Indiscretion – Charles Dubow
5 stars, I was gripped throughout!
When I saw this novel billed as The Great Gatsby meets The Secret History, I was immediately on the offensive; surely the publisher is laying this innocent little debut out in the open for the vultures/critics to swoop and attack. Fortunately I was proven wrong. This is no timid, halting debut, this is a meaty, powerful read rightfully brimful of confidence and swagger with characters striding off the page and almost taking over your life.
Yes, it’s an age-old tale – long married couple positively aglow with happiness meet their match in the shape of a young, lithe maiden who adores the charismatic author husband. As in The Great Gatsby, the story is related by a longstanding friend of the glittering couple. At first I wondered if this would work as how could Walter possibly know all the subtleties of an emerging affair, the clandestine meetings but it works very well as Charles Dubow is in constant control of the characters and plot. The result is an outstanding read, so compelling you will hesitate to put the book down.
It’s an easy read in terms of the language used but the simplicity of idiom belies the complexity and emotional turmoil of these characters. Sometimes privileged characters irk me with their sense of entitlement but the Wilmslows are likeable, flawed folk and their story will engross you. My favourite read so far this year and a very strong contender for my book of the year – highly recommended!