Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Blog tour stop for Memoirs of a Widowed Mistress by Megan van Eyck here that includes a detailed review!
Product Description (taken from Amazon.com)
Memoirs of a Widowed Mistress is a cautionary tale about the causal relationship between marital emotional neglect and questionable choices. It is a warning for the spouse who wants to dismiss an affair as just sex or for any woman who thinks love is enough to keep a man that isn't really hers.
"You never know what happens between two people when they are alone" is a common sentiment reserved for married couples who appear to have relationships that defy the odds. The same can also be said for couples involved in long-term adulterous affairs.
Many people believe that infidelity is only about sex: two people, one hotel room, and a few hours to spare. And Megan van Eyck's extramarital affair began just like that, with lusty hours spent between hotel sheets. But within a few months van Eyck realized she had found what she and her lover did not know they were both looking for: true love.
Memoirs of a Widowed Mistress offers an honest look behind closed doors. It is a forthcoming, sometimes steamy, account of both the passion and the heartbreak associated with being a mistress; about the futility of sharing a love while not sharing a life. Van Eyck is reflective as she addresses her compelling and unusual personal history, which made being the other woman an acceptable option. She makes no excuses for herself, her mistakes, or her betrayal of her husband as she recklessly pursues love. She wants everything, unabashedly.
But her priorities shift when Carlos, her lover, is diagnosed with Amyloidosis, a rare blood disorder. Her concerns shift for hoping for a life with him to hoping that he'll be able to live through treatment for this rare and incurable disease. In the end, van Eyck must not only come to terms with her loss, mistakes and regrets, she must come to terms with herself.
Memoirs of a Widowed Mistress is must read for anyone that has struggled with love, intimacy or self-acceptance. Memoirs of a Widowed Mistress will captivate supporters, surprise critics and change the perspective of those that have ever considered having an affair
About the Author:
Megan van Eyck lives near Seattle, Washington with her husband and children. Memoirs of a Widowed Mistress is her debut effort as a memoirist.
I have to fully agree with the product description above. This memoir totally blew me away. It was gut-wrenchingly honest, insightful, and very well written. Yeah, this book was published by the author through Create Space, but the memoir is a perfect example of how someone can publish a good story that delivers a powerful message and do it themselves rather than going through a traditional publisher. Oh, and the cover is beautiful, plus the back cover information is compelling and well put together. That said, I'd like to focus on the story rather than how it was published. As I said, it was a powerful book for a number of reasons.
For one thing, I couldn't stop reading it. That says a lot right there. It seems there are a lot of the same old same old formulaic books available to read, but few that pack such a powerful punch as this one. It's a real heart-tugging story that delves into a lot of forbidden areas. Since I also wrote a book about a woman who had an affair--though my main character happened to be a Christian--I decided to check this book out and review it. I wanted to see what commonalities I could find with my book. There were many, much to my surprise. However, this memoir contains many more sexual situations than I had in my book, plus more description regarding their sexual encounters. I experienced the trauma along with Megan and totally empathized with her situation even though it is obvious that adultery was wrong choice to make. Her relationship with the man who was not her husband clearly had an impact on her life and changed her for the better. Her need for love and validation drove her poor choices. It's that simple, and also that complex.
As the author said on the back of her book... Call it what you like--illicit, forbidden, even wrong--but falling in love outside of marriage happens every day.
Now before you say, WHOA to the above statement, I have to agree with it. It's wrong, yes. It's immoral and forbidden, but as this memoir shows very clearly, people commit adultery for a reason. People who have affairs have a distinct purpose in having them. When they fall in love there is a whole lot more going on than just a romp in the sack. There is an emotional connection that develops, and complications that arise from the illicit love. To continue the affair there must be cover ups, secrets, and lies to maintain the relationship. This memoir chronicles a long-term affair that spans over five years. The many encounters they had as lovers gave their affair time to grow beyond just the sex. The "love" part of the story was complex, but I found it fascinating. All of the intense emotion such as jealousy of the "real" spouse, the irrational anger at times, and the need to be number one in the lover's eyes were well delivered. The competition to be the best showed why affairs can be so exciting and romanticized by the parties involved. But in the end, the illicit lover still ranks second in the scheme of things. That's just how it is.
The way the author tied the driven need for love and the promiscuity that resulted from Megan's insecurities were based on painful situations in her life. The author made a compelling case to show how they are all interconnected. How childhood pain can drive dysfunctional adult behavior. I've worked for two decades in various child protective services capacities. I've seen up close what emotional abuse, rejection, and chronic neglect like the main character in the memoir experienced can do to cause a deep void in someone's heart. It can create a love tank in the heart that leaks, that never seems to get filled. Couple that with rejection from the spouse who is supposed to take care of you and be the champion in your relationship, and you've got a disaster waiting to happen. Even Christians are capable of such betrayal and poor judgment despite the fact that they have been spiritually reborn. Emotional abandonment by the person who is supposed to love you and be there for you (your spouse) can affect anyone.
There were a lot of things I found fascinating about this story and some things that disturbed me. The crude sex language was one of them. But since this wasn't an inspirational book, I wasn't shocked to see the author writing everything like she experienced it, f-words and all. Even though I hate that word, it seemed to fit the story when she used it. Of course, I was so into the memoir that I felt like I was an observer to every scene and every emotion. It was so well put together. I can't say that enough. As an author myself and someone who reads a lot of books, I can vouch for the quality of this one regardless of the cussing. That's why this memoir is making my best fiction list for 2011. It's not a Christian book, but it's real life. I appreciated that and honestly, I admire anyone who can tell their story with so much vulnerability and honesty. I was truly impressed.
I have to say I didn't like the fact that there was no spiritual element to this book, but it was a memoir, so that wouldn't make sense given that the author is not a person with faith in God or a personal relationship with Jesus that would contribute another dimension to the story. I felt the hopelessness the author must have experienced as she wrote about what happened without any faith to cling to, so it felt very dark at times. However there was a beautiful ending to this story that I was pleasantly surprised by. It totally redeemed Willem, the husband, in my eyes. That was very moving and I dare say it was packed with powerful truths. His response gave them a chance for redemption. And while the affair was clearly wrong, the author made a compelling case for how she justified everything in her mind. It worked because what she believed was true in many ways. I understood both sides.
The thing I loved most about this book was how the author delved deeply into the topic of love. She also dove deeply in to what it feels like to doubt someone's love. To never quite believe them. To be insecure and totally dependent on that next contact for your personal happiness. Well done! The author showed what love is and what it isn't. She analyzed all aspects of her life and her experiences with love, even the dysfunctional relationships that brought her to the place where she was so hurt she was willing to risk everything to chase the love she desired. Like the character Hope in my novel, Megan loved her family, but her intense need for love seemed to overshadow everything else. I appreciated how everything came out in the end. Though not perfect, it was so believable in the way it was presented (probably because it was true...this is a memoir.) More than anything, I appreciated the honesty in this book. For people who want more insight into how adultery happens and to see up close what the highs and lows of that experience contains, this is a powerful memoir that shows it all. While some people might see this as the author justifying what she did and trying to get revenge in the end, I don't see it that way at all. Do I agree with the affair? No way. But I can see how it did change her as a person and changed her marriage for the better in the end. In my opinion, that's the heart of this book. Yes, it is heart-wrenchingly true in all of it's ugliness. I think it takes guts to share something like this with the world and the husband Willem is an exceptional husband and man for allowing this memoir to be in print and supporting his wife's efforts to tell her story.
Memoirs of a Widowed Mistress was published through Create Space and released in January 2011. This book was provided to me for review by Pump Up Your Book Promotion. The above opinions expressed are completely my own.