Lauren Delaney has endured a highly unsatisfactory marriage for 24 years to a man who’s controlling and mean. Brad’s a successful surgeon whose done nothing but demean and belittle her their entire marriage. She declares to herself that there will not be a 25th year in this relationship now that her two daughters have finished college. She now has to figure out how to make this happen and create a new life for herself.
Lauren’s decision is declared in the opening paragraph of this story so there is no ambiguity about the state of her marriage. What comes next is how she takes those steps towards liberation and the impact on her family, career and self respect. I expected to see some of the typical things you’d find in the dismantling of a marriage to someone like Brad and a one-sided view of that but was pleasantly surprised to see Lauren take a critical eye at her own enabling behavior, including her motives for agreeing to marry him. It was insightful and painful, laying bare some hard and awful truths on both sides. When she meets another man (Beau) who’s in similar circumstances following her separation, it gives her an opportunity to test her judgment and make different choices.
I really enjoyed this story because of its honest approach in looking at the disassembly of a long term marriage. While Brad was clearly an awful person, Lauren’s complicity wasn’t ignored and I liked how there was clearly shared responsibility for her circumstances. I especially liked how the impact on the children was portrayed, not only the divorce but the costs of staying in a bad relationship for the sake of those children. While there are some extreme behaviors here, they do illustrate what is probably reality for many who have traveled this road before, some I’ve witnessed. Lauren’s new relationship with Beau was a needed diversion and their contrasts were remarkable given he was going through a similar process. This was an interesting and eye-opening journey.
- Release Date: April 30, 2019
- Page Numbers: 336
- Publisher: MIRA
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(I received an advance copy from NetGalley. All opinions are my own)