The End of Marriage by Nina Vida
A Novel

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Sometimes, love is found in the most unexpected places. Sometimes, two people find each other across a crowded room. Sometimes, love conquers all.
But only sometimes...

Ellie Holmgren is no stranger to tragedy. Her only child, eight-year-old Jamie, died during a tonsillectomy, and while Ellie was trying to find a way to dig herself out of her profound grief, her husband divorced her. And now her sister, Alice, has called to tell her that Morty, Alice's husband, has killed himself. Ellie can only think, "What next?"
The question of "What next?" is answered when Ellie reaches Alice's home and learns that Morty didn't actually kill himself -- Alice pulled the trigger. She confesses to Ellie that after suffering years of abuse, she had finally had enough. Alice is considerably older than Ellie, and the two have never been particularly close, but the possibility that Alice could be tried for murder shocks Ellie into action. She arranges the body to look like a suicide and then calls the police.
One of the homicide detectives who shows up to investigate is Teo Domingos, an angry, battle-scarred Vietnam vet. He takes one look at Morty's body, observes the way Ellie and Alice cling to each other, and decides it couldn't have been a suicide, that Alice probably did it. His partner overrules him, whereupon Teo loses his famous temper one time too many and is placed on disability.
Restless, edgy, but sure of his instincts, Teo takes it upon himself to look into Morty's death on his own. As the pieces fall together, things become even more complicated, and the lives of Teo, Ellie, and Alice connect, intertwine, and unravel to reveal well-kept secrets and lies. As Teo digs deeper, his relationship with Ellie goes from professional to personal, and he finds himself falling in love. Love is something Teo hasn't bargained for. It opens up doors that have been closed for years. It forces him to deal with his own messed-up but genuinely loving family and to face his own deepest feelings and fears. Ellie, too, undergoes her own reawakening when Alice convinces Ellie to go with her to the family ranch, where she ultimately reveals not one, but two shocking secrets...
Weighing the ties of love that make and break a family, The End of Marriage is irresistibly touching, funny, and true.

About Nina Vida

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Nina Vida is the author of five previous novels, including Between Sisters and Goodbye, Saigon. She lives with her husband in Huntington Beach, California.
Published May 7, 2002 by Simon & Schuster. 288 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Alice seems distraught and vague about what happened, but when Ellie sees the gun in Morty’s hand, and Alice confesses that Morty has been physically abusive to her, Ellie decides to tell the police it was a suicide.

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Publishers Weekly

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Vida's sixth novel wraps up many dissolving marriages in the skein of a lively plot that centers around Teo Domingos, who's a Mexican-American Vietnam veteran and homicide cop in the Newport Beach Police Department, and Ellie Holmgren, a divorced restaurant manager whose eight-year-old son ha...

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Entertainment Weekly

A tragic family drama disguised as a terse thriller, The End of Marriage is Vida's novel way of saying that nothing is what it seems.

May 24 2002 | Read Full Review of The End of Marriage: A Novel

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