The Idea of Him - Holly Peterson
Allie Crawford is a once aspiring screenwriter turned successful public relations executive, mother of two young children, and wife of a hotshot magazine editor whose power base spans the worlds of finance, fashion, culture, entertainment, and society. At 34, she finds herself at a crossroads: between the office and her home, her life has become an endless rotation of people pleasing-whether pulling rabbits out of hats for her mogul boss, entertaining advertisers and phony A-listers for her husband's magazine, or making elaborate costumes for children's school plays. At least, that is, until she meets a head turning, traffic stopping beauty at the bar of the famed Four Seasons Grill Room-where many of the novel's players regularly convene-and shortly thereafter finds the same woman and her husband in an apparently compromising position in her own apartment.
And so begins the story of two very different women bound by similar missions-to uncover the crimes and betrayals of various men in their lives and finally put their own interests front and center. For Allie this ultimately means leaving a husband who is ideal in theory but not in practice, and deciding to risk security for self-fulfillment and a new life on her own. Like so many women, Allie fell for the man she married when she was in her twenties only to realize years later that it wasn't him she fell for as much as it was the idea of him-the idea of a savior who would protect and provide and ferry her from her past into the future. But the guy who seemed so right at the time turned out to be nothing more than a fantasy.
Right off the bat, I will tell you that as I was reading this book I wanted to smack Allie up the head. Not only is she completely clueless to what her husband, and those around her, are doing, but she's kind of a moron. After realizing her life is basically a mess: her son is having friend issues at school and she wants to make it better, she can't give enough attention to her daughter Lucy, her husband isn't living up to being the partner and lover she needs or wants, work is a hot mess, and she's struggling in her screen play writing class. It's a lot for anyone to deal with, but us moms do it. All of the time.
Enter Jackie, the self admitted mistress of Allie's husband, who for an unknown reason is trying to uncover the secret dealings of Wade (Allie's husband) and the other men in the tight knit swanky circle. She's sure it's dangerous and illegal, and though she regrets sleeping with Wade knowing he was married, she decides to warn Allie. She's really cloak and dagger about it, not giving clear or full answers to Allie's questions and frankly- I'm still not sure why Allie would keep meeting with her. Jackie's character is a bit bizarre and even though you do find out why she's so involved at the end, it felt kind of lame. Like it wasn't really thought out and it was a quick way to tie up the loose end of her character.
But Allie is no saint here. She meets Tommy, a fellow student in her writing class who she is attracted to. She gets dangerously close to the affair line with him and we see her inner struggle. Sure, she's married and has vows to uphold. At the same time, who really cares because Wade clearly doesn't care? He just can't keep it in his pants to save his life, so why should she deny herself? Then we have James, the man she declares her soul mate and her inner struggles with not picking him when she could have. I also think the entire James story line had good intentions, but honestly could be completely left out because it was pointless.
I got to the end of the book and it was alright, it certainly isn't the best chick lit I have read but it also wasn't the worst. There are several areas that could be cut out completely because they don't add to the story in a meaningful way, but this would be ideal as a beach read. But easily, the most interesting thing was at the end I realized how similar to Allie I actually am. In the book Jackie essentially encourages Allie to just have sex with Tommy and be done with it. But Allie knows herself, she isn't a one time and be done. She's a one time and want more and fall in love kind of girl. She can't have no strings attached relationships, she needs those strings. Even her declaration to James that she really can't do it without him hit home. She doesn't always take into consideration that with her waffling, others get hurt. I know, especially when I was younger, I was scared to even date anyone. I knew I would have my heart broken and I knew it would be awful and I didn't trust myself to just be cool and handle it. So I just didn't date. I didn't date until my senior year of high school. Well, the summer before my senior year. I had such low expectations of guys that I figured even if it didn't work out it would be fine, I wasn't that invested. At times I feel like Matt doesn't fully know me, I give him just enough. I give everyone just enough. It's something interesting for me to ponder, to say the least.
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Leave a comment on this post WITH YOUR EMAIL by Friday, May 2! I will draw a winner that evening.To get more information on the author, Holly Peterson, head over to her website, Facebook and/or Twitter!