When her five-year affair with the sexy television personality Clive Gooding brutally ends on a dime-his dime-Sally Islip is devastated. But with Sally, Clive has made one fundamental mistake: he has chosen someone who has less to lose than he has, and Sally will have her revenge-no matter what the cost to the people around them.
The cat-and-mouse tale that follows is told through journals Sally’s therapist has told her to keep. Sally, whose mental state is gradually unraveling, stalks Clive online and off, keeping him on an agonizing knife-edge of fear of exposure. In return, he mobilizes his underworld contacts against her. How far is he prepared to go to silence the woman he once loved “more than life itself”? What form will Sally’s obsessive revenge eventually take? Who actually has final control, and who will end up losing everything?
Wow…REALLY!? Just WOW! I totally and completely enjoyed this book and found myself immersed in it from the very first word. I must have hit the different book jackpot because The Mistress’s Revenge is also unique in that it is told completely through Sally’s journals. And her journal entries took on the form of letters to Clive Gooding, the man she was having a long term affair with.
From the beginning Sally pulls you into her head and takes you on a gripping and intense ride through her life as she slowly but surely becomes unhinged. Clive promises Sally the world, as people tend to do when having an affair, and renigs on everything after five years, saying his wife deserves another chance and he wants to make it work. Sally can’t fathom he means it and slowly begins to insert herself in his life in ways he never dreamed. At first it seems its just a game. A situation or circumstance to use to try and draw Clive back to her or have contact with him in anyway she can. Even if he only reaches out in exasperation, fear, or anger. But eventually Sally loses her already wavering grasp on reality and has convinced herself of certain things that couldn’t be further from the truth. Though she seems to have all her faculties, Sally is slowly unraveling.
She becomes delusional and beyond obsessed to the point where everyone and everything becomes a non-entity. She severely neglects her children and life mate, she no longer works, lets her bills pile up, and lets the misery wash over her like a wave. It was really quite sad and heart wrenching to read. On one hand you feel sorry for her, but on the other you’re like, this is the spoils of dating and falling for a married man. He was never really yours to begin with. She becomes completely self-absorbed and selfish. There were quite a few times I wanted slap her or shake her and scream for her to WAKE UP! It was like she got to know everything about Clive to eventually find that she never really knew him at all.
I never thought I’d be able to know all the characters so intimately through just the warped mind of Sally. But even though she becomes increasingly unstable, she’s actually still very intelligent, thoughtful, and observant. I got a good sense of each and every character, all told through the mind of one Sally Islip. The book was really beautifully written and excellently crafted and put together by Cohen. And it is written in such a way that you have to know what Sally will do next.
Even the ending is an intense surprise. I dare say it did not end the way I expected, or even the way the reader is sort of led to believe. There is a nice little twist that I think the readers will enjoy, and I especially love how everything comes full circle. This was an absolutely STUNNING debut novel for Cohen, and it is definitely worth a read. Go get your copy today!
A Favorite Quote:
I’d already decided that it wouldn’t go any further. I just wanted to test out how it felt-I was in the infidelity changing room trying on a dress I knew was way too expensive for me, but I wanted to experience wearing, just once.
Filed in: Fiction, Reviews, Romance Tags: Books, Fiction, Review, Romance, Tamar Cohen