Friday, September 20, 2013

Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves


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 runs into her 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.


I was introduced to Tracey Garvis Graves by Tammara Webber.  I struck up a conversation with Tammara on Facebook shortly after I finished her book, Between The Lines, and I asked her if she had any recommendations.  She told me to read On The Island.  I looked it up & found that it was a story about a teacher & her student being stranded on a desert island.  I had seen the story line of inappropriate student/teacher affairs popping up in several of the shows I was watching at the time & wasn't really interested, but I had time on my hands & nothing to read at the time so I downloaded the kindle sample & started reading.  As soon as the sample ended, I pulled up Amazon & bought the book.  Never for a second did I regret it.   So, buying Covet was a given...even though the subject matter once again made me wonder about the book.

Covet wasn't an easy book to read, but it touched on several important topics & raises some good questions.  She describes it as "Women's Fiction" as opposed to On The Island which is "Contemporary Romance", and there is definitely a different feel to this book.  What hasn't changed though, is how well it is written.  It's compelling because it is so real, but that is also the reason it is hard to read.  The circumstances could happen to anyone & some of the same mistakes would be so easy to make.  

The story centers around Claire Canton.  She once had the picture perfect life.  A happy marriage, two great kids, the house in the suburbs & great friends.  However, her life changed when her husband Chris lost his job due to downsizing.  Chris took great pride in his work & providing for his family. So, this was a devastating blow to him.  After a year of trying & failing to find work, he slides into a deep depression.  During this time, Claire has tried to be supportive, but can't help but feel more & more lonely as her husband pulls away.  When Chris does finally find a job, it requires a lot of travel. At first both he & Claire are hesitant but thinking that part is temporary & not really having any other options, Chris takes the job. His absence is felt strongly by the whole family & Claire is doing her best to hold it all together.  When she meets Officer Daniel Rush at a routine traffic stop & ends up spending time with him when she is hired to work on a project for the police department, they become friends.  Here is where the question comes into play of whether a man & woman can just be friends.  

I have seen several reviews referring to Covet as slow or boring.  It is a slower pace than a lot of the best sellers being released today, but I think the pace works for the story.  I love that we see the point of view of all three of the main characters because it shows how there is always more to a situation than what you think. I especially appreciated the addition of Chris' point of view.  It would be easy to write him off as the selfish, neglectful husband who is too absorbed in his own problems to see the pain he is causing to his family, but seeing his view point helped answer the question of why he made the choices that he did.  It's also heart-breaking & all too familiar to see how many problems are left un-resolved in a relationship just by failing to talk to each other.  As to where this story goes or how it resolves, I'll leave that to you to find out.  Don't go into this story expecting a lot of drama or excitement, but do give it a chance.  Where it didn't skyrocket to the top of my best books I've read this year list like On The Island did, I am definitely glad I read it & am already looking forward to Tracey's next book! 

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