THE SECRETS OF MARRIED WOMEN, BY CAROL MASON
PUBLICATION: LAKE UNION PUBLISHING; JUNE 22, 2017
About the book:
When Jill’s husband discovers he can never have children, it tears a hole in their marriage that Jill doesn’t know how to repair. Frustrated, she seeks comfort in her friends: fierce Leigh, with her high-powered career and doting family, and sweet, uncomplicated Wendy, who has a rock-solid marriage any woman would envy.
Leigh and Wendy’s lives seem perfect. But beneath the surface are secrets that could tear their friendship apart.
Leigh has grown tired of her stay-at-home husband and is looking for excitement—outside of the marriage bed. And after seventeen years of marriage, Wendy can’t shake the sense that there is something missing in her life.
As Jill is drawn deeper into her friends’ relationships, she is confronted by a temptation of her own: an intriguing stranger whose good looks and charm spark an instant connection.
Full of the realities of modern-day marriage, The Secrets of Married Women asks the question: how well can we ever know our husbands, our friends, or even ourselves?
Uggghhh, I hate it when this happens but I truly don’t know how I feel about this novel! Although not a fan of the overall premise of infidelity, I suspected that would be a part of this novel and chose to review it anyway, however, I’m finding myself left with a sort of “blah” feeling.
There are three friends: Jill, Leigh, and Wendy. Jill is married to Rob but found out that he was unable to get Jill pregnant, so their marriage has become more like a roommate situation. Leigh is married to Lawrence and they have a daughter, Molly. Lawrence was a teacher, has OCD, and took “a year off” from work to deal with his OCD. Instead, he has become Leigh’s minion, answering to her beck and call, and Leigh is sick of him. Then there are Wendy and Neil who have two sons and lost another baby not long after her birth. On the outside, they appear to be nothing less than a happy, healthy couple and Wendy never suggests otherwise.
I hate spoilers and will avoid them in this review, although it makes it more challenging. The overall plot and theme of The Secrets of Married Women basically is about, “o.k., things are boring, maybe I should have an affair.” Or possibly, “regardless of how shitty things get, I would never cheat.” So much of this novel is centered around “will she, or won’t she?” It honestly drove me crazy. Women – if you are unhappy with your lives, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a random roll in the sack with a random guy is going to make your life better. And on the flip side, if you think your beloved is fooling around on you, don’t turn the other cheek!
O.k. done with my ranting, let me continue. I cannot ignore Carol Mason’s wonderful writing, although there were a few things here and there that I didn’t quite understand considering that I live in the U.S., but I felt that everything flowed well and made sense. I’ve seen other reviews hating the ending, but I personally loved it. I thought it truly portrayed people with huge hearts and passion, showing that true love does prevail at times. Each woman’s life changed throughout the novel, some good, some bad. The plot seemed to slow a bit during the last 1/3 of the novel, but I still enjoyed it and honestly, I was unable to put it down. Despite my distaste for the subject of infidelity, I literally could not stop reading this story. Similar to passing a car accident, I just couldn’t tear my eyes away from the words on the page. However, I am still on the fence with this one. I certainly don’t regret reading it, if nothing else I’ve hopefully learned from the complete, utter screw-ups that the characters made in this novel. But is it the greatest thing I’ve read in a while? Unfortunately, it’s not.
*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase The Secrets of Married Women on Amazon.
Learn more about Carol Mason by visiting her web page.