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August 16, 2018

Infidelity by @AnnPearlman ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Infidelity is a well-written, emotional memoir, but to be honest it probably wouldn't have been a book I picked up for myself because of the subject matter. As a person with trust issues, it confirmed that I couldn't marry.
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

August 2018; Dzanc Books; 978-1945814549
ebook, print (274 pages); memoir
I had trouble getting into to the memoir, but once I got started the pages flew by. It may be better suited for people who have experienced infidelity in a relationship. For me, it made me glad that I have never married. I know that means I might miss out on great love, but I'm not sure if it is worth the heartache that could result.

You may be wondering why I agreed to review it if it wasn't something I would pick up normally. Memoirs as a whole are not something a naturally gravitate to as I'm a private person and feel like I'm invading a person's privacy (I don't read gossip site for that reason too). There are a few reasons why I did decide to read it. One, it had been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and I've wanted to try to read nominated or winners of some of the bigger literary awards (I usually shy away from them for some reason). Two, I enjoyed Pearlman's writing style in her novel A Gift for My Sister (read my review). She also wrote a great guest post about how she writes. Three, while memoirs aren't always my thing, I have discovered a few I've really enjoyed. And I did largely enjoy Infidelity. 

I enjoyed her memories of spending time with the women in her family. I enjoyed how she touches on the sexual revolution and civil rights, but they weren't the focus of the story - more so of how societal changes influenced her on a personal level. And I enjoyed the writing and her ability to tell a story.

The writing was again wonderful. Her style is very accessible and you will find yourself easily reading more than you thought in a sitting. She provides small details that really draw you into her life.

"Should I ask him?" she wonders. Dusk has gathered, but she hasn't turned the lights on. We sit in the twilight living room. The pinpoint glow of her cigarette is the sole spark. I smell brisket cooking in the oven, long and slow. "Do I just ignore it?" (p. 53, ARC)

I felt like I was in the living room with them.

 While dates aren't really mentioned, Pearlman provides plenty of details that if you are familiar with the social and economic dynamics of a decade then you know when it is.

Infidelity is a really raw and authentic look into Pearlman's life. It is almost as if you are reading her diary with the intimate family details she shares from her early childhood into womanhood. (It is not written as a diary.) I don't think I would have the courage to bare my soul quite as Pearlman has. I get the impression from the later chapters that Infidelity is as much her personal examination of her life, a way to make sense of things when her world crashes, as it is her sharing her life story.

Buy Infidelity at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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