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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My review of The Secrets of Married Women by Carol Mason

About the book:

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is harder.

Jill and Rob are happily married and still very much in love. Then everything changes when they discover that Rob is infertile. Having children has never been the be all and end all for Jill. Yet, admittedly, a tiny part of her now wants what she can’t have. But more than craving the impossible, Jill just wants her marriage back to the way it was. But Rob has taken the news badly. He won't touch her. They never have sex anymore. And worse still, he won’t talk about it. 

Frustrated and unsure what to do, Jill is drawn into being an unwitting 'ear' for her best friend Leigh who is having a steamy extra-marital affair. Married to a man who is eager to please but fails to satisfy, Leigh has decided that life is too short to put her own happiness last. She has given her affair an expiry date: six weeks and then she will end it. 

Then there is Wendy, who is married to handsome Neil, a top policeman. Wendy is one of those friends who never lets her guard drop - a content mother and a wife whose trust and faith in her husband seems to know no limits.

But are things ever what they seem?

Does life ever go according to plan?

How well do we ever know our husbands, our best friends, or even ourselves?

Jill is about to find out when she faces infidelity and the truth head on...

My review:

Call me weird, but I like reading stories about women in close friendships who deal with infidelity. But the stories that interest me are the ones where the women are the unfaithful ones. Part of this is because I wrote a book on the same subject and I'm curious to see how similar their reactions are and their motivations, etc. as the character in my novel. In this case I found the characterization very believable. Unfortunately, I've known a number of people in situations like this where a good friend finds out her other friend is sleeping with the good friend's husband and the agony of how to deal with it is rough, to say the least.

I also know of several situations where husbands came around and things worked out despite the woman's cheating. It even happened to a good friend of mine. I ran into her husband, a chronic cheater, a year after their divorce only to find out they'd gotten remarried. I didn't see that coming. I think the difference is in how the affair happened and who the woman loved. Leigh's motivation was entirely different than Jill's. So were their feelings toward their husbands, and that made all the difference to me. I totally identified with Jill's situation and the horror she went through in more ways than one. I do believe if her friend hadn't talked about her affair so much she may not have gone down that road herself.

An aside... there is a lot of cursing in this book, but a lot of witty dialog as well. Honestly, I could hear these characters saying angry things like "you bitch" when furious, so it didn't bother me, though I prefer not to read cursing in novels. Most of the time the words fit the scenes. Just sayin'. I also find the way English people curse a little bit amusing. Call me weird, but to me bloody simply means blood coming out of something like a cut. And shag is a type of carpet people had in their homes in the early 1970s. There are a number of other words that I'm sure were meant as bad words, but I didn't know what they meant, so I just kept reading.

This book and the characters reminded me a bit of the language and characters in the movie, Sliding Doors, with Gwyneth Paltrow. That story contained a lot of British slang, too, most of which went over my head. Anyway, I liked the resolution at the end and found it plausible. This kind of stuff does happen. I've seen it where a bad situation turns out to have good elements despite how messed up it began. I applaud the author for her dramatic storytelling and her ability to pull me into the characters's lives. This story felt pretty realistic to me. I have to say I felt a bit sorry for these three ladies because they all suffered in different ways. I especially hurt for Wendy.

That said, would I recommend this book to people with sensitive ears and minds? No. But for people who like the deep psychology of getting into characters' heads and examining their motivations? I'd definitely recommend it because this dramatic story was well done.

This novel was published by Hodder & Stoughton and was released in 2007.

1 comment:

Elisha German said...

New follower here, I like the cover of this book and it sounds interesting:)

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