I’ve just finished reading the novel which prompted my recent rant about marriage, and I’m really pleased to say I was wrong – the plot did not go the way I thought, and the author actually had the characters wrestling with the issues of marriage and fidelity, not just getting up and leaving for someone else. One character actually embarked on an affair, only to stop in her tracks when she had a kind of reality check moment – with the guy she was sleeping with failing to understand why, and a friend helpfully saying “because one of you has principles”. Another character was extremely attracted to a guy who was very clearly attracted to her too, but she resisted because he was married – she only stopped resisting when he came along and told her he had left his wife; and he hadn’t left his wife so that he could be with her, he had left because (rightly or wrongly) he had come to the conclusion that their marriage was beyond redemption.
The book follows in parallel the stories of two people – one male, one female – who are each in an unhappy marriage. Each of them is faced with the temptation of having an adulterous affair. She starts one but then realises it’s wrong and stops. He would really love to, but the woman he desires refuses because he is married. Each of them at some stage later comes to the point where they decide enough is enough and leave their spouse. (whether or not that was the right decision is a different matter, and as I said in my previous post, I wish their spouses weren’t presented as such cardboard cut-outs, I wish the author had taken the trouble to show the other side of the coin.) And it’s only after they come to that decision that they go for that other person, who is presented as the one who really loves them and will bring them true happiness – because, well, it is a romantic novel after all. :)
So it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I still feel this book makes it look ok to get up and leave a marriage instead of making a serious attempt to work at it. But at least it isn’t making adultery look ok, which is where I thought the plot line was heading. I’m glad I kept on reading!
(I’m deliberately not saying which book it is, as I don’t want to spoil the fun for anyone who might read it.)