Love and Other Natural Disasters, Holly Shumas
Please see the end of the post for a blogroll of participants. Thank you Miriam from Hachette for sending the book and organizing this blog tour.
Eve is eight months pregnant and in the middle of a Thanksgiving celebration when she discovers that her husband Jonathan has developed an intimate relationship with a woman over the past year. Jonathon asserts his innocence (an affair involves physical intimacy, and he didn't have any), while Eve feels deeply betrayed by the emotional connection he shared with someone else. What Jon has done seems so terrifyingly out of character that Eve finds herself questioning her entire reality. Did she ever really know Jon at all? Was their happiness together a lie? Is emotional intimacy more forgivable than sexual intimacy? And can their marriage survive?
I will start of by saying I enjoyed the book. The first chapter was hard to get through. Just the whole pain of the situation in the story hit home to me even though I have not been through anything similar. I could sense and feel the betrayal of the situation as a wife, a woman, and a mother. As Eve discovers and ventures into the pain of the situation, I just felt so sad for her. I was compelled to read more of the book.
Most of the time I felt Eve's reactions and feelings to be something similar to what I would do and how I would feel. Especially having a fondness for flannel pajamas that were her "greatest comfort outside of chocolate." This book has questions that whisper throughout. "What would you do? Is Eve making the right decision? Do we feel sorry for Jon? And of course, what about the children? and most of all is "an emotional affair more forgivable than a sexual one?"
About halfway through the story, I began to say "okay, let's do something here....people c'mon." Seeds had been planted to blossom in the story for us to know more to this story than just Jon's betrayal. I wanted to watch Eve and Jon grow into the situation and take responsibility to fix it or move on. There has been a world of dysfunction in Eve's life as well as Jon and I wanted to see what they could make of their past, present and future as a family.
I found the story to be realistic and believable especially in these days of computer communication.
I found the characters to be likable and even lovable. I like strong and flawed characters. It is human to be flawed and to pick up bumps along the way in life. And it is only normal that our life is affected by the way that we react to things. To learn from our mistakes is the key to life. Working on repairing a marriage after trust is broken must be a really challenging process with a lot of humility and commitment involved. I think Holly Shumas did a great job writing about this.
I recommend the book.
Holly Shumas lives in Berkeley, California, where she is a marriage and family therapist. This is her second novel.
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