Unhappily married woman jumps into a life-changing affair with a man she meets on a plane.
With a successful dentist husband, adorable young daughter and close-knit group of female friends, Elyse, like so many heroines who have it all, could not be more miserable. She’s stifled by her suburban life, and she cannot communicate with her taciturn hubby, Phil. She fortunately happens to have a creative outlet (she’s a talented potter) and it is during a flight for work that she finds herself seated next to Gerry, an attractive Boston-based investment banker who, like her, has a spouse at home. The two strangers have an instant rapport, and back at home in Charlotte, N.C., she calls him. That leads to an erotically charged encounter in New York, followed by brief monthly meetings that help to convince her that marrying Phil was a mistake. But while Gerry certainly seems besotted with Elyse, he offers her no promises. Phil, unaware of her infidelity but sensing her growing unease with their life, agrees to marriage counseling, as long as they use his best friend Jeff, their minister, as mediator. Big mistake. Elyse goes along with it while mentally making plans to leave him. Meanwhile, her affluent inner circle senses something is amiss, with her best friend Kelly, herself in a less-than-ideal marriage, feeling threatened by Elyse’s risky behavior. Knowing full well how her actions will impact her entire community, Elyse bides her time, until a shocking act of violence forces a decision. So will she choose her husband, her lover or neither? Sharply written and emotionally accessible, Wright’s debut offers a clear-eyed taste of hope without letting anyone, especially Elyse, off the hook.
A modern take on adultery that does not shy away from the costs—and benefits—of a post-marriage life.