Harrison’s first novel tells the story of a couple splitting apart, with alternating chapters featuring the viewpoints of the main characters.
Jodi Brett and her longtime companion, Todd Gilbert, have been in a satisfying 20-year relationship. Jodi, a psychotherapist, works out of their expensive Chicago condominium, seeing two clients a day during the week and spending the remainder of her time taking classes in flower arranging, walking their golden retriever, Freud, and preparing gourmet meals. Todd, who worked his way up in independent development by flipping properties, had an unhappy childhood. Their comfortable life, marred only by his occasional straying eye, seems to suit them both, at least until he catches sight of Natasha. The daughter of an old friend, Natasha is no longer a pimply teenager with black nail polish and garishly dyed hair. Instead, she has turned into a curvaceous coed who becomes involved in a tempestuous relationship with Todd, the man Jodi thought would always be there for her. Now, Natasha is demanding that Todd leave Jodi and seems determined to make that happen, even if she has to resort to a few nasty tricks of her own. But Jodi isn’t through with Todd, nor is she ready to roll over and play dead: In fact, if anything, she’s prepared to make sure someone else meets that fate if that’s what it takes to stop the events that threaten to disrupt her carefully ordered existence. Harrison, who in real life is also a psychotherapist, writes a neat atmospheric tale that examines life from both characters’ points of view but sometimes works a bit too hard to cram extraneous detail into the story, particularly when it comes to psychotherapy and Jodi’s present clients. While readers can probably get over a few mentions of Jodi’s work, the Q-and-A style rendition of her own therapy and references to different schools of psychological thought may make readers’ eyes glaze.
Harrison pens a good, basic story stretched thin by unnecessary and distracting detail.