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3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  3,933 Ratings  ·  702 Reviews
"Every story has a narrator. Someone who writes it down after it's all over. Why am I the narrator of this story? I am because it is the story of my life—and of the people I love most. . . ."

Harry and Madeleine Winslow have been blessed with talent, money, and charm. Harry is a National Book Award–winning author on the cusp of greatness. Madeleine is a woman of sublime bea
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by William Morrow (first published October 3rd 2012)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 07, 2016 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jeffrey by: Will Byrnes
”It is one thing to be lied to, but it is something else again to be the liar. But even then, most of us don’t look at it like that. We make up our own excuses, justifying the betrayal, clothing it in nobler raiment. It is easy to pretend that maintaining a lie is in the best interest of those we might hurt, supreme in the confidence that we will never get caught. Of all deceptions, that is the most common and the most foolish--and the one for which people have the least sympathy.”

A couple of de
Will Byrnes
May 13, 2015 Will Byrnes rated it it was amazing
Charles Dubow has been there and done that, spending his summers at the family’s place in the Hamptons, counting among his ancestors a US Vice President and the founder of BF Goodrich. He knows the tones of old money, and, as a founding editor of, and later editor at Businessweek, he knows firsthand about the riche, both ancien and nouveau. So it is no wonder that when he turned his talents to fiction he would write of what he knows. It is also clear that he knows about much more than ...more
switterbug (Betsey)
Nov 09, 2012 switterbug (Betsey) rated it it was amazing
You will know almost from the beginning whether this book is for you. It will strike you as either timeless or time-worn. There are few surprises in the storyline; it is definitely the journey, not the destination, that matters, and the perennial themes of love, betrayal, and desire. Moreover, the significance of memory is the lodestar that makes this book shine, subtly so.

Love triangles are common in novels; this one has a familiar Gatsby quality. The narrator is the odd man out, the even four
Larry Hoffer
Mar 23, 2013 Larry Hoffer rated it it was amazing
Boy, did I love this book. I actually finished it days ago but haven't had time to write a review until now, and I've not been able to get it out of my mind.

Madeleine and Harry Winslow have been together since they were students at Yale some 20 years earlier. They have it all—charm, looks, money, and talent, as Harry is a National Book Award-winning author just on the verge of becoming a household name. They are always surrounded by friends and acquaintances, whether they're at their summer home
Feb 19, 2013 Robin rated it liked it
3.5 stars

This was one of those books I looked forward to reading for a couple of months but was ultimately a little disappointed. It was compelling and it read quickly but I quickly found I had little sympathy for the two main characters and could barely tolerate the rest of the cast, plus it seemed a little melodramatic at times. However, it did keep my me from getting my much needed beauty rest last night as I had to find out the fate of the two lovers.
Cathy DuPont
Jul 01, 2013 Cathy DuPont rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cathy by: Will Byrnes
“Nothing looks so like innocence as an indiscretion.” Oscar Wilde

I’ve been fretting over this review for days.

Now, what should I say today about this book? Maybe I should choose the other draft review from yesterday. Or perhaps I should I go that other direction and post the review I wrote last Friday? Decisions, decision, decisions.

Not telling you anything you don’t already know, but decisions are made by all of us all of the time each and every day. Some, of course, are more life altering d
Indiscretion, the debut novel of professional posh person Charles Dubow, seems to be one of those books that I Just Don't Get. It's not that I didn't like it - as you can see by the three-star rating. It's just that so many people seem to be raving about it and I really don't understand why. As a result of reading some five-star reviews and something that compared it to The Secret History (pfft - as if), I was very excited about this book and was looking forward to savouring the discovery of a n ...more
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Harry Winslow lives the perfect life. He has a beautiful wife, Maddy, an adorable son and a fantastic career as a successful author. To top it all off, he spends his summers at the Hamptons with his friends and family enjoying his charmed life. One day at the beach he meets a young girl named Claire who he ends up running into again at one of his parties, so finally, he and his wife, Maddy, take her under their wings as she is sort of down and out on her luck. Initially, they make Claire one of ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Feb 03, 2013 Meg - A Bookish Affair rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, 2013
4.5 stars. Wow! "Indiscretion" was a really good read. This book really boils down to showing how one really bad, ill-advised decision can totally derail not only one life but many lives surrounding that one person. It's a universal story that has been told before but the way that Dubow does it in this book breathes new life into this story.

Almost all of the characters in this book are flawed. They aren't happy characters but this is not a happy book. This is the sort of book that makes you thin
Jun 01, 2013 Cyndi rated it liked it
should be a 3.5 rating -

Well written story, and reasons for the extra 1/2 star are due to the fact that it definitely invoked emotions which is the sign of good writing, no great writing.

*** possible spoilers****

The twisted/multiple ending set up was the rare thing that set this a apart from other stories about infidelity - and telling it using Walter voice made it unique - I was hugely disappointed in the true epilogue as I just wanted a happy ending - I really Needed that, and I should have kn
Jul 24, 2014 Leslie rated it did not like it
Shelves: ccpca_book_group
I could have given this novel two or even three stars in terms of readability, but my main reaction (given how difficult it is to have a novel picked up by a major publisher) is that the author must have been incredibly well connected (which does seem to be the case) to publish a novel this mundane and with such poorly delineated characters. It's not giving anything away to say that this book revolves around a triangle between prize-winning novelist, Harry Winslow, his gorgeous "earth-motherly" ...more
Feb 05, 2013 Carol rated it liked it
The Webster's Dictionary sitting by my computer (I know, how old fashioned) defines indiscretion
n. act of being indiscreet; an error of judgment. Charles Dubow's book is titled well!

Any exploration of a marriage in writing interests me. I'm always curious to see what route an author will take to explain this union of two.

To be true to its title we know from the outset that there will be a break of trust for the couple in question. This surprises us as they seem the perfect couple, theirs the
Teresa Lukey
This book sucked me in right from the start. How many books are there about infidelity of unfaithful partners? Probably more than I can count. Why is Indiscretion different? I can't quite put my finger on it but I feel like it had something to do with the constant niggling in the back of my mind that something was going to go drastically wrong? Did something else happen you ask? Well, yes, but you're going to have to read this book to find out.

I could really feel the love between Maddy, Harry an
May 15, 2015 Shaun rated it really liked it
Four stars despite the urge to throw this book down on several occasions.

So, there's really nothing new (or realistic) here...everyone is beautiful, rich, successful, smart, and just plain old dandy while living the Manhattan dream (summerhouse in the Hamptons required)...think John F. Kennedy and Carolyn Bessette (actually a better comparison might be Edward and Bella from Twilight)...then throw in a mid-life crisis and the flirtatious, stunning, though considerably younger and immature tagalon
Dec 01, 2012 Joe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-fiction
WOW!! this was a total surprise! I was fortunate to get an ARC of this book, and even reading the back cover, didn't really tell me that much about the story, so I went in with no expectations but finished the book, with that SAD, MAD, LOST feeling, that I DIDN'T WANT IT TO END!!! I became so attached to the characters that I was kind of "Lost" when I turned the last page and was desperate to talk to SOMEONE! about it! haha I LOVE that feeling!! So I give this 5 STARS!
There is a comparison to J
Apr 20, 2013 Susan rated it it was ok
An extremely well-told tale on the most banal of themes acted out by utterly predictable characters. I hated myself for liking it as much as I did: the author writes well and keeps us spellbound. Beautiful couple (handsome Henry and gorgeous Maddie) with beautiful life (NYC apartment; Hamptons summer home; expensive educations; privileged upbringings; one an award-winning novelist and the other a gourmet cook) have their perfect life (perfect, except for son Johnny born with a weak heart -- but ...more
Oct 21, 2012 B. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2012
This is what reading is all about for me -- an absorbing story, beautifully written, with characters that seem so real I know I will miss them when I am done.
Dubow has taken what should be an ordinary, time worn story -- a man's adulterous affair -- and turned it into something riveting. The device he employs of having the narrator recount the story by looking back on events only adds to the tension. I am in awe of this author's ability to capture so authentically the shifting feelings of the pl
Bonnie Brody
Nov 07, 2012 Bonnie Brody rated it it was amazing
Indiscretion is one of the top ten books that I've read this year. It is a wonderful love story, a tale of betrayal and deceit, as well as a literary page-turner of the first order.

Told from the vantage point of Walter, the narrator of the novel, this is about Maddie and Harry, a married couple that met when students at Yale. They have been married for twenty years when the story opens. They have a son, Johnny, with heart problems. Walter has known Maddie all his life and has pined for her unreq
Nov 07, 2012 Maria rated it it was amazing
The 411 by Maria:

WOW people this is a must read and no one is telling me to tell you that. I was thoroughly pleased that I had this book in my To Be Read Pile.

I loved Indiscretion from the first paragraph. Beautifully detailed descriptions always get me and Charles Dubow knows how to paint a picture.

The story is narrative form by a third party of the book. Walter, is the third wheel to his best friends Harry and Maddy Winslow and godfather to their son.

Walter, Harry and Maddy are wonderful party
Sep 30, 2012 Vicki rated it it was amazing
The story is told from the perspective of the life long friend of the wronged spouse. A successful lawyer and friend of both the husband Harry and his wife Madeline, he can tell the story of each participant in the love triangle from personal knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses. Walter, the narrator, and Maddy grew up on adjacent properties in the Hamptons, both children of wealthy and privileged families. Maddy and Walter went to Yale, where Maddy and Harry, a popular athlete met and ev ...more
Apr 05, 2013 Darwin8u rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
Ugh. I read this book because from the reviews it seemed like a modern attempt at a Henry James/Edith Wharton examination of love, adultery and the Hamptons. Plus, supposedly this guy worked with Christopher Buckley. How bad could it be?

OK, so I finished it and can say with authority that the only thing worse than Dubow's Lucasesque dialogue was the book's predictable plot and the cliche after horrible cliche. Henry James is probably not even bothering to roll in his literary grave because this
Feb 17, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
Indiscretion is the story of the undoing of a successful author and his beautiful wife who live a seemingly perfect life until a charming young woman becomes a part of their circle of friends. The story is told in the voice of the woman's best friend, a man that has loved her since they were children. While it is is pretty predictable for the majority of the book it is a tribute to the author that despite that fact that once I started I cared about the characters and felt compelled to confirm wh ...more
Jan 21, 2013 Dougjones rated it it was amazing
Indiscretion is beautifully crafted story of a family, friends and a perfect marriage. And how the most perfect of lives can come horribly apart with one wrong decision. Dubow nails the places, the characters and dialogue. I'll send a free copy to the first five of my friends who asks for one.
A copy of Indiscretion was provided to me by William Morrow for review purposes.

in·dis·cre·tion [in-di-skresh-uhn]
1. The quality or state of being indiscreet; want of discretion; imprudence; rashness.
2. An indiscreet or imprudent act; indiscreet behavior.
3. A brief sexual liaison.

'His betrayal was as natural as a disease, as a cancer that builds up quietly inside the body and then erupts unbidden when there is nothing else to keep it in check. And when it happened, it consumed hi
Oct 08, 2012 Dora rated it it was ok
This was a smutty beach read masquerading as Gatsby.

It gets two stars because it held my attention and I inhaled it in 2 days-- what's not to tear through? wealthy high-brow people in the hamptons, a sexy young girl comes along... rome, paris, food, sex, etc. But beyond that holding my attention, it left me completely empty. I never felt I understood the characters' motives for their actions.

Got this at ALA as an uncorrected proof and a smart reviewer I follow on here really loved it so I had h
Renita D'Silva
May 06, 2015 Renita D'Silva rated it it was amazing
Loved. Loved. Loved. This book possessed me. The author has the wonderful ability to put us right in the middle of the action. I hated Claire with a passion by the end and did not like the fact that she got off so easily. But, this book made me think and it will stay with me for a long time. Loved it.
Feb 23, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it
4.0 out of 5 stars - "We make so many right decisions in life, but it is the wrong ones that can never be forgiven."

You might think you have already read this classic plot a hundred times. Seen the movies, screamed NO NO NO at the character about to make a colossal mistake. You might be reminded of a situation like this that happened in your own life or to someone else you know. Nevertheless, the author handles the tale of a happy marriage that goes wrong when the husband chooses to become invol
Mar 19, 2013 Dolores rated it liked it
Since I read mostly YA books, I don't read a lot of adult fiction--and even less literary fiction, but I'd heard good things about this one. I love words and did enjoy the language of the book, although I found the writing to be a bit melodramatic and overwrought at times. I found I did not believe ANY of the characters, or understand their actions. It was really hard to care about the events of the story when I kind of thought these people deserved everything they got. 1) Maddy. Who keeps Walte ...more
Book Him Danno
Feb 05, 2013 Book Him Danno rated it really liked it
This book reminded me of a fictionalized case study of Shirley Glass’s wonderful book on infidelity, Not Just Friends. The premise of the latter book is we are most vulnerable to cheating on our spouses when we feel the most secure and consequently take our relationship for granted. You see marriages, even great marriages, need constant nurturing or they become susceptible to corruption. If you make the assumption that you are to “in love” and it could never happen to you, that is when you stop ...more
Mar 03, 2013 Kathleen rated it it was ok
I was very disappointed in this book and don't understand all the high ratings it has received.

First thing that really bugged me is the omniscient first person narrator. Huh? How exactly does that work? We have long sections of scenes involving two people and the narrator is not present -- and then once in a while he drops a line to tell us that one of the participants told him about this later on. Please. I can't imagine getting away with that in an introductory creative writing class. Also, th
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Charles Dubow was born in New York City and lived on the Upper East Side for the first thirteen years of his life. As a child, he attended the Collegiate School, a private boy’s school on the Upper West Side. Weekends and summers were spent in his family house on Georgica Pond in East Hampton, Long Island, which served as the inspiration for Indiscretion.

After boarding school, he went to Wesleyan
More about Charles Dubow...

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“Never more then two, I told her once. I repeat an old joke about why martinis are like a women's breasts; one is never enough and three are too many” 7 likes
“The human heart needs to burden itself, to take responsibility for its losses, otherwise it will explode.” 7 likes
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