DEGREES OF LOVE by Lisa Slabach
Kirkus Star


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A realistic, engaging portrayal of love, marriage and second chances.

Susan Sinclair, a devoted mother and wife, works full time while raising two young boys. That’s hard enough, but trying to get any sort of reaction out of her introverted, overly reserved husband, Matt, seems to get more difficult with each passing day. Originally, vivacious and outgoing Susan had fallen in love with Matt’s nerdish charm and his comfortable, quiet demeanor. However, once they married, things quickly changed. Susan had to give up everything she loved, including acting and living in New York City, to settle for the quiet sameness of the Silicon Valley, senior vice presidency at a tech company, sweater sets and motherhood. With the days feeling like a weight on her chest, Susan finds herself contemplating how such a full life could feel so empty. Confusing things even more are her growing feelings for her new boss, Reese Kirkpatrick. From their first meeting, the two share an incredible chemistry, and in no time they forge a deeper connection than either of them has ever known. Now Susan must decide if the safety and stability of her loveless but enduring marriage is worth risking for one chance at passionate, soul-completing true love. Not the typical bored housewife or woman in a midlife crisis, Susan is a focused, proud, accomplished woman who seemingly has it all. Living in a sort of blissful ignorance, she accepts her husband’s reserved and often judgmental demeanor, which, after a while, almost borders on emotional abuse. While Matt feels emasculated by the strength of his wife, he never misses an opportunity to passively take her down a notch, whether it’s about her job, excluding her from outings he takes with the boys, or in the bedroom, where his selfish, pedantic sexual efforts would vex any normal woman. Through Susan, Slabach crafts a relatable, heartbreakingly real story that will no doubt resonate with those at a similar station in life: women who love their families yet yearn for just a little more—to feel wanted rather than needed, to feel passion rather than complacency. In engaging prose and through skillful storytelling, Slabach captivates with an all-too-familiar story that raises questions with no easy answers.

An engaging story that shines an honest light on what it means to be truly happy.

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2014


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