Author: Charles Dubow
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Date of Publication: February 2, 2013
Pages: 388 (NOOK Edition)
This is a first novel by Charles Dubow, a financial writer and founding editor of Forbes.com and an editor for "Business Week". This is an ambitious novel, filled with excellent character development and sense of place. The part of the story which takes place in East Hampton, New York is exceptionally vivid since the author spent a good deal of his youth there. The scenes in Paris are also particularly good.
The story is very shop worn. A middle aged author, somewhat enthused with himself over recent literary success, succumbs to a young, unattached and (of course) bewitchingly beautiful woman. The inevitability of the plot is off set by the outstanding character development and also by convincing dialogue. The author uses a narrator (an East Hampton lawyer, neighbor and childhood friend of the main character) to tell most of the story in the first person. He shifts to dialogue between the main characters, again from an omniscient narrator's point of view, which is a bit confusing at times. The author also adds back story through narrator reminiscences which, while for the most point are illuminating, sometimes are distracting and exacerbate the already slow pace of the story.
One of the unique aspects of this novel, however, is that (as opposed to A. S. A. Harrison's The Silent Wife) there is no clear cut villain. Everyone seems equally innocent (or guilty, depending on your point of view) for the tragedy which unfolds. Although the plot is tortoise-like, there is a horrific twist at the end and a thoroughly depressing epilogue which underscores the author's point that when trust is broken, everybody loses.
This is a very worthy first effort for this author and I look forward to future novels from Mr. Dubow.