Friday, June 14, 2013
Ronnie, a free-spirited hairdresser and ex-teenaged rebel, is engaged to Aaron, an ambitious caterer who tries to make an honest woman of her. Bored and antagonized by a routine existence, she begins an affair with Charlie, a neurotic and married writer who is mesmerized by the very brashness that Aaron discourages. They meet in his university office, in Toronto hotel rooms, Bay Street bars, any place where neither is reminded of their respective obligations at home. Their need for one another obliterates all other responsibilities, until the people in their everyday lives- Ronnie’s fiancé, Charlie’s wife and autistic son- become casualties in the ultimate fallout.
Infidelity is gritty and real. It doesn’t have a happy ending, and nor should it, because Charlie and Ronnie aren’t truly in love- they’re seeking an escape from their respective personal demons. The entire novel is a beautifully-written reminder that relationships born out of desperation or rebellion have negative- and often permanent- consequences.