Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring The Anatomy of Cheating: A Novel by Nesly Clerge.
About the Book: Lust, deception, betrayal, and their inevitable outcomes weave a web nearly impossible to escape in Nesly Clerge’s latest novel. Chelsea Hall is certain her husband is cheating. Again. How far will a wife go when her adulterous husband pushes her to the edge? Some stop at the cliff’s edge. Others leap into the abyss. Garrett Hall wants what and who he wants. His detachment from their relationship leads Chelsea to seek what she needs elsewhere, and onto a path that leads to bliss. What begins as a dream-come-true soon becomes a nightmare when the line between who is innocent and who is guilty soon blurs. Until the horrifying truth becomes clear. And, the question becomes, Who will survive?
My Review: Over the last year, I’ve become a huge fan of Nesly Clerge, so when I had the opportunity to read this, I jumped at it. For me, I was more curious about the title than anything else. I wanted to know what kind of story was deserving of such a title, and I admit to expecting an erotica of sorts. I was pleasantly surprised.
The story was a layered collection of a group of people that aren’t happy or want something more out of their lives. While it’s not a new plot idea, the author did an amazing job of weaving everything together to form a type of mystery that is fresh and engaging. While the story is a little fast paced, I think that’s due more to the writing style being engaging rather than the story flying through the scenes. An added bonus, and something I wasn’t expecting, is that this is an expended universe story of the author’s George Stark series. That anchored the story in a way that made it familiar, similar to talking with an old friend.
The characters were deep and intriguing, but I have to say Chelsea is an awesome character and my favorite. I went from feeling for her, to rooting for her to succeed, and wanting to shake her when she got down on herself. In many ways, she reminded me of myself at times, and that really struck a chord. She is the epitome of our insecurities.
Her husband carried his portion of the story as the antagonist very well. He was engaging, frustrating, and made me want to see karma come back on him. As with real life, things like this can be heartbreaking, but I won’t say anything more as I hate giving away spoilers.
The interesting thing about the characters I want to mention is they fit into our world perfectly. Each and every one of them can be our neighbors or friends.
One thing I can promise, though, is if you love a great tale with some soap opera-ish qualities, you’ll love this.