I have a friend whose book likes are so similar to mine that it's frightening. When she didn't enjoy this book, I was afraid to read it.
Having read it, I'm so happy that I decided to read it for myself, considering I'd agreed to read it for an honest review. I must say, I really enjoyed the story of a screw up who meets the perfect person and completely crumbles underneath the pressure.
Matt seemed perfect when Lucy met him. A little too perfect. A little too exact opposite of Griffin, the man she shouldn't love considering he's a complete louse, but still does. I don't think Lucy was ready for a relationship when she met Matt, but she convinced herself that she was. She let herself believe that she might be enough for him.
There's an old saying that a woman should find a man who loves her more than she loves him. That rang true for Matt. He loved her a little too much, I think. His love made him blind to the faults that she presented right up front. She drank a lot, she smoked pot, she was bit of a pistol. He knew all of this before he fell in love with her and married her. Later, he would use her faults and her way of BEING against her.
Because Matt had turned into the perfect person. Perfect husband, perfect father. And how dare Lucy not rise to the occasion and be the female version of him. When she falls prey to post-partum depression, he's there to pick up the pieces.
The problem isn't that Lucy isn't perfect. Is that she didn't love him enough. She didn't show him enough that she loved him. And he knew she still pined for Griffin, so she never would be able to.
The split becomes nasty. Perfect Matt can't stand the thought of Lucy, who he deems to be a terrible mother, having custody of his children, so he does what he thinks is the right thing.
And for the next eighteen years, metes out his punishment for her, under the guise of 'doing it for the children'.
Frankly, Lucy seems like the average mother to me. Accidents happen and kids get hurt, it does happen every day. Matt took every instance of regular occurrence and blew it up in his mind as evidence that Lucy was a terrible mother. He and his perfection got on my absolute nerves... but then he told the children that their mother was dead and turned them against her. That made him a pile of absolute crap.
Inevitably the children discover the truth. Of course they aren't angry at perfect dad for keeping them away from their mother and lying about her death. I find the reunion to be anticlimactic. But when Lucy finally lays eyes on Matt again, there are words that I want her to say, but she doesn't say them. I'm disappointed in her half acquiescence to him, but as she walks away, Matt seems to have the rug pulled out from under him. He feels that Lucy is smug, and he doesn't know what she has to be smug about.
Didn't she get what she deserved?
This book has been called a stunning debut and I must agree. Truly enjoyed.
I was furnished a copy of this book from NetGalley.