I am trying to catch up on a backlog of books received over several years and this is one I have just read. (Quite coincidentally, it is particularly relevant now with our daily newscasts and papers filled with details of extra-marital relationships).
The author is a prize winning NY journalist and she writes beautifully and quite movingly at times. She shares intimate insights into her own adulterous affairs, but without pornographic detail. One surprising element, for me, was the way in which she shared her extra-marital experiences with a close group of friends.
Romantically involved from an early age with Bill, a fellow university student, she married him, but even as she took her wedding vows she had an uneasy suspicion that she would not be “forsaking all others”. This proved to be true and, overcome with remorse, she confessed her infidelities to her husband and the marriage survived despite these lapses.
They had been together for many years,married for 16, and were parents to two young sons, when one of her friends (part of the close knit group of women friends referred to as ‘The Hens’) told her of her husband’s extra-marital affair with a younger woman, Susan, who was living only a mile away, and who was the mother of Bill’s 8-month old son. Apparently they had been lovers for 10 years! Shocked and stunned, Wendy shares her feelings very honestly with her readers.
As someone who has been both the betrayer and betrayed, she attempts to assess the situation with as much honesty and impartiality as possible.. not easy! Despite their difficulties, she was desperately anxious for the marriage to remain intact and attempted to initiate solutions to achieve this.
The marriage did drag on, but she finally became disillusioned and accepted that with Susan and their child always in the background, there was no future for them as husband and wife. Again, she turned to her group of close friends for solace and (in her words) ‘to mood appropriate music, which could only mean Van Morrison’. (I knew I really liked this woman!)
She rebuilt her life, her relationship now is with a friend from her early schooldays, and although they share their lives, they do not live together.
As indicated, this book was published 5 years ago, so who knows what changes time has brought? I would really like to know…….
I enjoyed the honesty and wisdom of this book, the author writes beautifully and with great sincerity, and I very strongly recommend it.
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Published by Bloomsbury 2013
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