Friday, October 28, 2022

Book Review: A Week of Warm Weather

By Sara Steven

Tessa Cordelia appears to have it all—a loving husband who’s just opened a dental practice, a beautiful baby girl, a big house in the suburbs, and a large, supportive family. But when her husband's reckless choices resurrect a trauma from her childhood, she must decide which is more costly: keeping his secrets or revealing them. He manipulates Tessa into believing his career and their happiness depend on her silence. She feels like she’s losing her mind. Is her husband's habit so awful? In many ways, he’s an ideal husband; should she let him have this one thing? 

Determined to maintain the lie that she’s living the perfect life, Tess lies to everyone she knows—except for CeCe, a woman new to the area whom she’s just befriended. But after confiding in her, Tessa learns that CeCe has an explosive secret of her own, and her world is further upended. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

A Week of Warm Weather focused heavily on one woman’s journey while dealing with addiction in her family. What was really interesting were the nods to her childhood and how she’d faced that experience even back then, and how it may have manifested itself into the way she handles that type of situation now, as an adult. It’s obvious when we read the chapters that are told from her own point of view how much she doesn’t want to enable her husband, yet the wounds of her past have dictated that behavior, and when he tells her he’s still a good guy despite his secret addiction, she has to level that with feeling like he’s anything but.

When we read the chapters from her husband Ken’s point of view, there are moments of deep anguish and guilt, much like I would expect an addict to feel when they know what they are doing is hurting their loved ones. But the need to fulfill the cravings becomes so much stronger, and while I would feel anger towards Ken in those moments, or when he’s being manipulative towards Tessa or others in his life, I could understand where those dark emotions had come from. The author did a great job of intermixing the contrasting emotions in such a way that made it all completely believable. The love Ken feels for his wife and children, and the utter disgust he has at feeling like he’s not allowed to do something that he wants to do and feels every right to do on his own terms. Even though we know it’s damaging.

The introduction of Cece had been interesting. I had a pretty good idea of the secret that she wanted to keep from Tessa, but despite knowing that right off the bat, I still wanted to see where it would go and what would come of it. The secret parallels what Tessa is going through in her marriage to Ken, so it felt right for Cece to be there. Plus, it helped in moving Tessa forward in making decisions and choices for her future.

I know what it’s like to be the enabler, so I could completely identify with Tessa. It can be so hard to go up against the ones you love, even when you know the path they’re on is destructive. That was showcased perfectly here, in watching her take three steps forward, one step back when trying to find her place in a world she feels has been drastically changed from the normal life she was used to living, before she knew about Ken’s addiction.  A Week of Warm Weather was a touching, raw glimpse into those perfect white picket fences and perfect lives that really aren’t so perfect after all, because no one really knows what’s going on behind closed doors. It was a riveting five-star experience.

Thanks to BookSparks for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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