Beside Herself

Lake Union: Amazon. Oct. 2019. 272p. ISBN 9781542093729. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781542093736. F
Forty-five-year-old Hannah Bent gets the surprise of her life when she snoops through her husband’s cell phone and discovers her doting partner has been unfaithful. Joel is physically ill at the thought of losing his wife and their perfectly crafted life, but Hannah isn’t so sure she can absolve him. The latest from LaBan (The Tragedy Paper) poses a question of fidelity and forgiveness: Can Hannah forgive Joel’s transgression by having an affair of her own? Hannah jumps into the world of online dating and prowls for a hookup in a variety of places, eager to give Joel a taste of his own medicine and validate her emotions. It turns out having an affair of her own isn’t as easy as she expected, but then she finds temptation in the most unlikely of places—the senior care facility where her father-in-law lives.
VERDICT This book begins quickly with an intriguing premise that slows down significantly partway through. LaBan gives voice to the conflicting thoughts and emotions spouses experience following infidelity, but some of the characters feel underdeveloped as the plot takes off.

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