A middle-aged married woman meets a photographer at a gallery opening and enters into an erotic affair, leading her to consider her current life and the moments in her past that led her to where she is.
Elisabeth works at her best friend’s art gallery, and openings are an everyday part of her life. Everything changes, however, when she meets photographer Will at the opening of his show. Before too long, they’re involved in a passionate affair. Elisabeth is bored and unfulfilled in her marriage, and Will adds intensity and sensuality to her life. But he isn’t relationship material, whereas Ross, her husband, may be disappointing, but he's steady, and leaving him would completely upend a comfortable life. Meanwhile, Elisabeth’s twin daughters are just graduating from college and beginning their own “real lives,” complete with fiances, wedding planning and professional anxieties. And her closest friends are going through life challenges. All of these events make Elisabeth contemplate her own choices and wonder what might have been. Or what could be. At the simplest level, this book is about a woman having a midlife crisis, being tempted by a sexy artist and revisiting some of the odd events of her life. However, Hart’s beautiful use of language and discerning eye toward human experience elevate the book to a poignant reflection on the deepest yearnings of the human heart and the seductive temptation of passion in its many forms. Erotic, with elegant yet graphic descriptions of sex, the book explores one woman’s dissatisfaction with her life and her ambivalence toward past and current choices. The storytelling is smooth, the characters textured and the plot compelling—though the use of first person, present tense at times seems to create an odd narrative distance, given the intimate subject matter.
A gripping, lyrical journey into one woman’s turning point in a life half lived.