Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Gift from Mom 🙂
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: NON-Austenesque, Women’s Fiction
TIME FRAME: Present Day – the beginning of September to New Year’s Eve
MAIN CHARACTERS: Three forty something wives and mothers – Tamara, Jennifer, and Bridget
WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS NOVEL:
I’ll be honest, unlike Marilyn Brant’s According to Jane and A Summer in Europe, this book wasn’t instantly added to my wishlist. Three women in unhappy marriages contemplating affairs doesn’t really sound like something my romantic heart would enjoy. But having read and ADORED both of Marilyn’s other works of fiction (as well as her lighter contemporary romances) I figured I should still give it a try.
WHAT I LOVED:
- Three Heroines: I loved how this story was divided up by the three main characters. Some chapters followed just one of our three heroines at a time and others displayed their exchanges and interactions when they assembled together. I liked having multiple main story lines, learning more about three diverse heroines, and seeing the story from three distinct point-of-views. Triple the heroines, triple the drama, triple the romance!
- Accessible and Real Marriage Issues: The return of an ex, the emergence of indifference and inattention, feeling unfulfilled and undervalued – all these things are common causes for unhappiness or dissatisfaction in marriage. It was interesting to observe how each couple dealt with these issues and how they altered each woman’s feelings and futures.
- Complex and Philosophical: Lots of introspection, self-examination, and reflecting going on. Marilyn Brant does a fantastic job of conveying the varying dynamics and dilemmas in modern marriages. This novel isn’t just a simple romance – it is thought-provoking, sensitive, and multilayered!
- Marilyn Brant Staples: There are some things you should expect to find in all of Marilyn Brant’s novels: decadent and vivid descriptions of food and a music playlist that perfectly matches the story’s tone. I love this about Marilyn’s novels! The only downside…the reader doesn’t get to eat the delicious delicacies first hand! (I so want to eat Bridget’s creations!)
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- More Resolution, Please: I sort of wish that there was a bit more closure for this novel. I really enjoyed my time with Tamara, Bridget, and Jennifer and I would have loved to seen a little more of how their futures panned out.
If you are skeptical about this novel because of the premise or because it sounds like it is about extramarital affairs – I’d recommend you still give it a chance. It is NOT about adultery and divorce. This novel is about self-identity and relationships. As with any Marilyn Brant novel this story is well-crafted, absorbing, and skillfully written!