Is it possible to be in love with two women at the same time? This is a question Jon has been asking himself frequently these days. He's loved his wife Ginny since the days when a chance encounter in the halls of their high school would leave him unable to speak. But recently Jon has found himself bewitched by Freddi, his colleague at the ad agency, where late-night brainstorming sessions devolve into giggles and sexual attraction. As Jon's guilt becomes all-consuming and Ginny inches closer discovery, a secret kept for thirty years threatens any hope of salvation. Weaving together past and present in a small Midwestern town, Schwarz beautifully conjures the emotional labyrinth of a marriage on the brink of collapse, and a history of love and revenge.
Fans of Schwarz's Oprah Book Club selection Drowning Ruth are likely to be disappointed by this convoluted novel about loyalty, love and obsession. Jon and Ginny Kepilkowski, high school sweethearts who were pushed into marriage by a freak accident, come to a crossroads when Jon, after an argument with Ginny, decamps to spend the day with mistress Freddi. Ginny, meanwhile, meets clients for her landscaping business, one of whom, Walter Fleischer, is part of a long-ago family conflict that is weakly developed in flashbacks to the summer of 1963, where Jon and Ginny's parents are embroiled in a perplexing revenge plot against Walter over lust gone wrong. Back in the present, Ginny comes close to discovering Jon's infidelity while Jon and Freddi are pursued by Ethan, whose clunkily rendered obsession with Freddi leads to a violent, if poorly presaged, climax. When the novel finally reveals its long-foreshadowed secrets, their import remains frustratingly unclear.