Sunday, February 2, 2014

Indiscretion by Charles Dubow

"And she, like so many of the young, was looking for a shortcut, an edge over the competition, always in a hurry, not yet realizing there is no benefit in speeding up the journey, that the destination is not the point but merely part of the process. They also don't fully appreciate that their actions have repurcussions. That lives can be ruined. Of course, the young don't have a monopoly on selfishness. We want what we want. The bitter truth is that it rarely makes us happy once we get it."

In a Gatsby-esque narration, Walt will take you behind the curtain of a picture-perfect Hamptons family. This is not the overwhelming, self indulgent glamour that Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan drip of. This is the sweetness of home-cooked meals and uncorked bottles of wine finished after midnight beneath the hand-sewn blanket on the couch, bare feet tucked beneath in the cozy cottage by the shore. This is the story of letting in a stranger, under the guise of being kind and generous, only to be ripped to shreds by betrayal. It is a gripping, believable story which will leave you both angry and in agreement. This is it. The modern classic. This is real life.

Claire is a twenty-something New Yorker on a weekend trip with a new boyfriend. As she attends a dinner party, she meets author Harry and his beautiful wife Maddy.

Claire becomes a weekend fixture at the house and as the seasons change, it is another chance coincidence that will change all of their fates forever.

Excuse me, but Claire is a dope. There are two other characters in fiction that rival my distinct dislike: Amy from Gone Girl and Daisy from The Great Gatsby. Claire is a wreckless 20-something living carelessly and without consequence. She's a confused girl masked by beauty and outer confidence. Unfortunately, her charm becomes all encompassing. She is welcomed with open arms into a family so comfortable in their love.

This book tells the lesson of "be careful what you wish for" perfectly. Claire parallels Daisy in her carelessness, her utter selfishness.While Harry is no Gatsby, he shares the hopefulness and brightness of romance. But Walt is a narrator worthy of comparison to Nick Carraway, an introspective side-kick to the damage of it all. Walt watches from the eaves; tucked behind the curtain, observing. He is a reflective narrator, the outsider on the inside. But he is also yearning for something.

This is the book you yell at, you roll your eyes at, you call the characters idiots. And yet you don't put it down. Because you can't. Because this, this is the modern story of love and betrayal, of what it looks like at its core. It will break your heart. It will make you hope and pray for redemption. It will twist you and turn you until the very last page.

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