Title: The Affair by Colette Freedman
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
After eighteen years of marriage, Kathy Walker has settled into a pattern of comfortable routines–ferrying her two teenagers between soccer practice and piano lessons, running a film production business with her husband, Robert, and taking care of the beautiful Boston home they share. Then one day, Kathy discovers a suspicious number on her husband’s phone. Six years before, Kathy accused Robert of infidelity–a charge he vehemently denied–and almost destroyed their marriage in the process.
Now Kathy must decide whether to follow her suspicions at the risk of losing everything, or trust the man with whom she’s entwined her past, present, and future. As she grapples with that choice, she is confronted with surprising truths not just about her relationship, but about her friends, family, and her own motivations.
Skillfully crafted and deeply insightful, The Affair sensitively explores the complexities of love and the challenge of ever knowing another person fully, even as we endeavor to understand our own deepest longings.
Why do people cheat on their partners? Who is at fault? Can a marriage recover from such an intimate betrayal? These are just a few of the questions raised in Colette Freedman’s newest release, The Affair. It is a fascinating and riveting novel about the devastating repercussions of infidelity.
Told from three different perspectives, The Affair covers a six day span in the days leading up to Christmas. Readers see the same events from each of the key players in the story and this unique approach to storytelling is what makes this novel so compelling.
The Affair opens with Kathy Walker inadvertently stumbling on possibility incriminating evidence that raises her suspicions that her husband of eighteen years, Robert, is involved in an extra-marital affair. Despite the disquiet she feels at doubting her husband, she is compelled to find the proof that will ease her doubts or confirm her worst fears. Kathy is wracked with insecurities and her introspection reveals how emotionally and physically distant she and Robert have gradually become. She does not downplay her role in the disintegration of their marriage and she is faced with many difficult decisions if her fears are correct.
We then view these same events from Robert’s and his alleged mistress, Stephanie Burroughs’ points of view. It is very interesting to see the same scenes from each of the characters viewpoints and I found my loyalties shifting with the additional insight. The revelations do not excuse anyone’s actions but they do make each of the characters more sympathetic.
Kathy and Robert’s viewpoints end with crucial discovers and I literally could not put this book down I discovered how their story ends. The novel culminates in a confrontation that is dramatic, realistic and thought-provoking.
Colette Freedman does an outstanding job showing how easy it is to become complacent in a marriage. She also demonstrates the importance of communication and how assumptions can destroy a relationship. Equally important is the reminder that there are always two sides to every story.
The Affair is a truly unforgettable story that I highly recommend.