Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti and writers for the website talk with the women and men making news in New York, Washington, D.C., and other cities around the world. Thanks to Ian Herman for his wonderful piano introduction.

John Marrs

The One – Finding True Love Never Seemed So Frightening


Studies show that 92 percent feel an instant, arrow-to-the-heart attraction within the first forty eight hours of meeting.

Technologies from texting to Tinder have revolutionized dating and romance – and not always in ways we’re comfortable with. In The One, by John Marrs, we are introduced to a world where science has gone one step further. A simple DNA test using a mouth swab can find you the person you are literally genetically made for. Naturally Match Your DNA becomes the biggest company on earth and millions of couples have been united. But the flip side is the technology has also led to countless breakups as well as upending all traditional notions of love, courtship, and romance. While 60% of Matches live in the same country, that still leaves 40% who don’t, and there’s no telling what the race, gender, age, health or socioeconomic status of your Soul Mate will be. Or whether your Soul Mate is already taken.  Or cognitively disabled. Or a criminal. Or even still alive. As many argue in the book, perhaps human society just isn’t ready for such revelations. And what about the millions of people who use the service but remain Match Less?  What hope is there for them?

Marrs explores the full implications of all this through the viewpoints of five very different people. We have Mandy, a late 30’s divorcee who yearns for children. Nick, who’s already in a happy, stable, relationship but his fiancée wants to take the test so they can be ‘sure.’ Ellie, a hard hitting businesswoman worth billions. Twenty-something Jade, whose match lives halfway across the world in Australia. And Christopher, who is quite literally a psychopath.

All of them will be matched with their soulmates, but for none of them will find that the course of true love runs smoothly. Far, far from it. Instead of a comedy or a romance, Marrs has written a fast-paced, gripping and completely original thriller to keep you on the edge of your seat. The twists and turns keep coming with almost every new chapter and you may well gasp aloud at points as you keep flipping the pages frantic to know what’s next. It could easily be adapted into a Black Mirror episode. This is a book you can read in one sitting and the questions it raises will stay with you long afterward.

The One
John Marrs

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