The Ever After by Sarah Pekkanen
“Frank wants us to go to a marriage counselor,” she said. Amanda shrugged. “Just because you go doesn’t mean you’re promising to save the marriage. But it might at least calm things down. At the moment you hate him, right?”
Josie nodded, “Passionately.”
Amanda looked directly into her eyes again, and Josie had the feeling Amanda had never seen her more clearly. “It’s one thing to hate your husband,” she said slowly. “But it’s another to hate the father of your children, isn’t it?”
If you appreciate raw honesty about what it’s like to be inside a marriage that is struggling to stay afloat, then you need to RUN and get this book. I sent text after text to my friend Kourtney as I was reading this because I found it to be such a powerful and authentic version of what happens when a marriage goes off the rails due to a partner’s infidelity. Josie's life and marriage aren't perfect, but she's happy and things are going fairly well, or so she thinks - until one fateful moment when she uses her husband's phone to call the pharmacy for a refill. What follows after her discovery is an intense, heartbreaking look at how Josie processes her hurt, betrayal and feelings of revenge while she attempts to still parent her two daughters and figure out what she should do next.
In her acknowledgements Sarah wrote "Statistics indicate that an affair occurs in one of every three marriages - and the real number may be higher. I hope that Josie's story will provide an inside glimpse of this largely secret epidemic and its aftershocks." Unfortunately, chances are we all know someone who has been in this situation. Or you yourself, may have had to go through something like this. Never before have I read a book so raw and authentic regarding this subject matter. Nothing is off limits in this story. Josie struggles as she wonders if she should stay with her husband because of their girls, can she forgive him, can she ever trust him, did she drive him away, what should she have done differently? I loved how the author examined all aspects and how she wrote a wonderful supporting group of women to be there to catch Josie when she fell apart. My only issue with the book (and it was a small one) was the transition between past and present could have been a little smoother at times, but this in no way detracts from the story itself.
This book is a short 251 pages and I read it in a few hours, but I am still pondering it days later. What happens when you realize that your fairy tale was just make believe? Do you pick up the pieces from your broken story and put it back together or do you seek a new "ever after"? Many thanks to TLC Book Tours and Atria Books for sending an advanced copy to me in exchange for my honest review. 4 stars.