Sunday, January 1, 2017
BOOK REVIEW: E.K. Blair's AUTHOR ANONYMOUS
Release: August 27, 2016
Last year wasn't particularly easy on me when it came to books. I was a little limited with my selection and time constraints. Life-it happens. The past two months or so have seen my limitations lifted and the opportunity to read the many books I missed out on when released. As a result many of the reviews in the coming weeks will be about playing catch up and getting in the swing of things. With that said, I decided on E.K. Blair's AUTHOR ANONYMOUS as the first book to get to. Having been out for a few months now, I was aware of the subject matter and the controversy surrounding this story. It didn't deter me from reading.
So a quick recap for anyone unfamiliar with the story: this is allegedly based on true events. Ms. Blair was asked by the anonymous author (hence the title) to tell this story. The thing is there' s no real reason to tell the story other than anonymous was "compelled and haunted" to do so. That raised a large red flag for me, but okay, maybe the epilogue will shed light on lessons learns and what not to do when married. Yeah, not so much. So anonymous has the great need to tell her story of infidelity but has no real reason to do so. At least that's how it felt.
There's no denying the story is masterfully crafted and written. Clearly Ms. Blair felt a connection to the story and the players. She weaves a tale of a woman caught between reality and fantasy and choosing, against her own moral code and a beloved friend's advice, to LEAP into the rabbit hole. The woman, A. Anonymous if you will, willingly walks away from her relationship of 13 years with her husband after spending VERY little time with a man who lives a "non-vanilla" sexual life.
Okay, a walk on the wild side is something I think many have thought about, but at the end of the day we choose to not walk away from the life we've worked hard to create and families that rely on us. Doing so, without real regard for anyone else, is simply the most selfish, greedy, self-absorbed thing we can do. I'm not a mother to children, but here's what I know as a mother of dogs: you don't get to walk away from that commitment EVER. And here's where I take real offense to the story:
A. Anonymous' childhood of abandonment is brought to light. She had a family that all but forgot she existed. Yet, this woman is willing to abandon her children rather quickly for a man with very particular sexual needs. A. Anonymous makes it clear that she's not really the person for anything too wild, is conflicted when her lover puts her on display during a sexual encounter, yet she so easily allows her story to be read by thousands? Nope, not attention seeking, voyeuristic at all. How about the fact she chooses to cheat on her husband, lie to his face repeatedly, when there's nothing revealed about a marriage in crisis. Yep, they aren't having problems that equate to a marriage falling apart other than a temporary time of work busy.
Then there's her desperate need to be told the lover is in love with her. It left me feeling she's in constant need of reassurance she is loved or is lovable. Despite having a husband that does this frequently, and continues to do so after the affair is revealed, she needs to hear the words from a man she's known for no real amount time versus the man who pledged to love her until death.
Have I mentioned the insulting comments made about not knowing the difference between reality and the romance books author writes? Um, yeah. Because of course what we read is what we expect to happen in real life? If that's the case I'm NEVER going near a cucumber again! (Thanks, Kristi Webster!!) There's also a bit of bashing of the book community that just wasn't needed. It added nothing to the story and, well, makes both authors look like Bitter Bettys.
But wait, there's more...
This story is classified as a romantic suspense. What the hell? Nothing suspenseful about a marriage falling apart for no real reason. The ending is beyond frustrating because there is no resolution. She makes final decisions based on HER needs, not what's necessarily the needs of the players of the game. The two men in her life both come across as pawns-poor, pathetic men who both have some need for this woman. Yet, that's never really clearly defined.
So, yeah, I had issues with AUTHOR ANONYMOUS. I really have few limits on what I won't read, but I'm beginning to re-evaluate this decision. Being asked by an author, or authors in this case, to feel some type of understanding and empathy of a character who knowingly hurts others to satisfy her own need is not something I enjoy. It's not something I understand or would ever justify.
I classify this as a RISKY READ. For those who have read it or will read it in the future, let me know your thoughts. Maybe you can shed light on something I missed or maybe don't understand.
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