Marissa Stapley 2017-11-15T15:12:38+00:00

Project Description

Marissa Stapley is a freelance writer and former magazine editor whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, National Post, Elle Canada, and many others. Mating for Life (June 24, 2014, Simon & Schuster Canada; July 1, 2014, Atria Books) is her first novel. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two young children, where she teaches writing and editing.


Two families, three generations and a lie that almost destroys them. Is their love strong enough to heal old wounds?

Mae Summers and Gabe Broadbent grew up together in the idyllic Summers’ Inn, perched at the edge of the St. Lawrence River. Mae was orphaned at the age of six and Gabe needed protection from his alcoholic father, so both were raised under one roof by Mae’s grandparents, Lilly and George. Their childhood friendship quickly developed into a first love—a love that was suddenly broken by Gabe’s unexpected departure. Mae grew up, got over her heartbreak and started a life for herself in New York City.

After more than a decade, Mae and Gabe find themselves pulled back to Alexandria Bay. Hoping to find solace within the Summers’ Inn, Mae instead finds her grandparents in the midst of decline with their past unraveling around her. A lifetime of secrets stands in the way of this unconventional family’s happiness. Will they be able to reclaim the past and come together, or will they remain separate islands?

From the bestselling author of Mating for Life comes a powerful story about guilt, forgiveness and the truth about families: that we can choose them, just as we choose to love.


Former folk singer Helen Sear was a feminist wild child who proudly disdained monogamy, raising three daughters—each by a different father—largely on her own. Now in her sixties, Helen has fallen in love with a traditional man who desperately wants to marry her. And while she fears losing him, she’s equally afraid of abandoning everything she’s ever stood for if she goes through with it.

Meanwhile, her daughters are each finding themselves at a crossroads. Liane, the youngest, is in the heady early days of a relationship with her soul mate but worries about what will happen if the magic fades. Ilsa, an artist, is trying to settle down, but simply putting her bohemian past behind her may not be enough to make her second marriage stick. It’s not until Fiona, the eldest—who has worked tirelessly to make her world pristine—discovers that her husband has been harboring a huge secret, that the Sear women will come together as never before. In the process, they’ll realize that the past doesn’t have to define the present—and that above all else, their greatest loves have always been one another.

Interweaving the alternating perspectives of Helen, her girls, and the women surrounding them, MATING FOR LIFE  is a captivating, joyful celebration of mothers and daughters, sisters and spouses, and the kinds of love that last a lifetime.

Praise for Mating for Life

“The women in Mating for Life are clever, honest, funny, and forever analytical as they stumble through the search for love. Each new chapter brings a wise and tender look at single life, dating rituals, and marital unease. This is one of the most charming novels I’ve read in years, and I loved every last page.”— Jennifer Close, bestselling author of Girls in White Dresses

“Brilliant…this intricate story works an irresistible spell. Acute and richly moving, Mating for Life triumphantly reaffirms the power of female relationships.”— Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author of A Hundred Summers


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