I should know better than to pick up a book whose back cover blurb begins “Forty-two, and married for half her life, Jessie Sullivan honestly believes that she is happy….”
Ummm okay, let me see, without reading any more or opening to the first page… I’ll guess: A crisis of some magnitude or other will occur, the result of which will find “Jessie” re-analysing everything she’s previously taken for granted about her life, most particularly about herself. She’ll realise she’s been stifled all her adult life, denying her own happiness and passion in order to ensure that the dreams of her husband and family can be fulfilled. The ensuing identity crisis will inevitably see Jessie propelled headlong into an affair with a dark, damaged much younger young lover, from which she will emerge tainted but not destroyed. And for a bonus point I’ll guess that in the end she’ll realise that she actually does love her husband afterall, and when all is said and done they’ll begin the difficult job of putting their lives back together again.
Since the author is Sue Monk Kidd, whose book “The Secret Life of Bees” seems to be beloved by all, I actually thought that my snap prediction would be way off the mark. In my defense, that’s the only reason I bought it. I expected a few surprises to this predictable framework, a curve ball at the last minute perhaps. Sadly, it’s not to be. The only thing that comes close is the very bizarre gothic tendency (SPOILER ALERT!!!) Jessie’s mother has to chopping off her own fingers. That’s really quite freaky. Other than that, my predictions were spot on.
Boring as hell.