What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?
Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.
Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop and runs into her again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.
Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross.
This book squeezed my heart until it burst.
It’s phenomenal how Tracey Garvis-Graves takes the most mundane stories in life and makes them extraordinary. I cried in this book more than once. Several parts hit so close to home that I was quite taken aback. When you drive by nice neighborhoods with the perfectly manicured lawns and children outside playing and laughing, you envision a happy couple, a happy family, waiting behind those closed doors. Neighborhood get-togethers are full of laughter and gossip; and friends help each other with carpools and cookie bakes. You would never believe that behind the laughter of one woman attending these neighborhood gatherings, even among all of her friends,she is feeling so alone.
So is the story of Claire Canton. A woman desperately craving for a touch, some attention, some comment from her husband that she is beautiful and sexy and worth the time to be with. Mind you, this was not the similarity I shared with Claire; it was actually the hardship that Claire and her husband had to endure during the long period he was unemployed. It was the anxiety and the repetitive routine of scanning the want ads and waiting for headhunters to call at the prospect of a job–the scaling down and doing what needed to be done in order to scrape by. Her realistic take on this strenuous hardship of a husband losing his job was all too real, and the author’s narrative was so eloquently spot on. The author describes the slow decline of that family infrastructure, as well as Claire’s journey to discovering what she needed most in life. In turn, she also describes it’s beautiful ascent.
I was there with Claire the entire time. I thought about her even when I wasn’t reading about her. I thought about her as I cooked, as I was playing with my daughter, as I sifted through old pictures during the three years of our own financial instability. And I think of her when I look at my neighbors who I pass and wave to everyday, knowing that they have their own private stories–their own book that could be written.
When Tracey Garvis-Graves states that she will be writing a new book, I have complete faith in her artistic talents as a writer. She weaves a story too precious not to be read, and it will call to you just like it did for me. She adds soul to her books. Not just heart, but a soul.
About the Author:
Tracey Garvis-Graves is the author of On the Island and Covet. She lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe. She blogs at www.traceygarvisgraves.com using colorful language and a snarky sense of humor to write about pop culture, silly television shows, and her suburban neighborhood. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’d love to hear from you.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book directly from the author or publisher I was not paid to read or review this book. All opinions are my own, and I was never influenced by anything or anyone.