Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Tamar Cohen

Pub Date: June 7th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4516-3282-8
Publisher: Free Press

Spiraling down from fatal attraction to woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown, English freelance journalist Sally Islip responds to rejection by her lover of five years with increasingly loopy behavior.

Dumped heartlessly over lunch by Clive Gooding, her serial-philanderer of a lover, Sally is advised by her therapist to keep a journal of emotions and address her scathing, heartbroken, obsessive account of the present and past to the man now putting her through the emotional wringer. Via e-mail, text and bespoke cell phone, the relationship, begun in Devon, later moved to London, has passed along the conventional arc of attraction, seduction, immersion and eventual withdrawal. Sally, who has a partner and two children, believed Clive when he said they would have a life together, and now that it’s over, she can’t accept it. Instead, she infiltrates herself into Clive’s household, befriending his wife Susan and their two children while neglecting her own family and her work, abusing her prescription tranquilizers and running up tremendous debts. Clive responds with anger and threats while simultaneously planning the renewal of his marriage vows. A bad end is unavoidable.

While Cohen’s clever, sardonic voice diminishes the sense of predictability, this one-note story can, like the affair itself, seem ultimately rather empty.