NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The First Affair by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

3.5 out of 5 stars - "Hope and After Hope."  read: July 17, 2013

Jamie McAllister is 22 and "needing to be liked." Her family has failed her and she has been unable to find a paying job when she manages to obtain an internship at the White House and the Department of Scheduling and Advance because of the recommendation of her best friend's mom. When the staffers are furloughed during a budget impasse forced by President Rutland, Jamie has a chance encounter with him that sets her on a path to scandal and total devastation. Channeling Monica Lewinsky and tabloid headlines, the character of Jamie is both naive and star-struck when she imagines that the affair is love rather than the older powerful man taking advantage of her for his own selfish purposes. What happens is predictable but it's the details of how the secret is revealed and how the situation is handled that make this book such a fun read.

This is a perfect book for summer and light beach reading though the themes of adultery and the fall of the famous man are extremely weighty but far too commonplace in our society. Without moralizing, the authors take the reader into the mind of the girl who hangs on to the promises of a troubled man who doesn't even try very hard to avoid the trap he creates. She is the seduced, not the seducer, and the novel makes it very clear that society is both titallated by and unforgiving of the victim, the other woman, the discarded one. Jamie's life was indeed torn apart by this ill-advised and risky affair with a man she really thought she loved and for whom she risked everything.

I'd recommend it to anyone interested in how horrible the judgment of strangers who get to proclaim "not whether the relationship was wrong -- it was. Or immoral -- the definition of. But its very veracity." You think you've heard it all before and maybe you have. Of course, we all KNOW what this was really about, right? Why he picked her, why she did it. Or do we?

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for the ARC.

No comments:

Post a Comment