The Codes of Love by Hannah Persaud

Title: The Codes of Love

Author: Hannah Persaud

Pub date: March 5th, 2020

My Rating: ★★★☆☆


Ryan and Emily appear to have it all, successful jobs, a beautiful house and the secret to a happy marriage. A secret that involves certain ‘rules’. But beneath the surface trouble is brewing in the shape of Ada. Whimsical, high-spirited and beholden to no-one, she represents the freedom that Emily’s been striving for and the escape that Ryan didn’t know he wanted.

The Codes of Love caught my eye because of the premise of marriage with a set of rules. The reader quickly learns that the rules are set for an open marriage. Dynamic of an open marriage must be completely different than of regular one, and the book gives us a glimpse into the lives of one of such open marriages.

Each chapter starts with a particular rule set for Emily and Ryan’s marriage, and each chapter then shows us how they both start to break all the rules. And it all starts when they meet Ada, mysterious woman that intrigues both Emily and Ryan. Each interaction with Ada crumbles the foundation of their marriage. All of the characters are unlikable, but they all make choices that are understandable. The reader will not cheer them, wishing them success in their endeavours, but we all somehow will get why they doing it. They were pushed to their limits and didn’t know how to deal with it all differently. They did their best, no matter how poorly it looks.

The story is a clever exploration of relationships, with a curious sprinkle of suspense on what is true and who actually is the narrator in the book. Could it be a twisted story of one of the characters, or am I reading too much into it?