Monday, September 2, 2013
by Chantel Guertin
Genre: chick lit
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
3 / 5
On the day that Poppy Ross discovers that her husband Parker is having an affair, she is informed that she must get to the hospital: Parker has been struck by lightning. The good news? He has no memory of the previous three months. Those three months include the time he spent in his affair.
So Poppy is on the horns of a dilemma: tell Parker what she knows, resolve to forgive and forget and renew her attentions to her marriage, or try to make over herself into the image of Parker's side piece.
Poppy of course chooses Door Number Three.
And here is where she becomes a somewhat unlikable character. Her decisions are so half-assed that you find yourself getting angry with her. When we're supposed to be on her side, we actually begin to think she's nuts and not worth our time.
Yet if she fessed up and bared her sins to Parker, she risks sending him back to his other woman. That motivation we can understand. She loves him, as she tells us several times. We may not see much evidence of it - she seems to spurn his attentions at nearly every opportunity - but she says she does, and we have to believe her.
I wasn't always sure what book Chantel Guertin was writing here. I had the same problem with her previous novel, Stuck in Downward Dog, which I did not enjoy at all. Is this a romance? A comedy? A searing examination of what women will do when they are desperate to keep a man?
The problem is that the book reads as all the above, never quite certain which it wants to be. Poppy is entertaining, if not completely enjoyable. Parker comes across as somewhat daft, but I liked him. Half the time I couldn't blame him for seeking out the companionship of another woman. In fact, Poppy herself acknowledges the cracks in her marriage, yet she does absolutely nothing to rectify them. If anything, she continues to perpetuate them.
Despite all of that, the book is not terrible (unlike Stuck in Downward Dog). You find yourself invested in the characters, somewhat against your will, and you want them to be okay. Happy and okay.
But with a premise like this one has, the book could have been much better.