Since I'm not a romance or chick lit reader, I doubt I would've picked up this novel based on the premise alone. But after reading Lionel Shrivers' excellent "We Need to Talk About Kevin," I knew Ms. Shriver had a gift for prose, for character development - and especially for twists in the story that you might not have seen coming otherwise.
I was not disappointed. This is a very absorbing tale of the big "What If?" of adultery, and how your life's trajectory immediately changes based on that. With revolving chapters, you see the main character Irina experience the affair and its aftermath, and then also her not acting on the attraction, and staying with her current partner.
It's a very clever way to tell a story, and I really enjoyed it. I'll be reading Shriver's other books very soon.
i could not get into this book i did not like any of the people in it, nor did i find myself caring what happened to them. i found the book a very slow read, and was quite disapointed by it, based on all the rave reviews i had expected a fantastic read. nice premise, but poor execution.
Beautifully written, well-drawn characters, and a thoroughly engaging story. I found myself amazed chapter after chapter at the way the author captures moments and emotions. My "like it" review is not higher only because I found parts of the book depressing.
Enjoyed it. Good original story. Only downside was that I felt like I needed a dictionary at times!
It took me awhile to get into this book as well. Once I did it was a good. It ended just like I expected. Haunting and sad, but all and all a good book.
Had a love/hate feeling towards this book. The plot and story are so interesting, but I DESPISE Lionel Shriver's pretentious style of writing that is innundated (!!) and interspersed with as many GRE vocabulary words as possible (so my sentence was premeditated and an example of how she writes). Sorry, but I was really annoyed by her "look at how smart I am!) style of writing- so annoyed that I couldn't focus on the story itself. TOO BAD because from what I could read, the characters were great, the story was both funny and sad, and the "what if?" theme is so "human".
It started slow - a very hard read at first, but as I got deeper into the book - just as I was thinking about giving up - I realized Shriver is brilliant! Although challenging, primarily do to my Americanized (read: total lack of) knowledge of snooker, the structure of the chapters and the raw, honest and realistic way in which each characters' choices & actions are so reactionary to other people and events made me have to keep going. And it ends just exactly the way it should! So, for those tempted to give up, don't. It gradually becomes the page turner you want it to be. Just don't expect to read it all in one sitting. You need to slowly let the characters get into your head rather than the typical reader's instinct to try to get into the heads of the characters.
Uggghhhh...too much needless detail that makes you say (after reading three pages), "who cares?" Never finished maybe it picked up but it seemed such a chore to read. Someone gave me this advice about it, "Rent the movie "Sliding Doors." Better in concept and easier to digest.
Well-crafted, well-written! Highly recommend, esp for book clubs.
This was my intro to Shriver and I've been a fan ever since.