Genres: Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Female Bonding, Friendship-Strong
This book was provided by Netgalley and The Penguin Group: Dutton Adult in exchange for an honest review.
What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?
Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.
Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.
Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross.
The author uses multiple POVs (points-of-view) to tell this story: Claire, Chris, and Daniel. But because most of the book is from Claire's perspective, the switch between POVs didn't feel like a smooth transition. The guys only seemed to offer their POV to clarify something that they were thinking but couldn't express. That makes sense, and it was nice to get the insight, but the imbalance didn't work for me.
The book connects with readers - makes you relate to them. But it's a very sad book, at least for me. Relationships are tough. This economy is tough. And this book addresses some real-life problems that couples face during downsizing and the job market pressures. It's hard not to empathize with both Chris and Claire.
The book was also tough for me, because I understand the emotional/mental affair and the temptation. But does it matter if the affair doesn't really wander into the physical? This book asks that question; Claire and Daniel grapple with it from different angles and perspectives. It's not an easy book to read. And there aren't any clear answers or clear winners.
Beautiful writing... but a very sad book. A tale woven so realistically that you found yourself intrinsically tapped in to the characters and what was happening.