Rating:

Reviewed by Claudia Robinson

“Your deepest inadequacies and fears can be told when you’re young–your young frame and heart can handle it; there is deep joy in crying in each other’s arms on the cheap, lumpy futon; almost everything could be fixed by making love–but when you’re older you let those disappointments gestate, keeping them within because it hurts to let them out, especially to the one who loves you the most.” – My Wife’s Affair

Peter and Georgie Martin live in New Jersey and are the parents of three young boys. Peter, an aspiring writer turned newspaper editor, and Georgie, an aspiring actress turned homemaker, are seemingly well settled into the disappointment and routine of unfulfilled dreams in a small suburban town, when Peter gets a job opportunity in London. There, Georgie rekindles her passion for the theatre by accepting a starring role in a one woman production, and by proxy, falls in to the arms of the handsome director. Her indiscretion, first unnoticed, and then discovered, catapults the lives of the Martins in to a maelstrom of emotions, accusations, confessions and the realization that sometimes, what we want and what we settle for, comes with a price many marriages can ill afford.

Written from the male perspective, My Wife’s Affair is unique, painfully real and devastatingly honest. Nancy Woodruff paints an exquisite portrait of a typical middle-age couple with children and unfulfilled dreams, sacrifices and resentments, that many couples will feel are all too familiar. The story we’re given provides us with bone and flesh, past and present, and even a glimpse of the future, as Peter and Georgie’s lives unfold, fuse and then explode apart. Detailed, tender, bittersweet and horrifying, Woodruff ensnares from the first paragraph and doesn’t release until the very end, where the reader will, literally, be shaken to the core. Each character begs us to love and hate them, alike. We sympathize, sigh and nod in understanding one minute, and scream and yell and shake fists in contempt, the next.

My Wife’s Affair offers a brutal inside view of a family torn apart by different expectations and unvoiced desires. It provokes the reader to analyze their own marriage, to step back and take stock. It doesn’t judge, but enlightens and brings an understanding of how a singular moment, one small flicker of opportunity, can ultimately change the course of destiny in ways no one could ever understand, or predict.

My Wife’s Affair is a quick read, only in the sense that once you’ve started it, you won’t be able to put it down. Brilliant, painful, evocative and raw, it’s a refreshing alternative to ‘and everyone lived happily ever after’. Page after page, it’s like looking in to a mirror. By being honest with ourselves, and those we love, regardless of the consequences, can we ultimately prevent a disaster of even greater proportions? Read My Wife’s Affair and answer the question for yourself.

Rating: 4/5

Claudia lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband and two children.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Berkley Trade. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.