One of the oddest features of western Christianized culture is its ready acceptance of the myth of the stable family and the happy marriage. We have been taught to accept the myth not as an heroic ideal, something good, brave, and nearly impossible to fulfil, but as the very fiber of normal life. Given most families and most marriages, the belief seems admirable but foolhardily.
Jonathan Raban (born 1942) is a British travel writer and novelist. Born in Norfolk, England, he has lived in Seattle, Washington, USA since 1990.