REVIEW: More to Life Than This by Carole Matthews
Dear Ms. Matthews:
Marriage in trouble is a favorite theme of mine. I am always interested in seeing how an author can bring a couple back from the brink of disaster without irreparable harm. But marriage in crises require a delicate balance, particularly if one character is going to embark on an adulterous relationship. You really need to provide an excellent reason for infidelity and boredom is just not a very sympathetic reason.
Kate Lewis is bored with her life. She is a 35 year old housewife with a successful and caring husband and two very well behaved children. She decides that because her sex life is lackluster and her children don’t do drugs and peruse dirty magazines, that her life has no meaning. Instead of volunteering or reaching outside herself, Kate books a week long Tai Chi class. Kate feels badly for abandoning her family and arranges to have a bombshell Australian au pair watch over Jeffrey and the children while Kate is gone.
You aren’t much into sublteties as you hit us over the head with the meaning of tai chi and how Kate should find a center within herself. Tai Chi is her road to self discovery. Fortunately, Kate has help in finding herself when she meets up with fellow classmate, Ben Mahler. Kate, who has a great body and is dramatically gorgeous in an understated way (your words, not mine), attracts Ben immediately. She must be one hot mama because after only two days, Ben is on the precipice of falling in love with her (again, your words).
Ben, a successful ad exec, doesn’t understand why he finds himself falling in love with Kate after watching her struggle with her suitcases and prefer bad Tai Chi for two days. I didn’t understand the attraction either. He apparently likes the way she blushes and the way she uses her fork. Ben is such a studly hunk that a “millon or so mini-skirted women … mince past his offices every day in teetering high heels, their wiggling bottoms saying: I’m available! Come and get me!” Kate and Ben do end up in bed together toward the end of their week at the Tai Chi getaway. That’s one way to find one’s center.
Then there’s Jeffrey and his au pair. At first, Jeffrey resists Natalie’s long legs, glorious har, and big chest. But ultimately, after they flirt in front of his chidren, particularly his preteen impressionable daughter, Jeffrey and Natalie give in to their lusts. Fortunately, Ben and Kate end up together in the last chapter even though they both seemed to have fallen in love with other people. The other people are heart broken, but do they really deserve better for participating in these adulterous affairs? Of course not. *being sarcastic here*
Basically, your message is that infidelity can be the cure to an ailing marriage no matter who gets hurt in the end. The entire cast of characters from Kate and Jeff, to Kate’s best friend, and Ben and Natalie, are completely unlikeable. Your readers are the real losers in this story. D for you.