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All or Nothing, by Miriam Malach

In Paris on a Fulbright, young Sonia is attracted to her old friend Alex, but blind to the fact that Alex and Marty are actually a couple. It is 1951, after all.

Ten years later in New York, as the relationship between Sonia and Alex grows more intense, Sonia realizes that, in reality, Alex and Marty are really as good as married, despite the secretive nature of their romance.

As Sonia grows old and loses her grip, what was it that fulfilled her in this unlikely trio, such that she never pursued marriage? Will Marty be able to come to grips with Alex’s imperfections, even as the years pass and HIV disrupts their lives? In Miriam Malach’s All or Nothing, we get a glimpse into the types of relationships that marked the mid-20th-century, a time before people could publicly be who they wanted to be, and when “all or nothing” bumped up against the compromises we all must make for happiness.

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