I found this book to be an engaging nonfiction read. As a woman in my mid/late 20s in a committed relationship, the question of marriage is pervasive in my social circles (IRL and online). I find myself having a reflexive reaction against the idea of marriage - what is the point in today's era of living with partners and divorcing at will? Is marriage not just a legal document that can be easily reversed? What difference does it make - commitment is commitment, married or not. A marriage appears to be a relationship starting with a big expensive party and often ending in divorce.
I enjoyed reading about many perspectives both for and against marriage, as well as reading about the idea of the changing nature of marriage. The book delves into how there is a slow but sure shift away from the traditional concept of marriage and towards recreating marriage as an arrangement with many variations to suit the couple. I liked this perspective that encourages women to create their own picture without trying to emulate the traditional (often unsuccessful) forms of coupling.
I also appreciated the voice given to different races, sexualities, and classes of women. This offered me a few new perspectives and insights into women I might not readily relate to. I do agree with another comment here that there is an relatively strong focus on the type of lifestyle you might find with "career women in New York" that isn't always relatable. But the author does make an obvious effort to temper that with other stories.
Finally, be warned that this is most certainly a focus on American women and history. I would like to read a similar book written about Canadian or international views of marriage.