Author: Charles Dubow
Review: This book reminded me of a fictionalized case study of Shirley Glass’s wonderful book on infidelity, Not Just Friends. The premise of the latter book is we are most vulnerable to cheating on our spouses when we feel the most secure and consequently take our relationship for granted. You see marriages, even great marriages, need constant nurturing or they become susceptible to corruption. If you make the assumption that you are to “in love” and it could never happen to you, that is when you stop safe guarding against threats.
Charles Dubow has perfectly captured this scenario in his debut novel Indiscretion. Harvey and Madeleine Winslow are the perfect couple. Happily married, living a successful life, and bonded with their child. They have good friends and enjoy each other’s company. Simply put, they are in love. Then enter the young ingénue Claire, a breath of fresh air into a tight group. At first they take her in never once sensing the potential dangers that lurk below the surface. Once she has penetrated their lives they are helpless to stop the damage that ensues.
The sad truth at the end of Indiscretion, the beauty their former lives once held is gone forever; the fabric marred clean through. Everyone begins an affair caught up in the superficial excitement that it brings, only to discover too late the true deep and abounding joy that was theirs to begin with. Once that disappointment overcomes the initial lust the relationship is on its way to being over. And the participants are left with a deep sense of regret that can never truly be repaired.
Indiscretion is a well written first novel, both captivating in its plot, and flowing in its prose. A trick very few first time novelists can master. Plus it is a wonderful morality tale that will leave you a little more respectful of your own relationships. Reading about the loss of one love can serve to inoculate your own just a little bit. I am looking forward to Dubow’s sophomore effort,
Synopsis: We’ve all been around a couple who can engulf the attention of an entire room merely by occupying it. Harry and Madeleine Winslow are that set; the natural ease between them is palpable and their chemistry is almost tangible. He is a recent National Book Award winner with a promising career ahead of him, and she is blessed with family money, but radiates beauty, elegance, and humility. Whether they are abroad in Italy after he receives the Rome Prize, in their ambrosial East Hampton home, or in gritty Manhattan, they are always surrounded by close friends and those who wish to penetrate their inner circle. During a summer spent at the beach, they meet 26 year-old Claire and, as the summer blazes on, she is slowly inducted into their world. Claire can’t help but fall in love with Harry and Maddy and at the end of the summer, it is no longer enough to just be one of their hangers-on. Told through the omniscient eyes of Maddy’s childhood friend Walter, Indiscretion is a juicy, page turning novel with writing that is sophisticated and lyrical. Deeply textured, full of light and darkness, and overwhelmingly sensual, this book will be the sexiest, most intimate story you read all year.
Publisher: William Morrow
Copyright: (February 5) 2013
Quick Review: 4 stars (out of 5)
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me by the publisher for review.
Author Biography: Charles Dubow was born in New York City and spent his summers at his family's house on Georgica Pond in East Hampton. He was educated at Wesleyan University and New York University. He has worked as a roustabout, a lumberjack, a sheepherder in New Zealand, and a congressional aide, and was a founding editor of Forbes.com and later an editor at Businessweek.com. He lives in New York City with his wife, Melinda; children, William and Lally; and Labrador retriever, Luke. This is his first novel.