Covet by Tracey Garvis-Graves
Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP Dutton
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Goodreads | Amazon
What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?
Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.
Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop, and they run into each other again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.
Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross.
Earlier this year I was browsing through Goodreads like I often do, and noticed that Tracey Garvis-Graves has a new novel coming out! I was excited because I loved On The Island, so I marked it to read even before I knew what the synopsis was. I just knew I needed to read it. That’s the kind of writing this author provokes. But, when I saw the synopsis I was hesitant. A lonely wife who meets another man? That doesn't sound like something I would want to read, but I knew it would be good, so I immediately requested it on Netgalley when I saw the ARC was available.
Right off the bat I loved the main character Claire. You can tell she is doing everything in her power to keep her family together during a difficult time. Her and her husband, Chris, have built their life in the suburbs only to have it fall apart within a few years. Chris gets laid off, falls into a depression, and essential cuts Claire off emotionally. He feels like he has failed his family and throws all he has left into finding a new job.
It was hard reading the flashback moments when Chris was laid off because you see Claire trying to be there for him only to be closed out. When he finally does get a new job Chris must travel four to five days a week leaving her alone with the children. Claire accepts this, but she is trying to cope with not having a husband who is there emotionally.
The first few chapters you feel how lonely everyone is, Claire’s isolation from Chris, Chris’ fear of losing his job and failing his family once again, and Daniel’s lonesomeness. The characters are very realistic and Tracey writes such matters that may be seen as controversial in a way that flows beautifully. You don’t think about the issues, but feel the characters’ pain. She humanizes her characters and you see how easily those decisions can be made.
I loved reading about Claire and Chris’ relationship before the layoff. They were so happy together and the beginning of the relationship really cemented how great they were together. Even during their rough times you want to cheer for them. Claire’s love for Chris is undoubting even when she begins her friendship with Daniel. Chris was unable to communicate with his wife what was going on in his head. He hated his new job, but couldn’t bring himself to talk to his wife about it. He missed his family so much when he was away, but without him saying so they had no clue. Their lack of communication just aggravated an already stress marriage.
I loved Daniel and felt for him. He wanted to be more with Claire, but was not willing to cross that line. Neither of them is sure how to have a friendship without feelings and sexual tension getting in the way, but they make it work. They became so close even if it was under the wrong circumstances.
"Maybe that’s how it starts. 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 you way back out."
The ending was perfect. You could see what was coming, but I wouldn't want it to end any other way.