This is a very difficult book for me to rate. On pure writing, it’s five stars or more; the lady can WRITE. Her prose is drop-dead gorgeous. The problem I had was that her pretty words didn’t overcome my frustration and disgust with the author and her husband. She comes across as very honest – she lays her sins out for all to see which is very admirable – but if she had been a character in a novel, I’d have HATED her. She’s oblivious. She’s a liar, a schemer, a cheater. I had no sympathy for her at all. The longer I read, the more frustrated I became with her awfulness. I don’t know why she even married her husband, who at the best of times she didn’t seem to like very much. They didn’t seem to be in love even at the beginning of their courtship. And when she was cheating on him, she came across as a selfish wench and he was blind to her indiscretions which made me think he was an idiot since she was very flagrant about her extramarital activity.
After three affairs, all of which she would claim were based on love, she discovers her husband has a mistress and an eight month old baby. They live a mile away from her. My empathy peaked for her when she was discussing the other woman and her child. No matter what she has done, it has to be brutal to discover your partner has a child with a person outside the marriage. But even then, she said she wanted to keep her husband, and I just felt so exasperated. WHY? He wasn’t a good husband and she wasn’t a good wife. It seemed to me a vacant union for years. Why hold on to this person who has hurt you so badly?
These questions are answered with her rather confounding and blasé pronouncement that she took her vows, she really only meant the “till death do us part” one. “Forsaking all others” was a dare.
Wendy Plump is a master at words, and I will read anything else she produces. That said, I stopped reading Vow at 74% because I didn’t like her, her husband, or her marriage which was marbled with lies and deceit. It made my skin crawl. It is so hard to respect someone who cheats, and I guess I, like her husband, just could not trust her. I couldn’t trust her to get me through the book feeling like her infidelity mattered, and was made beautiful.
I will try anything else she produces, but this one was just too… ugly.