Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Results May Vary - Pub Week Review

Review by Darcie Czajkowski
Caroline Hammond believes she knows everything about her husband, Adam. They have been together since they were in high school and married for ten years. They are both in the art world, Caroline an art curator, and Adam a writer. They share everything with each other and do so happily.

Until Caroline learns that her husband is having an affair…with a man. This revelation is mind-boggling for Caroline—she never once questioned her husband faithfulness, let alone his sexuality. Immediately, she banishes him from their home to allow herself time to think. After some time apart, she decides that she can’t let go of everything they’ve built together and agrees to work on their relationship.

But their progress hits a snag when Adam can’t answer the question of why he did it. He seems defensive about his behavior, urging Caroline to stop punishing him and just forgive him already.

And so Caroline decides to divorce him, but must wait six months before filing, per the laws of New York which state that couples must try to work things out and think through their actions before committing to divorce.

During those six months, Caroline reignites her relationship with her young sister, Ruby, a girl to whom she was never very close, partially because of the five years that separate them in age, but mostly because Ruby and Adam never clicked. But now Caroline realizes what she’s been missing, how much fun the two of them have together despite their differences, and just how much of herself had been tamped down while she’d been part of a twosome with Adam.

Caroline is also dealing with a sudden attraction to her co-worker Neil, a father of two girls who lost his wife suddenly and tragically. He has his own issues with heartbreak, but he has expressed an interest in getting to know Caroline romantically and she has a hard time saying no, given that the only man she’s ever dated was her husband.

As the six month waiting period comes to a close, Caroline has a decision to make: divorce Adam or try again to make it work. She’d been so set on divorcing him in the far distant future, in the abstract, but when the time comes to get an attorney and file, she begins to wonder if it’s the right decision. Will Caroline actually be able to let go of their long and mostly loving history, or will she change her mind and decide that their past means still something to her in the present, enough to forgive Adam for his indiscretions and do whatever it takes to make their marriage work?

Bethany Chase in “Results May Vary” tells an honest and raw story about love, loss, and heartbreak. Loving someone else is one of the hardest things we will ever do. Chase does a tremendous job of capturing sincere reactions to this situation and weaves thoughtful and interesting characters to accompany Caroline on her journey to making a decision about her future. I read this book quickly and with interest in knowing what decision Caroline would make in the end and what lessons she would learn about life along the way. For a compassionate and thought-provoking take on the question of “do you ever really know someone?” spend some time with Bethany’s Chase’s “Results May Vary.”

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About the author:
After growing up in the foothills of the Northern Virginia Blue Ridge, I headed to Williams College for a degree in English. Only in the spring of my senior year did I begin to consider how exactly I might earn money with a degree in English. And this gave rise to the logical answer: interior design!

I've been working in the architecture & design industry for over eight years now, but when I'm not hanging out with mess-makers and paint-slingers, I'm writing. And when I'm not writing, I enjoy photography, karaoke, and complaining about being flat-chested.

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