Sometimes a book can just grab you from the very beginning and suck you in until you have turned the final page. The book doesn't care if you have other commitments, like children to feed, or sleep to be had. With "Indiscretion", I had advance warning. At SIBA, it was an Editor's Pick, and they told us it was a one-sitting read.
It seemed like a foregone conclusion when Trish from TLC Book Tours asked me if I wanted to read it for the tour. Uh, YEAH. That girl always makes me an offer I can't refuse. She is the Godfather of book tours, that one.
My one-sitting read luckily occurred not when I had hungry children, but when I had a flight from Chicago to San Francisco. I did have to shut the book temporarily when we landed, but once in the hotel (with a husband who really wanted to get out on the streets and see stuff), I locked myself in the bathroom until I finished it. I swear on all that is holy that is what I did. This book is one of THOSE BOOKS.
Synopsis: Harry and Madeleine Winslow are one of those couples who seem to have it all. Harry is a successful novelist and National Book Award winner. Maddie has an ageless beauty and grace that charms and enchants all those that come within her orbit. Together they host parties at their East Hampton summer home, are surrounded by vibrant and loving friends, have a child that has flourished despite some health issues, and have a rock solid marriage based on mutual respect.
Then one summer, a young and pretty woman named Claire, visiting the Hamptons with a less-than-reputable investment banker boyfriend, gets drawn into the hypnotic and addictive warmth of the Winslow's aura. She brushes off the banker and joins the Winslows for weekends at the beach, and befriends them both. The friendship takes on a slightly obsessive edge, however, and temptation and flirtation turn into something more threatening.
Narrated by Maddie's heavily-invested childhood friend Walter, we are provided a predominantly omniscient perspective of how a charmed life can turn so very wrong with one lusty decision.
My thoughts: There are many tawdry books out there about affairs and their consequences, so the intelligent question at this point would be "why is this one any different?". It's not like the story doesn't have faults, because it does. But there is special something going on in this story that is completely compelling. Riveting, vivid characters for one. Edgy, breathless writing for another.
There is a tension present on every page...a wormy, niggling fear in your stomach. You just know things are going to be awful. YOU KNOW THIS. The question is exactly what will it be? I had memories of Fatal Attraction! OMG, will a rabbit die? Will there be a sinister element, with knives and threatening tapes? Or will it be like watching a natural disaster, slow-motion? Will people die? There is foreshadowing oozing out of every chapter, but because I don't know this author, I wasn't sure if he would make good on his hints, or is he just trying to scare me? I certainly had an idea of what I thought would happen, but when the gig was finally up, it was like I had been punched in the gut. I cursed out loud.
And what is this deal with Walter? I turned a skeptical eye on him. Is HE the psycho? Is he reliable? I wasn't completely comfortable with the way he knew everything about the story he was telling. There were explanations for how he knew, but it was sketchy.
I also felt like the last 50 or so pages of the book was a bit of a letdown. Like a slow air leak out of a tire. After all that anxiety, I wasn't sure how to handle the change in tone. This did not stop me from loving the book, however.
Ultimately, I found this to be an amazing book, and one I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a wild, 24-hour ride in the book world. There is plenty to discuss for a book club pick as well. Go read it now.
5 out of 5 stars