Mistress who misses being Mrs
ACTS OF INFIDELITY by Lena Andersson
(Picador €18.10) I HAVEN’T been able to stop thinking about this truly stunning read.
When playwright Ester meets Olof — an actor in her play about a man trapped in an unhappy marriage who meets another woman, but won’t leave his wife — she falls madly in love.
Life imitates art as they begin a relationship.
Olof insists that he won’t get divorced. But his actions — meeting her for sex and organising dates — suggest otherwise. To Ester, anyway.
She pores obsessively over his communications, analysing the words, tone and length of time to reply as if she is conducting research.
There is no doubting Ester’s intelligence — except in relation to Olof. But, every time she’s had enough, he throws her a crumb of hope.
Years of more lows than highs pass and Ester realises she has become a mistress.
It’s so insidious and calculated, and this intellectual giant of a woman so blind to reality, that I wanted to shake her. Endless wisdom and elegance — buy immediately.
KISMET by Luke Tredget
(Faber €15.65) THIS critique of our over-reliance on technology and what it means when a matchmaking app replaces traditional dating is another blinder.
Anna is a 29-year-old journalist who isn’t sure her boyfriend is ‘the one’.
She downloads Kismet, an online dating tool that gives every potential partnership a rating based on a complicated compatibility algorithm, to see if she can find someone with a higher score.
In this recognisable, yet terrifyingly mass-addicted, world, everyone has either met their partner on Kismet or is looking for one there. The collective obsession with a high score means any match who doesn’t come with a top rating attached is discarded without another glance.
Then Anna meets an 81 — the highest number she’s ever heard of. Rather than focus on chemistry and how he makes her feel, every time she looks at him, she sees an 81 flashing above his head and discounts any doubts.
YOU ME EVERYTHING by Catherine Isaac
(Simon & Schuster €15.65) FANS of Jojo Moyes’s multimillion-selling Me Before You will adore this similarly heart-warming and heartbreaking read.
Protagonist Jessica is only 22 when she has her unplanned, but wholly adored, son William. But her relationship with boyfriend Adam doesn’t survive much beyond the labour ward, thanks to him staggering in stinking of booze and covered in lipstick.
Jessica never feels like a single mother because her parents are always there, dispensing practical and emotional support. Fastforward ten years, though, and her beloved mum is diagnosed with an incurable disease.
When she suggests Jessica and William spend the summer at Adam’s house in France, Jessica reluctantly agrees to go. She knows her son needs to build a relationship with his father — especially given the big secret she’s harbouring.