Nancy McKibben's Reviews > Indiscretion

Indiscretion by Charles Dubow
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bookshelves: literary-fiction, reviewed
Recommended for: readers who like literary romance

By Charles Dubow

Given the title of Dubow’s debut novel, the reader is not exactly surprised when adultery occurs. Yet the book is still suspenseful - almost a page turner.

Harry Winslow is an award-winning novelist, his wife Maddy is warm, gracious, intelligent and beautiful, also a wonderful hostess and mother. They summer in the Hamptons, entertaining a chosen few, and Claire, who is ten years younger and star-struck by Harry, is admitted to their charmed circle, which includes the narrator, Walter, the best friend of the Winslows. Any reader can imagine the thrill of being included in that way by a writer one admires.

Soon enough, Claire’s desires have moved beyond friendship. By this time, we, the readers, are so involved with and engaged by the characters that we find this turn of events distressing. Don’t do it, we implore the couple in our minds. On the other hand, we are interested in what might be the results of the affair. The narrator, who is in love with Maddy himself, but knows that Harry is perfect for her, offers his thoughts about cause and effect:
Some men, I imagine, would have felt pangs of guilt, or at least some anxiety. They would have been scared of being caught. Their deception exposed, their home life broken upon the rack.

But it was easy for Harry. Maybe he didn’t think life possessed real pain or real tests. Things just came to him. I suppose he was struggling with his new book, but, after all, wasn’t that part of the creative process? Weren’t artists supposed to suffer? In some ways it seemed unfair. He who already had so much and wasn’t satisfied with that.
There are no new stories, but Dubow gives us new ways of looking at an old one

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Reading Progress

July 15, 2013 – Started Reading
July 16, 2013 – Finished Reading
July 17, 2013 – Shelved
July 17, 2013 – Shelved as: literary-fiction
July 17, 2013 – Shelved as: reviewed

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