When I heard a movie was being made if this book, the title sounded familiar so after searching my bookcase, I found that I owned, but had not yet read it. The author wrote, Election, which I never read, but loved the movie. This book covers people in the early thirties in suburbia who have become trapped by their lives and come to find they don’t know their significant others as well as they think.
Sarah is a low self-esteem feminist, which is an interesting combination. She is confused how she became imprisoned into marriage and motherhood after feeling like she found herself in college, but afterward it didn’t turn into much in real life. She ended up doing what society expects, and isn’t sure it is what she wanted. She thinks she loved her husband when they married, but now she is not so sure.
Tom is all-American boy who has gone to law school, but can’t seem to pass the bar exam. Everyone expected him to be a lawyer, but he is just realizing that he doesn’t really want to be a lawyer. He is currently a stay-at-home dad while his wife does documentary work. She would love to stay at home with her three-year-old son as soon as Tom passes the bar, so she is waiting, but not so patiently, for him to try to take the bar for the third time.
Sarah and Tom meet, and start an affair, something that neither one expected or were looking for at the time. It is exactly what they both need when they are trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives since they aren’t happy with them at the moment.
Then there is the convicted child molester, and suspected child killer, who is released back into the community. He has moved back into his mother’s house. This has many parents in the area in an outrage.
All the secondary characters are well-written and ones that you might hate at first, you sympathize with later on, such as the “perfect” mom who schedules snacks, bedtimes, and weekly sex with her husband. Don’t worry, you never sympathize with the pedophile. When he gives an inkling he might be human, he does something nasty.
While the affair storyline isn’t really anything new, it was completely interesting to read. I could not put this book down once I started. I became antsy when it moved to another character that wasn’t Tom or Sarah, but then once I started reading about that person and how they related the bigger picture, I was caught back in it again.