In the teaching profession, there is a school of thought that the way you get reluctant readers to read is to provide them with literature they can relate to. Not all students can identify with the works of Shakespeare or Hemingway. You need to provide students with pieces that are not traditionally taught in a classroom, like BRONX MASQUERADE or CRANK. When I finished this book, what immediately came to mind was that, maybe for the first time ever, I really understood this argument from a reader’s perspective.
I absolutely LOVED this story. I related to all of it, except the one night stand aspect. Having said that, I totally understood Gabby’s motivation for engaging in the flirting and letting it escalate to the inevitable one night affair. We are the same age, married about the same amount of time, relocated with no family close by, letting go personal ambitions for the family. I appreciated that the author gave Elliot’s, Gabby’s husband, reaction and subsequent internalization of the affair and its consequences. She made him a good guy but not a saint and I found I was interested in him just as much as I was interested in Gabby. She also extends the impact of the affair to the friendships Gabby and Elliot had. The author didn’t make their best friends’ reactions cookie cutter or expected. They didn’t take the high road; they too made choices that had unpleasant ramifications. The novel is genuine.
For me, it is one of those books that stick with you, that make you think, and that maybe even make you keep a more open mind towards a person who commits adultery. Marriage is many things but it is never a 50-50. And it does happen in a marriage that some major decision gets made by one partner without fully caring about the other partner’s position or feelings. Sometimes the motivation for an affair is less about sex or the thrill of getting away with something and more about what is going on with a person emotionally at a particular period of time in their life. And that moment in time is the accumulation of events and decisions up to that point and the way these have impacted/influenced the person.