Monday, October 15, 2012

Indiscretion by Charles Dubow

 
"At some point in every one's life, whether in a restaurant, watching one's child play soccer, or walking through the streets alone, the question is asked, what else do you need? It is a question that once asked is almost impossible to answer. You may require nothing more at that exact moment to eat or drink, or you may be content with the bed in which you sleep, a favorite chair, the immediate wants and possessions of life. Then there are the intangible things, love, friendship, passion, faith, fulfillment. But you think about the question over and over again, because few of us have what we need-or few of us think we do, which almost the same thing. It can become a drumbeat. What else is there? Have I done enough? Do I need more? Am I satisfied?" (p. 102)
 
Charles Dubow explores what happens when we find ourselves discontent with what we have, and pursuing what we think we want, through his novel Indiscretion. It is a visceral novel, compelling from start to finish, as we are unable to pull ourselves away from the relationships between the youthful Claire, the Botticelli-like Maddy and National Book Award winning writer Harry which is told through the point of view of Walt, Maddy's childhood friend.  
 
Maddy and Harry have been married twenty years. They have settled into a comfortable existence, in tune with one another, happy with their life on the east coast. Their son has overcome a heart defect, he is growing up well, but there is a different defect within the heart of Harry. He is drawn into temptation, and beyond, when Claire enters their lives one summer.
 
The novel is steamy, and sexy, but not in a meaningless Shades of Grey sort of way. Every word is intentional, put there to show us the effect of our choices not only on ourselves but on those we love. As my mother has said to me more than once, "Often our lives spin on a hair." She means that one chance encounter, one swift decision, can irrevocably change our lives forever. This novel shows us just that.
 
Thanks to Harper Collins for an ARC of Indiscretion which will be released February 5, 2013.

21 comments:

  1. This sounds like something I would enjoy :)

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    1. It is like a train wreck; you know something bad can't help but happen, yet you can't take your eyes from it. And then, you review your own life and feel grateful for the times you made the right decision. Even when you might have wanted to do something else.

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    2. This sounds both important and mysterious :) How I wish we could exchange books! I just finished Coelho's latest, once again published in Romanian before the English version(just like Murakami's 1q84) and I was wondering if you would enjoy it...

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  2. Bellezza, this one sounds so intriguing. Will definitely be jotting down the title and date it is published, so that I can remember to kindle it. Great post! By the by, I'm excited about the Murakami read next month. And I just saw your sidebar and have to say I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the King book and the Bulgakov book - I've started both, but never finished either. Hmmm. Perhaps after reading your posts, I'll pick them up and give them another go.

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    1. I'm excited about the Murakami read, too, and then tuesday in silhouette posted about Russian Reading Month in November so I had to pull out The Master and Margarita which I bought in Toronto this summer. Now I'm afraid I'm overcommitted again in my reading plans. And they're all my choices!

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  3. I'm intrigued, too. Just noticed you're reading 11/22/63 in November. I've been working on it since the 5th of October. Someday I'll finish it but I got bored around the halfway point and stopped to read a couple short books for a mental break. Now, I'm back to it.

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    1. Some friends at school have chosent to read 11/22/63; I'm not normally a King fan, but it seems to have an interesting premise. It is long, though, so I'm sufficiently worried about finishing my committments for November. I might have to take off a few days of teaching, eh? (Kidding. Mostly.)

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    2. I would love to join you in reading 11/22/63 (I love SK), but I'm afraid with Norwegian Wood and a couple of other November reads, I wouldn't get anywhere near finishing before December. I suspect it'll be like Justin Cronin's The Passage, which took me an entire month to read (or rather, listen to). I'll get to it one of these days.

      However, I really want to read this book when it comes out. The passage you shared is very powerful! I've never heard of this author and will be sure to get a copy of the book in February. Thanks for piquing my interest!

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    3. I'm worried myself about getting through all my November reading committments. In fact, I'm starting Kingsolver's book Night Flight tonight, so that I'll have time to read Norwegian Wood, 11.22.63, and The Master and Margarita. All of them are books I want to read, I just don't want to run out of time!!

      I loved Indescretion. In fact, the author, Charles Dubow, took the time to email me and answer a few questions. We had a wonderful exchange of emails, and I really value his integrity.

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    4. I was going to start in on The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, but maybe I'll wait and start on the Kingsolver book instead.

      Isn't it wonderful to connect with authors? I've enjoyed exchanging emails with the few I've come to know over the past few years.

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    5. I'd love it if you'd read Flight Behavior "with" me. Yet another book we could share. xo

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  4. I came to the post intrigued with the title. Now I want to get to this book.

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    1. Mystica, it's such a good book. The more I think about it, the deeper I realize it has effected me. There's much to think about, much to connect to one's own life and choices.

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  5. I like books that have a grounding in reality in the way you suggest this one does, the way they provide a good story but impact your thoughts of yourself. Sounds a good one!

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    1. Charlie, you said exactly what this book does! I'm glad my review at least conveyed that in part. It's not only a good story, a well executed plot, it's got a powerful message. Or, two.

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  6. Intriguing, also noticed The Master and Margarita in your sidebar enjoyed that & have a couple of others by this writer.

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    1. Parrish, so intriguing, especially to those of us in a committed marriage. The Master and Margarita came to me so highly recommended by the leader of our discussion group for The Idiot this summer. I couldn't resist buying it, and now I have to join in the read along at tuesday in silhouette. We'll have to talk about it when I'm done.

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  7. Yes, this definitely sounds like a book I'd enjoy. One to look out for, then! I must see if it's going to be published in the UK soon.

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    1. You always get the best books first, but I can't say for this one. Stuck here in Illinois as I am. :)

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  8. I got an ARC of this in the mail last week! Yay!!!

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    1. Yay!! We've got to talk when you finish it. I enjoyed it very much, while being shocked at some of the characters' behaviors. When you'd think nothing would shock me any more. Let me know when you're done, it's a great (and fast) read. xo

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