Review: The Lifestyle by Taylor Hahn

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Don’t miss the beach read of the summer! A heartwarming and hilarious novel about swinging, marriage, and complexities of the heart.

Georgina Wagman has it all—a great marriage, a great job at a prestigious law firm, and great friends. She’s living the life she always wanted, and everything is perfect. Until, that is, she walks in on her husband Nathan in a compromising position with a junior associate. Georgina has a moment of crisis. But divorce is not a part of the five-year plan, so she comes up with an idea to save her marriage and recapture the spark. She and Nathan are going to become swingers.

Georgina isn’t going to embark on this adventure alone, though. Her friends Felix and Norah and their respective partners decide to tag along for the ride. They’ve got relationship woes of their own that swinging just might fix. Georgina, convinced Felix and Norah belong together, is thrilled. What better place to reignite romance between two people destined to be together than a swingers’ party? Her plan is foolproof, until she runs into a college ex at the first party. When they reconnect, Georgina will find herself torn between her head and her heart, with her very happiness hanging in the balance.


I picked this novel as my Book of the Month selection last month. It was not something I normally read and review, but I it looked interesting and I sometimes want something light to read. The novel starts with Georgnia, a powerful lawyer with a strong marriage, finding her husband after hours with one of the junior associates. She thinks she can save her marriage by becoming a swinger with him. She has a few friends tag along, and what she finds out is the lifestyle is much different than she imagined.

This is a book I expected to breeze through it without much thought. I would turn the pages, read about swinger parties and clubs and I would probably not think much about it after I was finished. I figured it would be a book I read without much participation. Like I was leaning against the wall of one of these parties and just watching, going home afterward to my regular life. Instead I found that Taylor Hahn has written a novel that has a great deal of depth, relationships that I grew attached to, and even some moments that made me feel emotional about these characters. There were a few of the situations that were thought provoking, and Hahn seems to have varied the nuances of the marriages between all of the couples just enough to make readers latch on the different aspects. For me, the relationship with Norah and Ari and the way that the truth come out about Ari is the one that strikes me the hardest. Sometimes people really live unhappy lives because they are afraid of what their spouses might think. I really enjoyed the characters and many of the situations and relationships.

There are things to complain about if you want to complain. There is not a great deal of sexual diversity. Because of swinging, the marriages become complicated but not messy. It seems like everyone has a positive outcome to their lives by becoming swingers. I am sure there are some people who do this to explore their sexuality, some who do not gain any benefit in swinging, and somewhere swinging has turned a marriage into something awful. We do not really get these types of actions or outcomes. We get everything solved, not problems gained. This keeps the book pretty cheery but also a little Disney innocent. Sometimes this type of innocence is something a reader needs. I did not start reading The Lifestyle to pick out the flaws and take it very seriously as much as to read a story that is just fun to read. With this in mind, The Lifestyle was a good choice.

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