Evelyn, After

by Victoria Helen Stone
Published November 1st 2016 by Lake Union Publishing
Fiction/Mystery
4 Stars

“Love was temporary. So was lust. And happiness, confidence, trust. And marriage. Especially that.”

What if one day you realize everything you though was right in your life is actually far from it?

Evelyn has a great life. She has the perfect husband who is a doctor, a teenage son on his way to a great college and a job she excels at with enough time to volunteer her planning skills. Everything has been going well in her life and she is content. The routine has become seemingly normal and that’s enough for her. Then she gets a phone call that changes everything, the call that makes her realize how utterly boring her life has become and it pushes her to get out of her comfort zone.

“They didn’t fight often. Didn’t hate each other. Things were peaceful, calm, steady. Steady. Like a rock. Or something dead.”

He husband calls her for help, he got into an accident in the middle of the night and she rushes to his rescue. Only when she gets there she finds him with another woman. He brushes over it and she almost believes him because she wants everything to be normal but her gut feeling wins. She finds out who the woman is and that she is his patient whom he has been having an affair with. Evelyn is outraged but decides against ruining her family over that since he could lose his license.

“She’d made those choices out of fear, and she wasn’t afraid anymore. From now on, if something was important to her, she would demand it. Because the truth was that she belonged anywhere she wanted to be, and she was beautiful just for being brave.”

What follows after is the fall and rise of Evelyn. Like most women who find out their husbands have been cheating on them, she obsesses over the woman trying to see what she had that she did not. It didn’t help that she was a younger beautiful mother of two, working as a teacher and married to a gorgeous man. She knew she had put on some weight and she could not look as great as the other woman did. Her obsession crosses a line eventually and then comes her fall.

“Perfect blond second-grade teacher with two perfect little children and a perfect husband and a perfect life. And still it hadn’t been enough for her. Still, she’d wanted Evelyn’s husband too.”

I cannot say that the story surprised me at any point. I did go in expecting something totally different than what I got but once I started reading it I could tell where the story was going. But then again it was not so bad that I could not stand reading it. The marketing was off on this one because it was nothing like a mystery or thriller. It was more of women’s fiction. That would have made more sense because as a psychological thriller, it didn’t feel right.

“She’d thought this was a guarantee. She’d thought it was safety. She’d clipped her own wings and settled down as deep as she could get with the assurance that it was security. She’d willingly traded herself for this life.
Now it was all teetering on an abyss.”

What made me keep reading is the fact she lost her whole identity when she became a wife and a mother. She stopped doing the things that she liked trying to be the woman who would make dinner for her family and serve it to them. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that I just don’t think you should lose yourself trying to mold yourself into something that does not excite you. She only had one kid who was seventeen and yet her life was still at a standstill. She had it all and yet she let herself go.

“Today she wasn’t a mom or office worker or school volunteer. She was a confident artist. A sexual being. A woman scorned. She was a force to be reckoned with.”

And then when she finds her voice again she decides to do something stupid. Her life choices made me just think she was generally not a smart person. I get it was the liberation mixed together with some vengeance but come on? Really? When has that ever turned out right? The ending was also disappointing. I was expecting some big finale but that was just flat out bleh. It was the rushed kind of ending where a deadline had to be met.

evelyn-after

Why 4 stars then? Because I utterly enjoyed it. Again, if you are a fun of Hallmark/Lifetime movies you will enjoy this one.

Get it here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

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