READ THIS BOOK!!!
My review of On the Island can be read here
One of the signs of an amazing book is one that takes less than a day to read. Another sign is when you have to stop reading and can't stop thinking of the moment you can pick it up and continue reading. Another is when you should be sleeping but you can't because you are nearing the end of the book and it is impossible to stop reading until you finish it. And perhaps the most obvious sign of a good book is when you finish it and are left feeling ecstatic at finishing a good book but sad at the same time that it is over, and when you have no idea what your next book will be because you feel like nothing can beat the story you have just read. This book was all of those things and that is why I am writing this review at 2.26am, just moments after finishing this book. Again though I find myself wishing I could write a review that does the book justice, I will try!
About a year ago I downloaded to my Kindle a book called [b:On the Island|15505346|On the Island (On the Island #1)|Tracey Garvis-Graves|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1339162550s/15505346.jpg|18151286]. I hoped for a half decent read after reading the plot which I found pretty exciting. What I ended up reading was one of the best books I read in 2012 and what I now call one of my favourite books of all time. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of returning to that island in the novella [b:Uncharted|17268741|Uncharted (On the Island #1.5)|Tracey Garvis-Graves|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1363971188s/17268741.jpg|23880831] which was just fantastic. Needless to say that when I requested this book on Net Galley and was approved, I couldn't wait to get started. I was in work when the approval email came through and had to get through four hours more before I could start Covet.
I knew however that this book would be very different from On the Island. I am not the intended reader for this book but to me that doesn't matter. If a book is good then it can be read by almost anybody, and despite this being classed as Women's Fiction, I feel that the book, or at the very least extracts of it could be read by men. Particularly those who may be facing problems in their relationship or marriage. This certainly isn't one of those awful erotica novels that are constantly at the top of the bestsellers charts, what it is instead is a wonderfully written story which felt very real, you could have been reading a person's life story as opposed to a story from a writer's imagination.
The chapters alternate between the three characters: Claire, Chris and Daniel. The bulk of the chapters are from Claire's POV however it was nice to hear from the other characters so we weren't just getting Claire's side of things and we could actually see what Chris and Daniel were thinking as opposed to what Claire assumed they were thinking, if that makes sense. Chris and Claire's marriage is pretty much on the rocks, Chris loses his job and Claire takes us through the months that followed the loss talking about how they grew apart and the trouble they faced with his unemployment. Then Chris finds work that means him being away from home throughout the week. I remember as a child my dad would work from 7am until 11pm and I would hardly ever see him despite living in the same house. I could definitely relate to the children in this book and it is only when you are older that you fully realise and understand what your parents do for you.
Claire at the start of the book is pulled over by a police officer because of a problem with her car. It is all fairly innocent at first but in the weeks and months that follow a friendship is formed between the two to the point where there is a question mark surrounding whether anything will happen beyond that. It's hard to continue talking about the characters without giving away too much of the plot so all I will say is that you feel for all three characters. I didn't really feel that Claire was in the wrong throughout the book, but perhaps having never been in love or married makes me see the story differently than somebody who is/has. I read a few comments on Goodreads from people who were a bit wary about reading this book because of the cheating aspect but I urge those people to read this book and forget about those worries. The story here is incredible to the point where I just didn't know what I wanted Claire to do.
The three characters I liked very much. Claire has diabetes which I thought was very interesting and made for some heart stopping developments throughout the book. There were some wonderful scenes between her and Daniel regarding this but to elaborate would be giving the story away. I also liked the flashback scenes where we learnt more about Chris and Claire when they first met. The love between these two characters is evident. I definitely synpathised with Chris having to work away from his family for most of the week to support them. His love for his wife and kids was clear throughout the book. I really liked Daniel. I loved the scenes between him and Claire.
Overall I cannot reccommend this book highly enough. It now cements Tracey Garvis-Graves as one of my favourite authors as she has now written three books which I will always rate as some of the best I have read. In reading the acknowledgement section Tracey mentioned an alternate ending and after only just finishing this book I want to know what that ending is so
badly because as I said I didn't know what I wanted Claire to do and I don't know how I would have written this story or indeed ended it. I was satisfied with the ending of the book however. When I finished On the Island I couldn't stop thinking about the story for a while afterwards. I think the same will be true of this book. I don't feel like I have just read a of fiction but instead somebody's life story. Tracey thank you for another truly amazing book which I just loved reading. Your next book cannot come quick enough as far as I am concerned (whatever it may be)!Follow the author on Twitter
: https://twitter.com/tgarvisgravesAnd thank you to the publisher for allowing me to receive this book via Net Galley (not sure if my begging was what swung it for them or not...)