Oh lambies. It's not often I get to post a book review for you that isn't commissioned as a review but YAY! I have one for you. And before I get into it, please know that I adore this author. I love her long time. Her first book, On The Island, is on my favorites of all time. I loved it that much. When I saw that she had another one out I bought it immediately but only now had a chance to read it.
Finished it in one day, lovers. One day. Laundry be damned.
Covet - Tracey Garvis Graves
What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?
Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.
Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop, and they run into each other again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.
Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross.
I don't care who you are, but at some point in every marriage you will hit a rough spot. And it's how you deal with that rough spot that sets the tone for the rest of your marriage, if there even is one. Matt and I have had some real difficult patches and we continue along a bumpy road hoping for the best. I have had opportunities to cheat on Matt, not just physically but emotionally as well. I have had moments where I have dangled one leg over the line thinking maybe I should throw caution to the wind and feel.
I didn't, though. I'd rather be sad and lonely than feel like I've betrayed my husband.
The story is mostly about Claire, who though supporting her husband through the recession and his job loss, she feels isolated and lonely. She's a busy mom and freelance graphic designer. Her husband Chris takes his role as family provider seriously and instead of turning to her and figuring out a solution together, he turns inwards and essentially shuts her out. Eventually he finds a job but it requires a high amount of travel so instead of feeling relief because they aren't financially unstable anymore, she feels even more lonely and struggles with what to do because now even her kids feel the strain.
Then you have Daniel, a police officer Claire befriends, and it's clear- he's smitten. Struggling with the loss of his family, Daniel is vulnerable which catapults their friendship into rocky waters. They both want more but Claire is obviously conflicted because she still loves her husband and would always choose him, and Daniel wants Claire but is trying to not cross the boundaries they set for their friendship.
Also in the book? The stories of Claire and Chris's friends- all of whom have seemingly have it together but are all cracking at the seams at the same time.
I absolutely adored this book. I could relate to Claire so much it felt like reading my own story. She asks the question- is it possible to love two people at the same time? And I say yes. Yes, it is. I feel like it's so easy to cheat, to just satisfy what it is you feel like you're missing. It's harder, but more rewarding, to get that from your spouse. I won't lie- I struggle. Every day it's a new thing I feel we're lacking but we try so hard and I can't help but think someday all of this struggle will be worth it. I think the best part of our marriage is that we both know individually we could (and should) be better, and it's not just us pointing the finger at the other person. I think the danger comes when a couple stops questioning what they could do better for their spouse and for themselves.
I so highly recommend this book. You know what else I love? I love that even though this is a literary fiction/romance/chick lit novel, it's different. There are others that try to tackle this scenario but none that I have read have really gotten it. The flip flop between Claire-Chris-Daniel chapters pull you in and you see all facets of this complex situation and you're left feeling for them all. Your heart breaks and you know there are no winners here. Sure, one relationship will go forward, but it will never be the same for any of them. And maybe that's OK.
So I encourage you to check this book out. Immediately and then buy her other one because you'll be glad you know me and that I do the hard part for you.