BIG THANKS to Miriam of Hachette Book Group for sending me this book to review and for organizing this great book tour!
"Love and Other Natural Disasters" by Holly Shumas
Published by 5-Spot, a division of Hachette Book Group
Book description from publisher's website:
Eve is eight months pregnant and in the middle of a Thanksgiving celebration when she discovers that her husband Jonathan has developed an intimate relationship with a woman over the past year. Jonathon asserts his innocence (an affair involves physical intimacy, and he didn't have any), while Eve feels deeply betrayed by the emotional connection he shared with someone else. What Jon has done seems so terrifyingly out of character that Eve finds herself questioning her entire reality. Did she ever really know Jon at all? Was their happiness together a lie? Is emotional intimacy more forgivable than sexual intimacy? And can their marriage survive?
What really intrigued me about this book was the subject matter itself. We see and read so much about affairs in books, movies and the media but they are always the physical and sexual kind. Holly Shumas, being a practicing family and marriage therapist, has the perfect amount of insight in order to write about an emotional affair. It is an often overlooked topic and I think she handled it in a very respectful and thoughtful way, being careful not to assign too much blame to either spouse.
This book is not a light read but it was an enjoyable one in the sense that it made me think a lot and question the characters' decisions, while simultaneously contemplating what I would have done instead. At times I felt frustrated by the roller coaster of emotions Eve endured but ultimately I think she learned a lot about herself as a person. One of the important messages I will take away with me from this story is that we need to first know and love ourselves before we can commit to someone else, which Jon and Eve struggled with at first.
I like Holly Shumas' down to earth writing style, as well as the comic relief infused throughout the novel to lessen the load of such an emotionally charged topic. I look forward to reading her first book, "Five Things I Can't Live Without"!