The Affair by Colette Freedman

This book will be April’s #gr8books book club discussion! Use #gr8books to join in on April 9th, 8-9pm CST.

Colette Freedman takes a subject (in this case, an affair) and instead of making it a very black and white, right and wrong, he said/she said book- she turns it into a book that that has lots of grey. Lots of things to debate. Makes each charatcer human, even relatable. This book could have been so boring- but with the ways she wrote the characters, situations and ending- boring would not even be in the top 50 words I’d use to describe. Find a group to read this book with and let the discussion fly!

Kathy and Robert Walker- married for 18 years, 2 teenage children. They have a nice house and things appear to be ok with them. The marriage is not as exciting as it once was, Kathy’s busy running a house and shuffling 2 teenage children to countless events, activities and just doing the day to day life of a wife and mother. Robert’s not around as much- he misses out on activities and family time because he’s always working- or is he? Kathy finds a name in Robert’s phone while looking for an address- and the name gives her chills- since it’s the same name of the woman she accused him of having an affair with years ago- an accusation that nearly destroyed their marriage.

It’s Kathy’s worst nightmare all over again- she’s afraid to know, but wants to know. And knows that she must have concrete proof this time if she does accuse Robert.  Taking place a few days before Christmas, the story is told from multiple viewpoints- and with each telling of the story- the reader begins to understand what each person is feeling. Is there a clear cut “bad” person? Yes and no, in my opinion. And that is what is so delicious about this book- the reader can identify with the characters.

Many times, the mistress is thought of as the “bad” person- the one who poached a person who was supposed to be untouchable. One of the themes of this book is the thought process of “a person can’t take something that did not want to be taken”- and for this book, it casts a lot of “grey” around the mistress. Is she a husband stealer or a woman who fell in love with a man who she thought was available? Should the wife take any blame for the affair? Is the husband really the one at fault?

Colette Freedman takes these type of questions and creates a book that will make a reader evaluate their thoughts on love, committment, and cheating.  Prepare to discuss with a group of friends- this book could lead to many interesting conversations.

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