I know. A lot of people are going to have issues with this book because it is the story of an affair. Don’t get me wrong; I do not approve of affairs. But this is fiction, and it is a beautiful and heartbreaking story. This story neither glorifies nor condemns the affair, it just tells the story of what it was like for Elizabeth, and it tells that story very well.
Elizabeth is 45 years old, married with two grown up daughters when she meets Will, a photographer at an exhibition. The attraction she feels for Will is instant.
“(…) the sound of his voice tiptoeing up my spine to tickle the back of my neck.”
Elizabeth tries to deny the attraction initially. After all she’s been married for a long time and while she wouldn’t call herself happily married anymore, she can’t honestly say she is deeply unhappy either, it is more that she is dissatisfied with her marriage and her husband.
“What happens is you get married, you raise your kids, they go off to school, and you look at your spouse and wonder what on earth you’re supposed to do with each other now, without all the distractions of having a family to obscure the fact that you have no idea not only who the other is, but who you are yourself.”
But, once Elizabeth does give in to the ever increasing attraction between her and Will she doesn’t hold back. They may be meeting in secret and irregularly, emotionally she is completely invested in her liaison.
“He wants to pretend this is all accidental, but for me it isn’t a game. I haven’t simply let it happen. I’m falling because I jumped, and not because I tripped. This is on purpose and I own it, even if he won’t.”
But an affair is never easy. There are more than two people involved and no matter how it plays out people are going to end up hurt. Staying apart turns out to be just as hard as being together is for Elizabeth and Will though. Sooner or later Elizabeth will have to make a choice about her future, and no matter what she decides to do, ensuring everybody’s happiness just isn’t possible.
“(…)because the kindest thing you can do for someone you love is to never tell them how much they have broken your heart.”
Like I said, while I may not be a huge fan of the premise of this story, I did end up loving this book a lot more than I thought I would. There is a raw honesty in this book that you don’t often encounter in this genre. There is no need to suspend disbelief while reading this story. The emotions described ring true as do the actions of the characters.
What I loved most about this book was the way the story ended. Of course I can’t give the ending away, and I won’t even hint at it. All I can say is that for me this was the only way the story could end. In fact, I think the ending gave the story an extra level of credibility. I’m going to have to read more books by Megan Hart because this author sure knows how to write a gripping, hot, original, honest and very readable story.
“He was my ocean, and I didn’t know if I would drown until I learned how well I could swim.”