Claire and Chris are the perfect couple, living their happy lives and raising two wonderful children. They live in the suburbs and their friends refer to them looking a “little Stepfordish.”
“We’re the Cantons. Sun-kissed, all-American, picture-perfect. By all appearances, we’re the ideal suburban family. As long as you don’t look too closely.”
After Chris loses his job, he sinks into deep depression and retreats into a dark place where Claire can’t reach him. They drift apart, intimacy is nonexistent, communication is lacking and they turn into practical strangers. When Chris finds a new job that requires tons of travelling, it puts a bigger strain on their marriage. With Chris out of the picture most days of the week, Claire befriends Daniel and establishes a strong connection with him.
In this book, the author teeters the boundaries of adultery. Claire doesn’t believe in cheating but she feels a strong attraction with Daniel. Their friendship starts off with small conversations, a motorcycle ride and then the next thing you know, they meet weekly, run errands together, Claire picks out new carpet for Daniel’s living room and Daniel makes sure the fridge is stocked with Claire’s favorite drink. Daniel gives her the attention that she craves from Chris. They don’t cross the line physically but the reader can see how close and intimate their emotions get.
“You stumble upon something that helps you cope, fills a void. Makes you feel something different than what you currently feel. You know in the long run it probably won’t be good for you, but you do it anyway. Tell yourself you can handle it. And before you know it you’re in so deep that you can’t find your way back.”
I really liked how this book transitioned between three POVs from Claire, Chris and Daniel. I understand the loneliness and abandonment that Claire experiences. After fighting depression, Chris just wants to provide for his family and he sacrifices a lot to do so. Daniel has a past that also puts him in a lonely place in his life. Each POV allowed me to feel so much compassion and sympathy for each character despite the circumstances that would most likely turn some people off.
Covet puts the test to marriage & love and takes us through so many sentiments that had my chest tighten up more often than not. I found this book to be very emotional, relatable and realistic. As for the ending, I’m glad that it all worked out the way that it did for each character. However, I would have liked a little more in the Epilogue, just so that we could see how they emotionally dealt with the aftermath of the situation.
“I do think we have the capacity to love more than one person at a time, and that the love we feel for someone can be displaced, transferred, shifted. Even shared with another. But not lost. At least not forever.”
This is a beautiful and quite enjoyable sophomore novel by Tracey Garvis-Graves. I look forward to reading more by this author!
*ARC provided by Dutton Adult via Edelweiss
This review was also posted at Readers Confession.