I received an ARC of this novel at BEA in New York from the publisher.
I have not read the author’s previous work, On the Island, but the cover really grabbed my attention and that is primarily why I accepted the copy.
This is not a typical read for me. I am not a fan of “infidelity is something that just happens” kind of stories. But there is really nothing typical about this book. The author is a very talented writer. The characters are drawn so sympathetically that the reader is drawn into their lives. These are characters that under other circumstances or in a less talented author’s hands might just be seen as another group of overprivileged whiners.
I particularly am impressed with the author’s ability to convey the stresses and strains on a marriage that come with the loss of a job and financial hardship. The treatment of emotional infidelity, feelings of abandonment, and depression are all sensitively handled. Chris, Clare and Daniel are all given voice in this book. I will say that, for me, the sections about Chris and Clare and their marriage were much stronger than Daniel’s voice in the book.
This is not an easy book to read, especially if you have dealt with any of the myriad of issues explored on the pages of this book. For fans of women’s fiction that deals with contemporary real life issues, this is definitely a worthwhile.