I just finished this book and I'm surprised at how much I loved it!
This book deals with subjects I have no experience in – being in a relationship for a long while (not just a few years but married with children) and though I was in a fairly serious relationship what Claire and Chris go though is nothing I had to deal with.
Another thing that is quite meaningful in this book is the kids, and the fact that Claire is a sort of "stay at home mom", maybe not fully since she does freelance work from home but it's not the main income (or wasn't supposed to be). I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with my life, let's say, ten years from now but even if I would work from home I don't think it would be part time and I don't see any children in my future. This book has a lot of "kid's schedule" in it, something I could have found tedious and yet I felt it was made the story feel more realistic.
Last but not least is the "covet" idea. I always consider myself a "dog person" it means a lot of different things one of them being I'm VERY loyal. I would never cheat on my significant other. NO WAY. If I'm tempted I'd have to start by thinking – WHY – and then deal with it as I see fit (break up and "go for it" or do what needs to be done to work on the relationship so it doesn't happen again). So I wasn't sure how I would react to this subject in particular..
So it's fair to say that I didn't really know what to expect reading this one, if I'll "feel" the characters and understand them. But after reading "On the Island" by Tracey I knew I would give this one a "go".
Chris and Claire's story isn't "special" in itself. They have a beautiful home, 2 kids, Chris is the main provider while Claire takes care of the kids and does her little freelance work from home. They are in love, they are both invested in the kids and all in all everything is perfect. Until Chris loses his job and goes through a hard time getting a new one. As time goes by he gets depressed and things start to fall apart around him when the bills starts building and the savings disappear which makes Chris desperate to take a job he isn't thrilled about – being away from home for 4 days a week traveling.
Claire feels like she is losing Chris, he is away for long periods of time and when he comes home he rests, spend time with the kids and work in his office which means zero time with her.. She starts to wonder if she already lost him, if he is still interested in her. He IS interested in the kids, talking to them, asking about them but she is this constant that is totally ignored. She becomes really lonely. Though she have friends – a few neighbor families I guess because they have a family of their own and their problems she can't really get what she needs from them. So when she meets officer Daniel Rush and realizes how easy it is to talk to him and be around him she doesn't want to let him go even if it is complicated since they are both attracted to each other (even if Claire laid the cards on the table that they could only have a platonic relationship and nothing more). Daniel is everything Chris used to mean to her, someone to talk to, someone to be around, someone uncomplicated (in a way). She misses the intimacy she used to have with Chris and longs to have it again but she doesn't know if she will.
This book is mostly Claire's POV, though we have Chris and Daniel's POV theirs is much shorter and I feel this is more Claire's story than any of the guys though we get their side of the story. One of the things I loved best in this book is the fact I could relate to everyone of them.
I got Claire, why she kept the relationship with Daniel, why it meant so much to her, I got why she was so desperate to keep it platonic since she is still in love with her husband and doesn't want to break the family though she feels lost in a way.
I got Chris with everything he had to endure, he isn't perfect and he really wanted to give to his family the very best he could, he wanted this job (with the traveling) to be temporary and he really does love his wife he just isn't sure how to get to her anymore .
Last but not least Daniel, oh sweet sweet Daniel.. We had a glimpse to what Chris and Claire's relationship was before but somehow somewhere in the back of my mind I wanted to vote for him. Though it's wrong and Claire shouldn't cheat on her husband and though I don't appreciate a guy messing around with a married woman there is something amazing about Daniel that I just wanted him to BE HAPPY. He SO deserve it.
So that's it I think. I loved this book, I loved that it was so different from what I read, so different from things I deal with and yet my heart ached for all three of them. Tracey did an amazing job with this book, bringing a very problematic subject yet something a lot of couples and families goes through. Well done indeed! And of course RECOMMENDED! But be a dear and grab "On the Island" as well.
Note - I Re-Read, or rather, Listened to the Audio book of this one on July 11th 2018, 4 YEARS after I originally read it and I have to say, I feel my review reflects EXACTLY how I (also) feel now. This book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to literally anyone and mostly to people in a long term relationship / marriage. It's so damn HUMAN! I related to ALL characters and rooted for them, wanting the HEA though I wasn't sure HOW but Tracey knew precisely!
Funny enough the reason I listened to the book was for a report for a course I've done on the "The Parenting Couple" (I guess that's how I'd loosely translate it..). Everything in it shows that love matters but hard work and mostly COMMUNICATION is the KEY element.
Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 337 pages, 30 March - 6 April 2014 / On GoodReads