This book was mentioned to me as something different (especially as regards Mormon characters), so I went a-seeking. And boy, did I get.
Corinne Young is having an affair with her dentist. Kinda. Sorta. She’s not sure why, but there’s gotta be a reason, right? Her husband, Brent, holes himself up in his office with his computer all night long, working on the software training company he built. And then, well, all hell breaks loose. It doesn’t take long to understand why Corinne’s diddling the dentist, even if it takes her longer than the reader to figure it out. (Because, well, what does “husband holed up in his office with his computer all night long” say to you? Okay, after much thought, it occurred to me he could have been gaming.)
Let me get my beefs out of the way first, and they’re all editing beefs. The story could have been tighter in some places and expanded in others. I know I counted one spot where Corinne’s (the protagonist) name was spelled wrong (which, to me, is major carelessness). The mother character needed to be a little more consistent. The first-person past tense got mixed up with first-person present tense enough to be annoying. Some of the psychological definitions needed to be woven in better for the reader who (ahem, me) doesn’t speak the language of addiction or 12-step groups. There were other things, and all things that an editor should have caught, but…
I liked it. I liked it in spite of its editing flaws, which will usually put me off a book faster than anything. I would have read it in one sitting but I have children and a day job.
The voice was fresh and comical, with a sad subtext that gave me an earbug for “the tears of a clown when there’s no one around.” The fact that these characters are Mormons (jack, social, or otherwise) really doesn’t register with me, except that I understand the jargon and the nuances of some scenes, which would pass harmlessly over a non-member’s head without leaving the non-member behind. Of course, that could be me saying that knowing the jargon; I didn’t really understand what made Corinne a co-addict so it’s possible a non-member would have to take church references in context, as I did the 12-stepping.
I went on the assumption that this is quasi-autobiographical, so everything that happened in the order that it happened made sense to me. Perhaps, had I taken it on its face as a complete fiction (hey, at least she didn’t call it a “memoir”!), I might have had an issue with what genre romance terms The Big Misunderstanding, but even then I might not have. Big Misunderstandings happen in real life, too, and I can accept that as a device as long as it’s not too contrived and the characters have already displayed a willingness to avoid confronting issues.
Odd aside: The publisher classifies this as “chick lit.” I guess I don’t know what chick lit is; this didn’t feel like what I thought chick lit was.
Somewhere between R and NC-17 for sex and language, none of which, IMO, were titillating in the least, so I’d err on the side of the R.