How easy or difficult is it to differentiate between love and need? Can they be one and the same but in different guises?

“Everything’s changed. We aren’t us anymore.” “I don’t know you.” “We were never us.”

Adam knows one way of life, he lives his need- not to be mistaken for love. That is until he meets Diana in a business meeting of high emotions and future consequences.  Adam falls in love, which is a side of him he can’t reconcile with his need and hidden lifestyle. Consequently, Adam lives a lie in order to keep the love of his life, Diana. Appearances can be deceptive, yet at the same time they can be wholly transparent or misleading in their form. Can a secret life or lifestyle ever stay secret or masked? Do we ever show our complete true self to another? Do we ever get to fully know or even understand ourselves? Diana sets in motion a soul searching journey that will change everything or nothing through intense complexities. A journey which has not yet reached its destination.

“You can take that side of yourself and pretend it doesn’t exist. Put it where it can’t hurt you. But all that time, it’s beating down the doors to get out, and it ate at us alive.”

Marriage Games is a story that goes so much deeper than a couple struggling with their vows. It’s the beginning of a personal journey for both Adam and Diana- singularly and as a unit disguised as a challenge, the beginning of a game with the end result being who discovers whatabout themselves and each other. To instigate a challenge to validate, discover, prove or justify. No easy feat and perhaps too simplistic in description. We loved it yet struggled with aspects of it, which is perhaps the point? It’s like a song. You listen through the build-up and chorus waiting for that high note or that exact moment the song takes flight, making the hairs at the back of your neck stand up, bringing those chills. We never quite got there so we’re hoping the second instalment packs that much needed punch to take us through that crescendo.

 ‘I wanted her to go. I wanted her to stay. I wanted her on my terms. I wanted her on any terms. I wanted to be cured of the disease of love. I wanted to be cured of want.’

Synopsis

THIRTY DAYS
That’s all Adam Steinbeck demands of his wife.
Thirty days in a remote cottage, doing everything he demands. After that, he’ll sign her divorce papers and give her complete ownership of their company.

THIRTY DAYS
That’s how long he has to rediscover the man he once was. The Dominant Master he hid when he fell in love with her five years ago.

THIRTY DAYS
She wants the business they built badly enough to go to the cottage for a month. Cut off ties to the world and do his bidding. She can submit to him with her body, but her heart will never yield.

She thinks this is his pathetic attempt to repair their marriage.

She’s wrong

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