Tag Archives: Adultery

The Blondes, Fates and Furies, And Again, The Fifth Season

Some strong reads in the last few weeks. I want to get Fates and Furies out of the way because I basically hate-read it. I just didn’t get what the big Story was. While I liked Mathilde’s backstory and some of her choices in the second half, I just couldn’t get over how fusty and edge-less it felt to me. Not enough rock ‘n’ roll for a story about young people in the West Village in the late 1990s… maybe because that’s where I lived…

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A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante

Synopsis: A man is dead, but it turns out he has not one grieving wife, but three–and the detective investigating his murder finds herself affected by his apparent passion for love, and how it shows the defects in her own relationship. Review: A Circle of Wives surprised me with its emotional complexity. If only I could say the same about the plotting. I really couldn’t believe the sloppiness of the ending in an otherwise well-written book. Share on Facebook

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Dead by Sunset by Ann Rule

Synopsis: The true crime account of the murder of a brilliant attorney by her sociopathically narcissistic husband. Review: I was looking for a quick and easy read and decided to return to an old favorite. Dead by Sunset is one of Ann Rule’s best books, offering an exquisitely detailed portrait of a narcissist and the destruction he created in the lives of his wives (5 of them), girlfriends (too numerous to count), kids (sadly he was a bad father to 6 kids), and business associates.…

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Vow: A Memoir of Marriage and Infidelity by Wendy Plump

Synopsis: A journalist details the multiple affairs that ended her marriage. Review: The story told in Vow is a train wreck. Wendy Plump and her husband pretty much destroyed their marriage with infidelity on both sides, ending finally when her husband had a baby with another woman. For all her candor, I never felt like Plump got to the heart of why she did what she did, or responded the way she did, or how she feels about the endeavor of marriage in general. I…

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The St. Zita Society by Ruth Rendell

Synopsis: When the servants of the residents of a tony London neighborhood get together to try to improve their collective lot, they have no way of knowing that their cozy way of life is about to explode–thanks to the secrets they’re all protecting. Review: The St. Zita Society took some time for me to warm up to it, mainly because there was no one I felt like I could connect with. But Rendell is such a brilliant writer that she kept me interested, and when…

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Motherland by Amy Sohn

Synopsis: Interlocking tales of some tortured moms and dads living high on the hog in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Review: I do not know why I kept reading Motherland, I didn’t connect with any of the characters and I was seriously worried about the safety of all their children. I had enjoyed her previous novel, Prospect Park West, mostly because as a New York mom myself I am not immune to the pleasures of schadenfreude. But with this book, I couldn’t enjoy any of it because…

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The Face of Trespass by Ruth Rendell

Synopsis: A poverty-stricken writer flees a failed affair, but things may have already gone too far. Review: The Face of Trespass is an early novel by one of my favorite writers, Ruth Rendell. It’s a short book and a quick read, yet packed with psychological complexity and fascinating characters. I loved the hermeticism of Gray’s world and his believably strange relationship with his French stepfather HonorĂ©. Not as transcendent as some of her best works (Judgment in Stone in particular) but well worth the read.…

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This Glittering World by T. Greenwood

Synopsis: After the body of a badly beaten Navajo man is discovered in the snow outside his home, Ben Bailey takes the investigation into his own hands, with devastating consequences for his own disordered life. Review: With every book of hers I read, I become convinced that T. Greenwood is my favorite contemporary author. This Glittering World is one of her best yet, achieving the same level of intensity and feeling as her second novel (and my favorite) Nearer than the Sky. Protagonist Ben Bailey’s…

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Foxybaby and The Sugar Mother by Elizabeth Jolley

With reading time at a premium due to an active 3-year-old and a high needs 4-month-old, I’m not able to dive into all the worthy books that are sent my way for review. So this will be a bit out of form for the Superfast Reader, more of an endorsement than a review, since I was only able to give these books a perusal instead of a read. But they are absolutely worth recommending, for their literary merit and sheer originality. Foxybaby follows a writer…

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Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

Synopsis: The anti-love story of an American marriage. Review: Freedom is a terribly generic name for a totally original novel. I’d prefer “Songs for Walter” or even “Mistakes Were Made.” I’m really not sure how that one slipped by. Anyway. Thoroughly engrossing read about people making each other miserable. It reminded me a lot of Revolutionary Road, a favorite of mine (despite the suckitatious movie). The psychological torture that the characters inflict on one another is exquisite and acute, but somehow hopelessly romantic, too. Franzen…

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