Author: Tracey Garvis-Graves
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Dutton Adult (September 17th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
“Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.
Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop, and they run into each other again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.
Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross.”
One of my favorite books in 2012 was On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves, as soon as I learned she was publishing a second book I knew I have to read it. But after I read the blurb Covet I wasn’t so sure about reading it. I don’t like nor do I condone infidelities and if I’m honest I try to steer clear from books in which infidelity plays a big role, yet after reading On the Island I knew Mrs. Garvis-Graves’ writing and how she knows how to push buttons with her writing, if she made me accept a relationship between and barely-out-of-teen-years-guy and a woman many years his senior I was sure she might make me see infidelity with a different light, so I decided to give Covet a chance.
Clare and Chris thought they had a perfect marriage, two healthy and beautiful kids, a house in a nice neighborhood and a loving and caring relationship for over 10 years. All this changed when the failing economy hits their home and Chris loses his job. They think they will be fine, they have good savings in the bank that can support their lifestyle for months, and Clare also brings extra money to the house with her work as a freelancer graphic designer. But when month after month passes and Chris doesn’t find a job he starts to alienate himself from Clare and the kids and succumbs to depression. After months he seeks medical help for his depression, medicines are making him feel better emotionally but they are affecting him physically. He and Clare know he needs the medicine and their intimacy has to be put on hold until he gets better.
After a year, Chris finally finds a job, it’s not the perfect job, he’ll be traveling a lot, and will be out of the house four days of the week. Clare is afraid of what this will mean to their already fragile relationship but without another alternative they have to accept the only option they have at the moment.
As Clare feared their relationship suffers a lot, Chris is never home and when he’s home he’s in his home-office working until late hours. He’s doesn’t have time for the kids or for her, she doesn’t even remember when was the last time they sleep in the same bed.
One day, Clare is pulled over by a cop for having a tail light broken. Days later Clare runs into the same cop (Daniel); after some small talking and coincidental circumstances they start a friendship.
Daniel knows of Clare’s marital status, he also knows she’s as lonely as he is. He hasn’t recovered since his divorce and a friendship with somebody as sweet as Clare is just what he was missing. He will never force her to do anything she wouldn’t want, even though he wishes their circumstances were different.
After months of feeling lonely and neglected finally Clare has somebody in her life that makes her feel special and less lonely, somebody to talk to, go to movies, restaurants or simply ride around. Even though she is attracted to Daniel she knows that that is a place when she can’t go. Despite the problems with Chris she still loves him and hopes to reconcile, but everyday that passes and she spends more time with Daniel she feels the abyss between her and Chris growing bigger and bigger and when she starts to have feelings for Daniel she begins to get closer and closer to the line she thought she will never cross.
Chris and Clare’s relationship and problems felt so real I couldn’t help but think over and over that their problems could happen to anyone, even me. Even though I wanted to blame Chris for everything that was going on I couldn’t because thanks to his point of view it was easy to see that he loves his family and was doing what he thought was the best for them. He was wrong and he realized it, maybe a bit too late but it was better late than never.
Even though I hate infidelities I can say I understood Clare. She was completely neglected by her husband and couldn’t feel lonelier. Daniel gave her what she needed it when she needed it. Was it infidelity? Some will say yes, other will say no. In my opinion it was. When you have a deep connection with somebody that is not your significant other and when you start to feel butterflies in your stomach when you are with somebody that is not your husband/wife, a person you can’t wait to be with/talk to, you know you have crossed a line you shouldn’t have crossed.
Daniel was a good guy, he could have taken advantage of Clare’s vulnerabilities and the situation she was in; but he respected Clare enough not to do it. He had feelings for her and wanted her in his life, but he was honest with himself and always had clear in his mind what he was getting into.
Covet is a book about real people, with real issues in a real setting. It’s not only about Chris-Clare-Daniel relationship, but also about Chris and Clare’s neighbors, three different couples dealing with alcohol and gambling addictions, infertility issues and financial problems.
The first part of Covet was a bit too charged with details about Clare’s daily life and her neighbors, I know Mrs. Garvis-Graves did it to show us the image of the suburban life and its problems, but I could have done with less detail.
My biggest problem with Covet was that the end/resolution of story felt rushed and lacked depth. It left me feeling as if Clare and Chris just put a Band-Aid on a wound that can easily open again.
Mrs. Garvis-Graves’ writing is fluid, simply and engaging. As I said before she knows how to push buttons and makes you think outside the box.
Covet is not a lighthearted read, it’s a book that would make you experience strong emotions and question your beliefs. Covet is a book that would have you page after page dying to know what’s coming next; a book you won’t be able to put down until you reach its very end.
My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws
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