A devoted, loving couple’s marriage is tested by the lure of material success in Cyr’s (An Accidental Abduction, 2014, etc.) second novel.
When aspiring artist Haley meets architect Colby Carlisle, she’s impressed with his intelligence and his well-defined priorities. He believes that strong relationships are the “most critical, and most often overlooked, element of success” and intends to prioritize his family above his work and the pursuit of a prosperous life. Family is important to Haley, as well; her father was murdered prior to her birth, and she was raised by a loving single mother. After she and Colby marry, they move to a home near Haley’s mother’s and begin planning what they hope will be a large, close family. While Colby builds his career as an architect, Haley finds success as an artist and regularly volunteers at a local home for domestic-violence victims. Following the birth of their son, Connor, Colby gets an employment opportunity that could bring him international recognition and great wealth—if he agrees to place his career above his family. His reaction to this Faustian bargain has unforeseen and dire consequences for the life he’s worked so hard to nurture. Cyr successfully creates a realistic scenario with complex, sympathetic main characters. Colby and Haley are an earnest young couple who sincerely believe that a solid marriage and family life are more important than financial success, and the opening chapters effectively establish their bond, as well as their resolve to put each other first. The author also skillfully and subtly foreshadows the conflict that threatens to destroy the couple’s marriage; a prime example of this occurs early in the novel, when Colby wonders if they should renovate and sell their modest house in order to buy something more extravagant. Overall, the real strength of the story lies in the main characters, and Cyr does a fine job of clearly defining their motivations and showing how they change as they find success.
A gripping, tragic portrait of a disintegrating relationship and of a valiant effort to restore a loving family.