Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Review: Tempting Fate

When Gabby first met Elliott she knew he was the man for her. In twenty years of marriage she has never doubted her love for him - even when he refused to give her the one thing she still wants most of all. But now their two daughters are growing up Gabby feels that time and her youth are slipping away. For the first time in her life she is restless. And then she meets Matt . . .

Intoxicated by the way this young, handsome and successful man makes her feel, Gabby is momentarily blind to what she stands to lose on this dangerous path. And in one reckless moment she destroys all that she holds dear.

Consumed by regret, Gabby does everything she can to repair the home she has broken. But are some betrayals too great to forgive? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Amy Bromberg:

It’s no surprise that I loved Tempting Fate. You know why? Because I’m a Jane Green-aholic! Her novels always encompass such beautiful and well crafted characters, and dynamic relationships between them. As with all of Jane’s novels, the book kept my attention right from the first page until the very end.

Oh boy, so what can I say about Gabby? As much as she’s a great mother, warm and caring person, committing adultery is unacceptable. I do have to say that the way Matt was described, I envisioned him as some lovely eye candy. Even though this may be the case, you don’t cheat on your spouse. If my husband ever cheated on me, that would be the end of our marriage. All of this being said though, I felt sorry for Gabby when she realized her marriage was ruined. I could really sympathize with her daughters. My parents got divorced when I was nine, and let me tell you, going indirectly through a divorce is horrible.

I felt so much pain for Elliott. He’s such a wonderful man and it broke my heart that he had to deal with Gabby cheating on him. You can just tell that he’s the kind of man who’s a great husband, father and an all around decent man.

One thing that I felt was a bit unrealistic was how Gabby and Matt ended up becoming friends when they met up again a year later, and their sexual chemistry just went away. That sounds highly unlikely. I can understand perhaps the chemistry faded, but not 100% non-existent anymore, especially because of what they had before.

Tempting Fate explores the complicated facets of motherhood, marriage and betrayal. It makes the reader think about their own views on infidelity, and whether it can ever be justified. In this aspect this is one extremely thought provoking story. If you’re like me, you will gobble up this entertaining and emotional read.

Melissa Amster:

Jane Green is one of my favorite authors and she proves once again why with this novel. It was so incredibly written that I felt like I was right there, along with Gabby for the ride. It read like a horror story about infidelity, which could also be seen as a cautionary tale. When I had to put it down (even though it was very difficult to find a stopping point), I kept thinking about it and wondered what would happen next.

While I have read books about affairs from both men and women, this one seemed more harrowing than the others. It haunted me long after I turned the last page and I even felt compelled to write a letter to my future self to threaten what would happen if I ever had an affair. Given what I read though, I wouldn't even allow myself to be tempted if Chris Messina were to walk into my house at this very moment.

As always, Jane used great description and detail to bring the story to life and make it feel genuine and real. Given that she set it in her home town, it allowed me to get to know more about where she lives. While her story is perfect for the most part, that extends to the ending, which wraps things up too perfectly. While I'm relieved that it takes away from the horrific outcomes of Gabby's actions, it also sets up unrealistic expectations for women who may end up in Gabby's shoes someday, even if they're also convincing themselves they never could. There was also a situation that happened with one of Gabby's daughters that I would have liked to hear more of an outcome from, given the repercussions of the incident. I felt it just got dropped after that part.

Overall, another stellar novel from Jane Green that I highly recommend. I already am eagerly awaiting her next novel!

And, of course, I had to cast this one! I even shared my ideas with Jane a few weeks ago and she liked them!

Gabby: Minnie Driver
Elliott: Dermot Mulroney
Matt: Chris Hemsworth
Olivia: Sarah Hyland
Trish: Laura Linney

Thanks to Penguin UK for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Jane Green:

2 comments:

Angleterre71 said...

I just finished reading Tempting Fate! Great reviews and I agree on all counts. I felt terrible for both Gabby and Elliot. And I liked how Ms. Green handled this delicate situation of portraying how someone in a good marriage could still make this terrible mistake. A little part of me wanted an "unhappy" ending though, since I felt Gabby was ultimately rewarded at the end.

Debbie Haupt said...

Oh this one's on my shelf just waiting until I have some free time
Great Review