We’re the Cantons. Sun-kissed, all-American, picture-perfect. By all appearances, we’re the ideal suburban family. As long as you don’t look too closely.
I'm not going to lie and tell you that I didn't find this eerily odd connection to Claire (even writing that brings up some deep emotions within me) to the point where I found myself up in the wee hours of the morning to finish Covet. To say I was simply moved would be an understatement. When you think of infidelity you always imagine that you would hate the wife or the boyfriend, that you would be upset or let down by someone in this dysfunctional triangle. You know that guy who just couldn't keep it in his pants. That's just not the case with Ms. Garvis-Graves second book. I was moved by each character, I enjoyed the story progression and the ending was simply perfect.
In all the years we’d been together, I’d never experienced anything quite as heartbreaking as watching the lights of my golden boy fade.
Covet is written from the point of view of each character, Claire, Chris and Daniel. It's the heartbreaking story of a marriage and love that is slowly unraveling and neither Claire or Chris are able to prevent this systematic breakdown of affection and connection. Claire is a work at home mom to Jordan and Josh, she gets the kids to school, takes care of the house all while Chris is away for weeks at a time working. Underneath it all Claire is lonely, so deeply lonely and she misses the once connection she and Chris used to share. To watch the breakdown of their love was almost unbearable to read, It broke my heart at every turn but I have to say that I understand why Claire started her friendship with Daniel.
It took me a bit to get used to the alternating POV's but once I did it fit the story perfectly. I loved being inside each of their heads and knowing what they we're each thinking of the same situation. Claire, her heartbreak and pain with regards to her marriage was really difficult to read. She is not the kind of woman that has an affair. That's just not who she is, she's reliable, stable, a thinker and loyal. slowly she starts up a friendship with Daniel and even she can tell at times that she's crossing the line and having an emotional affair. Meanwhile, Chris is in his own prison, taking a job that requires so much more travel and he hates being away from his family. He knows his marriage is in trouble but he's just getting out of a deep depression and he's focused on keeping himself mentally healthy. He doesn't know the extent of the loneliness that Claire feels. How she misses just him holding her hand or just sleeping in the same bed together. Chris just puts one foot in front of the other in order to care for the family he loves so much. Daniel, a police officer is available when ever Claire needs him, he's fun, honest and handsome. He keeps his distance with Claire and what starts out as lunch a few times a month soon leads to hanging at Daniels house while the kids are at school. He's attentive, considerate and never pushes Claire to be anything other than friends.
I set the phone on the nightstand and take a deep breath. There’s a man downstairs who has every right to be in this bed with me, but he isn’t interested. And there’s a man who doesn’t have any right at all, yet he sounds as though he’d give just about anything for the opportunity. I have never felt more alone.
What I enjoyed most about Covet was the amazing detail that Ms. Garvis-Graves wrote each character and action. The suburban housewife lifestyle may be coveted by some but for others is a suffocating blanket that leaves many feeling lonely and unworthy. They're caught between what they want to do and what they should do and Graves demonstrates that within Claire but also within all her seemingly "perfect" neighbors.
Maybe love is like a pendulum. It swings back and forth, slowly, steadily, and sometimes you don’t know where it will come to rest.
In conclusion, this was an outstanding second book for Ms. Garvis-Graves. I was blown away by the depth of emotion Claire, Chris and Daniel's journeys evoked in me. Covet is a moving story of love, lose and the ability to start over again. That even though you've taken some steps in the wrong direction people can still find their way back to one another. It's a beautiful journey.
ARC courtesy of PENGUIN GROUP Dutton via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All quotes were taken from the pre-published book and should be viewed accordingly