Dubow crafts an epic novel of friendship, betrayal and undying love. It's a beautifully written debut.
Walter Gervais is a true gentleman and childhood friend of Harry Winslow’s wife, Maddy, and it’s through his eyes that the story is told. Unobtrusive and playing a rather peripheral role, at least in the beginning, he delivers a balanced and fascinating account of the events that invariably change not only his friends’ lives, but his own. Renowned author Harry and financially independent Maddy are the quintessential New York couple: attractive, socially prominent and undeniably in love. They spend their summers in Maddy’s small house in East Hampton with their son, Johnny, surrounded by a circle of friends. One evening, a beautiful younger woman accompanies her lover to a party at the couple’s house, and she gradually insinuates herself into their lives and becomes a welcomed houseguest. Claire’s attracted to Harry, but he rebuffs her and makes light of the situation, reminding her he’s married and madly in love with his wife. At summer’s end, much to Claire’s disappointment, the Winslows move to Rome for a year so Harry can begin work on his new book. When Harry’s editor summons him back to New York for a meeting with the publishers a couple of months after the move, he runs into Claire at a club, and they engage in a steamy, passionate affair that continues after Harry returns to Rome. Harry’s dilemma is that he loves both women, but he never entertains the thought of leaving his wife. But Maddy eventually discovers the deceit and leaves Harry. She returns to New York with Johnny, and Harry follows. Up to this point, the book has been an entertaining read, but it’s the latter half of the book that really seals the deal. As the couple struggles with the ruins of their relationship, the author chooses to add more unexpected layers to the story that elevate it from run-of-the-mill to outstanding.
Dubow’s book is a page turner that skillfully tugs at the heartstrings.