Thursday, March 27, 2014

Julie's Review: Tempting Fate


Author: Jane Green
Series: None
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 352
Obtained: publisher
Genre:  Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Rating: 5
Bottom Line: Honest and heartbreaking portrayal of modern marriage
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: From Jane Green, the New York Times bestselling author of such beloved novels as Jemima J, The Beach House, Another Piece of My Heart, comes an enthralling and emotional story about how much we really understand the temptations that can threaten even the most idyllic of relationships….Gabby and Elliott have been happily married for eighteen years. They have two teenaged daughters. They have built a life together. Forty-three year old Gabby is the last person to have an affair. She can't relate to the way her friends desperately try to cling to the beauty and allure of their younger years…And yet, she too knows her youth is quickly slipping away. She could never imagine how good it would feel to have a handsome younger man show interest in her—until the night it happens. Matt makes Gabby feel sparkling, fascinating, alive;something she hasn't felt in years. What begins as a long-distance friendship soon develops into an emotional affair as Gabby discovers her limits and boundaries are not where she expects them to be. Intoxicated, Gabby has no choice but to step ever deeper into the allure of attraction and attention, never foreseeing the life-changing consequences that lie ahead. If she makes one wrong move she could lose everything;and find out what really matters most.A heartfelt and complex story, Tempting Fate will have readers gripped until they reach the very last page, and thinking about the characters long after they put the book down. ~powells.com

Review: I've been reading Jane Green for at least 10-12 years now and saying this is her best yet, says something. Tempting Fate is a simple story at it's core but it's always complex when you are dealing with a marriage. How far are you willing to go to resurrect your self-esteem? What happens when you look for validation of your worth outside of your marriage? These are the things that Gabby confronts when she meets the gorgeous, intelligent and younger Matt during a girls night out. What begins as an innocent flirtation, quickly goes further.

This book isn't about having an affair or the affair itself. It's about the after shocks of that act. How an impulse, a carnal desire can change everything immediately. A few minutes for a lifetime of regret and irreversible consequences. Do I agree with Gabby and her actions? No! Do I understand how Gabby might have felt? Absolutely. It wasn't until his wife started to get the attention of another man that Elliott started to notice her a bit more. It wasn't that he wasn't attentive, he was but we all get stuck in ruts. Elliott's was not noticing his wife. Gabby's was getting too comfortable in comfortable clothing. It wasn't that she let herself go, it was that she never did herself up. She was always competing with the other moms/wives in the neighborhood. Her self-esteem was suffering because of all this comparison.

What I love about Jane Green is that she doesn't mince words or actions. She is brutally honest in the details of how Gabby's world comes crashing down upon her. Ms. Green examines suburban living with a microscope and she understands it. On some level all of us play the "Keeping up with the Jones'" game in our life. Even if it's Mrs. Jones you are trying to keep up with.

Did Gabby get on my nerves at times? Yes, but in a way that your best friend or sister would if she were going through the same things. You want to counsel her but you know she's not at the right place to truly listen.

There is one part towards the end of the book where Gabby and her friend Claire meet for coffee and they are talking about their friendship and I thought what Gabby said to her was beautifully written and completely honest. Gabby needed to say those words to Claire if their friendship was going to heal.

If you've never read Jane Green, then Tempting Fate is a wonderful place to start. If you have, then you are in for her best work yet.


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