(44)The Other Half by Sarah Rayner

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Other Half 

Pages: 304

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: March 25, 2014

Chloe has worked very hard to get where she is at in publishing.  She is launching her own magazine and is kind of the "darling" of her publishing company.  Everything is going so good she does not expect to fall for her incredibly handsome (and incredibly married) boss, James.

Maggie lives the dream life in the London suburbs.  She is married to an incredibly handsome, incredibly successful man.  Their seven year old son is absolutely darling, but more than anything she would love to give Nathan a little brother or sister. She is pushing 40 and knows that time is running out.  If only she could get Jamie on board with another child, but he seems to be so distracted lately.

Two women, one man, and an incredible love triangle.   Chloe never meant to fall in love with a married man, but James is everything she wanted in a boyfriend and it just happened.  A small piece of her believes that if she sticks it out long enough then he will leave his wife for her.    Maggie doesn't want to believe that Jamie would ever cheat on her and jeopardize their family, but all signs are pointing towards infidelity. And when she finds the proof on his Blackberry she forces Jamie to make a decision that may make neither woman happy.

The Other Half is an interesting look at infidelity from the perspective of both women.  The chapters alternate from the perspective of both women, starting with Chloe, making it nearly impossible to hate her for being "the other woman."   But then there is Maggie, she is also very nice and the anguish she feels at her disintegrating marriage is so heartbreaking you just want to string James up by his... (ahem) nails.  The relationship between Chloe and James gets pretty heated pretty fast and you can almost understand the way she gets swept away in the passion.  But it was after her conversation with her brother that she finally lets those doubts, the truths of being "the other woman" into her head and she starts to rethink her intoxicating relationship.     In the end, I was pleased with the way things turned out for both women.   It was a real and natural conclusion.

Bottom line, infidelity is an ugly topic and one not to be taken lightly.  In The Other Half, Sarah Rayner  does a great job of looking at both sides of an extremely messy situation.  In no way can you say that she glamorizes infidelity, but she sure makes the reader realize that there are two sides to every story.  There is definitely room for discussion and you can find a Reader's Guide on the author's website.

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