Publication date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: publisher via TLC Book Tours for an honest review
Harry and Madeleine Winslow have been blessed with talent, money, and charm. Harry is a National Book Award–winning author. Madeleine is a woman of sublime beauty and grace. The Winslows play host to a coterie of close friends and acolytes eager to bask in their golden radiance, whether they are in their bucolic East Hampton cottage, abroad in Rome, or in their comfortable Manhattan brownstone.
One weekend, Harry and Maddy meet Claire, who eagerly falls into their welcoming orbit. But soon her reverence transforms into a dangerous desire, and she no longer remains one of their hangers-on.
A story of love, lust, deception, and betrayal as seen through the omniscient eyes of Maddy’s childhood friend Walter, a narrator akin to Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, Indiscretion is an irresistibly sensual page-turner.
Indiscretion, the debut novel by Charles Dubow, was just so good. I was rather impressed with the book as a whole. But how to explain exactly why? I really liked Dubow's writing style. I liked how the book closely examines each character and their lives, their decisions. Not that the reader can condone or even understand some of the decisions, but like real life, sometimes people do things that we just can't understand. But the decisions are made, things happen, there are consequences.
Our narrator is Walter, a lifelong friend of Maddy's and more recent, but loyal friend to Harry and godfather to their son, Johnny. Walter comes from an established family, meaning "old money". He and Maddy grew up next door to each other. He tells the tale and explains how he knows what he knows and how he learned it as the book goes along.
Claire, the young, beautiful, social climber that she is, happens to show up at the Winslow's party with Clive, her current step on the rung to the lifestyle she craves. Clive is wealthy, handsome, rather coarse and very nouveau riche. He has the money, but none of the class Claire can see in the Winslows. Once she sets her sights on Harry, it isn't long before Claire drops Clive and starts charming her way into their little circle and then, well, you just have to read the book to see just how far she will go. And while on several occasions Walter states that she was an innocent, I never once believed it. There were other hints that she might not be what she seemed. I may be wrong, but I don't think so - Claire is a conniving little b--- um, brat. She is very good at playing a part.
Harry, star athlete, turned author, is married to the lovely, wealthy Maddy. I think Harry always felt a little inadequate around Maddy and her crowd. He came from a respectable family, but without the money and history that Maddy and Walter had. Harry was living the dream, but not quite as self confident as he let on. Claire provides a bit of fresh air and she makes him feel young and admired.
Maddy was probably the most likable, but also the most fragile character in the book. She wants someone to love her for herself, not her money or her beauty, or anything else; she wants truth and loyalty.
Indiscretion is a wonderfully written book that tells the story of a group of friends and how their lives intersect with a newcomer, then watch as choices are made, actions are taken and then lives slowly and painfully fall into disorder, deception, betrayal. I loved the book so much. I loved the writing style, I loved the twists and little tricks the author plays on the reader. This is one of those books that I'll be suggesting to friends and pretty much anyone who will listen to me. Highly recommended.
About Charles DubowCharles 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.
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Charles’ Tour StopsThursday, July 11th: Under a Gray Sky
Tuesday, July 16th: Read Lately
Wednesday, July 17th: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, July 18th: Lisa’s Yarns
Monday, July 22nd: Conceptual Reception
Wednesday, July 24th: Books in the Burbs
Thursday, July 25th: Good Girl Gone Redneck
Monday, July 29th: A Book Geek
Thursday, August 1st: The Little Reader Library
TBD: The House of the Seven Tails
TBD: Proud Book Nerd