A Perfect Relationship, by Anna Anastase
Publication: August 31, 2017
About the book:
Julia is a vivacious young woman living a stable life in Stockholm with her boyfriend, Jacob. During a weekend trip to Paris, she engages in a passionate affair with Eric, her friend, and former au pair charge. For a while, Julia’s double life goes well and she believes she’s struck a balance between her roles as girlfriend and lover. Then the trouble starts – with both men. Luckily Julia has her best friend Lisa standing staunchly by her side. With warmth and humor, Lisa loyally helps Julia get her life back on track.
Who, What, When, Where
A Perfect Relationship tells the story of Julia, in her early thirties, that lives in Stockholm with her boyfriend Jacob. Julia goes to Paris to visit Eric – 10 years her junior and her previous charge when she lived with his family as his nanny. The most recent trip to Paris to visit Eric results in him boldly asking when they were going to sleep together. The rest of the novel involves Julia and Eric’s affair, her relationship with Jacob, and the conversations back and forth between Julia and her best friend, Lisa.
Thoughts and Reactions
When I read a novel that I don’t like, I always take some time to really think it over before writing a review. Sure, not every novel is going to be loved by everyone, but I try to identify positive points to go along with my negative ones. Unfortunately, I am unable to identify positives with this novel.
Let me begin by saying that I am not some squeamish prude that is offended by infidelity in fiction novels. Even in the most romantic love story, unfortunately, there are moments when someone betrays someone else. However, in A Perfect Relationship, this is not the case. Julia is a happy, talented, successful woman that lives with and is loved by an amazing man. However, she meets up with the young man that she used to babysit, he propositions her for sex, and she’s like, “Oh, what the hell.” This begins a cycle of her flying from Stockholm to Paris to have sex with Eric, then come home to Jacob and pretend everything is all hunky-dory.
I like to think I’m open-minded regarding sexuality, but I can’t wrap my arms around the point of this novel, except for this. The author chose to create a character that was basically an unpaid whore. Not only did she decide to do the deed with the young man that she used to babysit, she hit on an ex at the grocery store (and proceeded to call him for a late-night booty call the same night), flirted with an older guy at Yoga, but still seemed slighted and sad when Jacob tossed her ass on the street as he should have.
She craved the attention of other men, but appeared hurt and devastated when Jacob booted her. However, after trying to get Jacob back and finally wooing him into letting her move back in, what does she do? Continues to flirt with yoga man AND meets up with Eric and continues their affair. But, God forbid while they are broken up she sees Jacob in a bar flirting with another woman. That just wasn’t o.k.
Enough of my ranting, but this novel depicts a narcissistic, controlling, sex-addict. Her best friend Julia wasn’t much better and was quite the co-dependent/enabler of Julia’s bullshit. Unfortunately, I just lost three hours of my life that I can’t ever recover.