Summary Let’s get married

JH Updike
Let’s get married
A secluded beach on the Connecticut coast near the fictional city of Greenwood. Jerry Conant and Sally Matthias meet there secretly. Each of them has their own families, children, but they are irresistibly attracted to each other. Again and again they start talking about finding the strength to break with the conventions and take the last step towards each other, but it’s not easy to decide each of them to divorce.
Jerry is on business in Washington, Sally is asking permission to go with him. Jerry hesitates: in fact one such joint trip by a miracle did not lead to a major scandal. Finally, he responds with a refusal: they are constantly at risk of being taken to clean water. But Sally can not stay without him, and she still appears in Washington.
And this meeting, like many others, is not without alarm. Sally soon needs to return, and with tickets to the plane are big problems: a strike by one of the airlines led to serious disruptions in the operation of airports and the cancellation of many flights. The convulsive attempts to get tickets for the return flight strongly poison those few hours that lovers have carved out for themselves. However, Sally’s strong delay comes off her hands. Richard’s husband did not suspect anything. Jerry Ruth’s wife did not even feel wrong.
However, Richard and Ruth are not without sin in this respect. In their time, a bond arose between them, which, however, was soon decisively stopped by Ruth, and it’s not even that she had fears that Jerry starts guessing. By nature, Ruth is simply created for the home and does everything to be a good mother and wife. That troubling day in Washington, however, was a turning point in the fate of the two families. Soon after returning to Greenwood, Jerry tells Ruth that he has an affair with Sally, and raises the topic of divorce. This is the beginning of a long and painful clarification of relations between spouses. At the same time, Ruth admits to Jerry that she once had an affair, but refuses to name who she is.
Ruth meets Sally, and they also discuss the problem. Sally admits that after the appearance in her life, Jerry literally hated her husband and now he just ceased to exist for her. She says that it was only thanks to Jerry that she knew what love was, and that if Ruth tried to keep her husband strong, she would simply suffocate him. Ruth assures her that she would not interfere with great love, since she really arose between her husband and another woman, but they have three children and she has no right to not think about their well-being. She asks Sally to stop seeing Jerry until September, but if it turns out then that...

their attraction to each other has not weakened, she will not interfere with their union.
Sally and Jerry agree to Ruth’s request, but the latter soon suspect that they still did not stop the relationship. Once, after discovering that Jerry’s work phone and Sally’s home are once again permanently occupied, she gets into the car and goes to work for Richard to discuss the situation with him. But nervous tension makes itself felt, and her car gets into an accident. The police do not want to let her go home alone – she’s in a semi-shock state, and then Ruth calls Richard and asks to come. He appears quickly, and she is on the verge of confessing to everything, but in time she takes herself in hand.
Sally travels with children to Florida, but from time to time he calls Jerry on the phone, he cries and says that he can not do it any more. Jerry tells his wife that he decided to leave the house and wait for Sally’s return somewhere else, maybe in Washington. The conversation takes a rather stormy character, and then the troubled son Charlie appears. He weeps bitterly, realizing that Dad “wants to live with other children.” Confused Jerry comforts him, explaining that he wants to live only with him.
The decision to stay seems to be accepted, but soon Jerry realizes that he can not stay away from his beloved. But instead of finally making his own decision and committing an act, he renews the extremely difficult negotiations with Ruth for both. He strives with all his heart to Sally, but on the other hand, unable to abandon the fate of children. He rushes between two possible solutions, as if hoping that someone will make a choice for him. When once again he is inclined to leave the house, Ruth informs him that she is most likely pregnant. She says she will have an abortion, but Jerry feels like a killer.
Soon the problem of divorce is connected and Richard. Sally could not stand it and told him about Jerry. Richard immediately takes the bull by the horns and begins with enthusiasm to discuss the details of the future structure of life of all stakeholders. He enters into negotiations with a lawyer, zealously prepares for a new existence. But the excruciating duality of Jerry, rushing between passion and habit, desire and duty, does not allow him to make the same step that he dreamed of throughout the narrative. The status quo is restored, and the love for Sally remains in the hero’s memories and scraps of their dialogues – real and existing exclusively in his imagination. Returning thoughts to a woman who means so much to him and at the same time remains on the horizon of his existence, he again and again thinks that there will come a moment,


Summary Let’s get married