Tempting Fate

tempting fateTempting Fate
by Jane Green
Published by St. Martin’s Press
350 pages
Genre: women’s fiction; chick lit
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
4 / 5

 

When you reach a certain age, your life sort of falls into focus. It’s supposed to, anyway. You’ve had your children, you’ve established your career, and you’re with the one you chose.

But sometimes all of that comfort and complacency camouflages how you feel. Your body, for one thing, is betraying you. Parts that were perky and pert are now sagging and shifting. That spouse of yours who you love so dearly no longer surprises you. Sex is routine – fulfilling, but routine. You walk into a bar, and no one notices you. You’ve become transparent and undesirable to everyone but your husband. And even then, you wonder a little. Can he want you with the passion he had for you when you were in your twenties?

Such are the issues facing Gabby. She loves her husband. Dearly, deeply loves him. Elliott is a good man. He’s a doctor, and despite his occasionally chaotic hours, he’s devoted to her and their two daughters. The only blight on his otherwise sterling resume is that he got a vasectomy when Gabby wanted more children. Theirs is a solid, loving marriage with a healthy sex life.

Still, though, Gabby would like to be noticed. So when she goes out with the girls and a gorgeous young man starts chatting her up, she finds herself enjoying it. He flirts, and she flirts back. She is so enraptured by him that she doesn’t even notice when her friends leave.

It turns out that Matt, the gorgeous young man, is an Internet entrepreneur, and he leaves her his card. Before too long, the two begin an email exchange. Gabby can’t help herself. She enjoys the attention from this guy who’s ten years younger than she is. She enjoys it so much that she can’t stop seeking it out, and when Matt comes to town  …

Jane Green aims at the hearts of women and fires away. If you’re in your forties, you know exactly how Gabby feels. Sure, she says she likes the decade because of its Great Revelation: you just stop caring what other people think. Yet she cares a great deal about what Matt thinks. She cares so much that she contemplates Botox and other methods of regaining her youth.

Green also asks us to consider the nature of friendship. When friends of yours struggle, which side do you choose? Do you stick with your gender, or do you pick the one you think was wronged? And how do you value that wrong? Elliott got a vasectomy, effectively ending Gabby’s dream of a third child. He did so knowing that she wanted another one, and he did so despite her asking him to not do it. Isn’t that wrong? What, too, is infidelity between friends? If your best friend sides with someone else, isn’t that betrayal?

Gabby will infuriate you, occasionally making you wish she was there so you could scream at her. Yet why she does what she does makes sense, in a way. Aging sucks, kids. It does. And sometimes you just want to know that you’re still desirable to the opposite sex.

My only quibble with this book is its ending. I liked part of it, yet was disappointed overall. Hit up the comments and let me know what you thought of how Green ended the book.

And ask yourself: is it infidelity if you want to entice someone?

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Filed under chick lit, women's lit

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