Review

Getting Rid of Matthew

by Jane Fallon

Helen is headed for 40, and she lives for her boyfriend
Matthew's visits. Unfortunately, those romantic times are scheduled
only on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings until 8:00, when
Matthew leaves Helen's tiny apartment to go home to his beautiful
house, complete with wife Sophie and their daughters.

Being a married man's mistress was never part of Helen's dreams for
her life --- and she is beginning to be more and more aware of how
detrimental Matthew has been to her happiness. Since Matthew had
been her boss, she had to transfer to another department.
Requesting the move caused Human Resources to label her a loser,
and she lost out on the promotion she wanted. The romance is
evaporating from her relationship with Matthew, she feels guilty
over Sophie, and she spends way too much time alone. Recently her
best friend is wrapped up in a new serious love interest, so Helen
is lonelier than ever.

Meanwhile, Sophie adores her funny and fun husband. As the
Christmas season approaches, they are united in their dread of the
onslaught of relatives, especially Matthew's dysfunctional family.
Sophie doesn't complain about her role of family caregiver, even
though she has an extremely important full-time career. She has
always chosen to put her family first. And, needless to say, she is
unaware that she is fiercely hated by her husband's mistress --- or
that such a person exists (even though Sophie was once Matthew's
mistress when he was married to his first wife).

Matthew stands Helen up, choosing to spend an evening he promised
to Helen with his family. Breaking their date ignites a terrible
argument; Helen refuses to speak to him for such a long time that
she feels completely disassociated with Matthew by the end of it.
She decides she will break it off and is content with this decision
--- until Matthew arrives with his suitcases, announcing he has
confessed all and left Sophie to move in with Helen.

Helen feels trapped. She can't break up with Matthew after he
destroyed his family for her, yet she hates living with him. She
must do something --- so she begins by following Sophie. Little
does she suspect that her life is about to become incredibly
complicated as Helen weaves a tangled web of lies and secrets,
forming relationships with two of the most unlikely people in her
world.

GETTING RID OF MATTHEW is an absorbing read. I was initially put
off by the premise and sure that I would never find Helen to be a
sympathetic character. However, although she frequently comes off
as whiny, heartless, self-obsessed and petty, that doesn't mean she
is unlikable. On the contrary, Helen came to feel like a flawed yet
lovable friend, and I began to care about what happened in her
life. The plot moves along at a quick clip, incorporating
unexpected twists and nearly unbearable suspense, making this
enjoyable book a page-turner.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon (terryms2001@yahoo.com) on January 22, 2011

Getting Rid of Matthew
by Jane Fallon

  • Publication Date: August 12, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Voice
  • ISBN-10: 1401340792
  • ISBN-13: 9781401340797