Early Review: Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves
September 17 2013
Received from publisher via Edelweiss
Kick Ass Chick – Claire Canton
From Goodreads –
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.
Before I begin, I have to tell you one thing about this book and it’s blurb: if the blurb turns you off the book, don’t pay attention to it and just buy the book. I almost passed up On the Island because the blurb didn’t sound right. I’m glad I picked it up anyways because it ended up being an absolutely amazing book. So if you read the blurb for Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves and think “hmm, I’m not a fan of books about infidelity”, don’t fret. Covet is written in a way where, although you may not agree with what happens, you will understand the points of view of everyone involved.
“How?” you may wonder? Each chapter is written in a different person’s point of view. Mostly you get Claire’s perspective but sometimes you also get Chris or Daniel’s. I LOVED this idea because you see exactly what is going on in everyone’s head. You understand why Claire needs some positive attention and you see why Chris is unable to give to those he loves what they need. You also see that Daniel is not some jerk looking to nail some married chick but a man who is lost and in need of companionship. As I said, you may not agree with everything, but you get it. And you get it because each point of view is written with such heart and such genuineness. You feel it in your heart when Chris is hurting or when Claire feels lonely. They are incredibly well developed characters, especially Claire.
I really liked Claire. She was so real! She’s a freelance graphic artist who works from home while raising two kids aged seven and nine. Her husband Chris lost his job during the economic downturn and, in turn, suffered a depression. He now has a job but it keeps him on the road at least four days a week. Chris is struggling to find balance with everything and Claire is too. Then you have Daniel who recently suffered an unimaginable loss. Claire reminds him of the joy he once had in his life and being around her makes him happy. The details are what make this book feel so real. Tracey takes time to describe Claire’s day to day activities and if you can’t put yourself in her shoes, you will be able to at least understand what her life is like.
That makes me think of something I feel needs saying. If you are a mother and a wife, you will completely ‘get’ Claire. Whether in a happy marriage or not, we have all been, to some extent, where Claire is. But if you do not live a life like Claire’s, if you do not have children still at home or if you are not balancing work and family and marriage and friends and school stuff and and and, you may have a bit of trouble completely relating to her. You will feel her and feel for her but you may not click as fully with her as those who basically live her life. But if you are married with young children and lead a busy life, you will nod many times while reading of Claire’s life because you will totally get it.
The only thing I didn’t quite get in this book was the reason behind the issues with the neighbors. Claire has three neighbor friends. They are all married and they all have children. They also all have issues. One is dealing with infertility, one is an alcoholic and her husband is cheating on her and one has a husband who is a gambling addict. I didn’t understand why Claire, who is going through so much hell herself, needed to be surrounded by such hardship. It does show her character and it shows how things could perhaps be worst but really, it was just a whole other level of heavy I didn’t feel the book needed.
Even with that, I still gave Covet 5 stars because of the emotional impact it had on me. I found the writing to be impeccable and the characters to be superb. Tracey has such a knack for writing people who are genuine. This book is so much more than a story about a woman who may or may not cheat on her husband. It’s a book that makes you think as it brings up so many questions: Are there different levels of love? Are there different kinds of adult love? Can you love more than one person? And of course, what is considered ‘cheating’?
All in all, Covet is a book that is so real, you can’t not keep it in mind long after you finished it. I think it’s well worth reading.