Love drifts off course in the
Love is a Canoe
By Ben Schrank Text Publishing, 352pp, $29.99
FIRST, there are two canoes: Love is a Canoe, a novel by American writer and publisher Ben Schrank, and ‘‘ Marriage is a Canoe’’, a fictional self-help book within the novel. The novel’s main character, Emily Babson, reads as a girl her parents’ copy of Marriage is a Canoe. She is convinced she can take on its lessons and have a happy marriage — different from her mum and dad.
‘‘ A good marriage is a canoe — it needs care and isn’t meant to hold too much — no more than two adults and a few kids.’’ The book is meant to be The Joy of Sex for marriage, a touchstone for baby boomers. It is full of metaphors of leaky boats and love, and admonishments to ‘‘ stay in your own canoe’’.
But despite taking to heart all this advice, 30-something Emily is having relationship trouble. She is worried her husband, Eli, is