Book Review: Lover

LOVER: A NOVEL, BY ANNA RAVERAT

PUBLICATION: SARAH CRICHTON BOOKS; REPRINT EDITION (MARCH 7, 2017)

loverAbout the book:

You can learn a lot about a husband by reading his e-mail—sometimes, too much

Kate, a senior executive at a multinational hotel company, has devoted her life to her job and her family. Catering to the needs of others comes easily to her, but now, after ten years of marriage and two children, Kate discovers e-mails from her husband to another woman. Forced to take a long look at her marriage, she finds that there are all kinds of things she’s been doing her best not to see. At the same time, the political machinations in her office begin to take on an increasingly Shakespearean level of drama and ferocity. With both her work and home lives crumbling around her, Kate has to keep up appearances for her daughters as she tries to figure out who her husband really is and what he means to her now.

Lover, the British writer Anna Raverat’s U.S. debut, is a detailed observation of love, work, and life told through a woman’s crumbling marriage. In a first-person voice so compelling that the novel reads like a thriller, Raverat paints an acute portrait of the female psyche, exploring intimacy and the politics of work. Lover is both an intellectually rich and an emotionally gripping read about a woman finding her place in the world.

My Review:

Wow – this was such an honest and emotional story about a wife’s worst nightmare. Kate and Adam have been married for years and have two young daughters. He hated his job so she encouraged him to leave, resulting in him starting his own, quite unsuccessful business. So Kate returns to work for PHC, a huge hotel corporation, in order to help make ends meet. Their lives are fine but obviously, things aren’t as fine as she thought. One night she decides to jump on Adam’s laptop to look up the holiday schedule for the gym and instead, she discovers tons of e-mails between Adam and another woman. As Adam tries to reassure Kate that it wasn’t an affair, just a drink, and a quick peck on the lips, Kate questions Adam endlessly as he begs for forgiveness. Curiosity getting the better of her, she continues to snoop and dig into Adam’s life, until she finds herself face to face with a husband she no longer knows or trusts. 

I loved the character of Kate and loved her young daughters, although they had some very real-life bratty moments at times. Kate was very relatable regarding both her personal life and professional life with both of their ups and downs. I started out wanting to give Adam the benefit of the doubt, however, that ship quickly sailed. Still, the author’s character development regarding Adam and the effect the guilt and regret had on him was amazing. I liked some issues that Lover brings up. First, it’s surprising how little we know about our significant others and is it possible that they could do such horrible things right under our noses. Second, affairs don’t always mean that the relationship is over, there are people that manage to get through these circumstances.  Third, and most important, the spouse who is cheated on has every right to take their time to figure out if they want to and are able to work at rebuilding the relationship. 

Kate had great friends and the support of her parents throughout this novel, but the fact still remained that she discovered secrets about her husband that had a huge impact on her. Parenting is difficult enough but to suddenly be a single parent and working a very demanding job is incredibly challenging – and I think Kate rolled with the punches quite well. Anna Raverat did a beautiful job of demonstrating the ever-changing emotions and feelings of a woman recently separated from her husband and especially a woman that feels so betrayed. Kate had good days and bad days, and often there were just maybe a few good moments in any given day, but she carried on trying to determine what was best for her and her daughters. The writing style was amazing and flowed flawlessly, grabbing my attention but also prompting me to truly think and consider that events and emotions of the novel. 

Although not the most original or unique storyline out there, this was an excellent read that I highly recommend to fans of Women’s fiction. Especially for those that may have been betrayed by someone in the past. 

*Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Purchase Lover on Amazon!

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