Your partner of ten years, and the father of your children (though not your husband, because the two of you agreed that marriage seems so…old-fashioned), receives a text message. A text message you happen to see when you’re getting ready for work one day:
Start living a different kind of life… P 🙂 xxx
You don’t even know anyone with the initial P, but even if you did, the smiley face and kisses would send a shiver of fear down your spine that everything you and your partner have built and which seemed so strong, might be in danger of collapse. How could you miss that?
Narrated by Susie, her partner Alex, and the mysterious P, this is an achingly funny, moving and honest portrayal of modern romance, parenthood, and adultery.
Author: Kathryn Flett
Title: Separate Lives
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Published: December 6th, 2016 by Quercus
One text message. That’s all it took to set in motion a chain of events that changed the lives of three people directly, which in turn rippled out to affect the lives of those closest to them. Doubt, mistrust, and misunderstandings take hold and choices are made that changes everything, for all of them… and it’s all due to that brief text.
What happened before the text was sent, and its aftermath, is gradually revealed in alternating chapters narrated by Susie, Alex, and “P”. It doesn’t take long to realize that there is a great deal more going on with each of them than you think at first glance. There are several surprising twists throughout the story. Two of them, in particular, shocked me—one more than the other—because I never saw them coming. The final reveal explained a lot of things.
The thing I liked most about this book is real it felt. Life is messy, and it wasn’t difficult to imagine such a thing actually happening to someone. Anyone who has been in a relationship for many years knows how unpredictable life as a couple can be sometimes, often in ways that seem crazy when you look back on it. Separate Lives illustrates that unpredictability in ways that are sometimes funny, often poignant, and never boring. Fans of women’s fiction would likely find this a very enjoyable read.