"Tempting Fate" by Jane Green
For the past twenty years, Gabby has been happily married to Elliott, having settled into life in Connecticut with their two daughters. And even though Ellott has made the decision that there will be no more children, something Gabby desperately wants, she never doubts her love for him or how wonderful her life is because of him. Until one night while out with the girls she meets Matt.
Matt is a young, successful entrepreneur who knows all the right things to say to Gabby. He makes her feel young and beautiful and though she knows it is just harmful flirting, she lets herself fall into the fantasy. It should have ended that night but Gabby allows it to go further until one moment destroys everything she has.
Tempting Fate by Jane Green is a novel that looks at the old adage of wondering if the grass is greener on the other side. A story of marriage, betrayal, and forgiveness, it is a simple story with a powerful message.
I always look forward to a new novel from Jane Green. Though her books may be classified as women’s fiction, the subject matter stretches across genres and she tells what should instead be classified as great stories. The premise of the book is simple - Gabby is a happily married woman in her forties who feels like something is missing and when a young man starts to show her some attention she loses herself, and possibly her family, getting caught up in the moment.
I’m torn on this book. I think Green did a great job of showcasing this world that exists, of women who have dedicated many years of their lives to their families and as those families begin to change, they find themselves unsure of what to do next or even of who they are. I think it’s great that Green shows that the potential for infidelity exists in many relationships, good and bad. But I just couldn’t accept the character of Gabby. It’s not the choices she makes, for me it was the lack of emotion that surrounded it all, I just couldn’t feel any. And with the lack of emotion I had surrounding her, I had hoped the other characters would make up for it but I felt like a lot of that was glossed over or rushed. As well, the ending all wrapped up much quicker than I felt it should have, considering the way the rest of the story was given so much time.
There is a lot I appreciate about the premise of the novel. I think it’s interesting to see the infidelity story in which it is the woman cheating and we also get to know her motives and feelings firsthand. All of the characters felt real and honest and like people I meet on the street everyday as opposed to those people you end up wondering where they live because you know no one like that. I also liked how some parts are told from the husbands perspective so it is not just a one-sided story. But there were parts of the novel from Elliott’s perspective that I felt took away from it being Gabby’s story. I couldn’t tell if the intent was just to be her story or both of theirs.
At the end of it all, this is a hard one to pin down as to who will like it and who will not. Opinion seems to be divided and Gabby is a character that people can see in many different ways. I’m sure there are many people out there who will be able to relate to Gabby’s feelings (not necessarily her situation). However, as I finished the book, I felt it was an interesting read and a quick escape which was nice, but the lack of emotion left me wanting more.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher through Netgalley. The opinions expressed above are my own.