Victoria, Eliza, Helen and Leelee are well-to-do L.A.
housewives who feel that something is missing in their respective
lives. Victoria convinces them that they need to have an affair in
order to spice things up. What makes this book interesting is that
each woman has her own backstory and secrets, and deals with her
goal and embraces the challenge in different ways.
Victoria has a lot of anger, having married a man she seduced away
from another woman, not realizing that she never did love Justin to
begin with. The feelings were mutual. Except for her two sons, she
sees that nothing good has come from this marriage, and right now
she would do anything to get back at her husband, who spends his
days wooing actors, enticing them so he can represent them. When he
enters a crowded room, all he cares about is finding who he needs
to kiss up to at that moment.
Eliza is having the hardest time following through with the pact,
because she is happy with her marriage and does not see any reason
to rock the boat. She admits that things could be better, but
they’re not that bad. However, she may need a little more
spice in her sex life with Declan. While Eliza appears to be the
most conservative of the four women, she has a past that she is
still embarrassed to confront. She once had an affair in high
school with her teacher, Mr. Matthews, and he is the one man she
still thinks about.
Helen isn't sure if her husband even loves her. Wesley is 20 years
her senior, a typical stodgy Brit with parents who aren’t too
crazy about her. But she and Wesley share an awful secret that
could get them into trouble with the law. She embraces the pact
with abandon, going from one person to another, and has a good
Leelee already had someone in mind to have an affair with, a man
she should have married years ago but lost out to another woman.
She never got over it and thinks she’s still in love with
Jack, despite her husband Brad’s devotion to her. She
can’t get Jack out of her mind and is now determined to bring
him back in her life.
There is a lot of anger and other strong emotions felt by each
character, as they live out their fantasies. Readers looking for
women’s fiction that makes them feel warm and fuzzy
won’t find it here. They may even be overwhelmed by these
feelings of animosity, especially from Victoria, who appears to be
angry at the world. It’s “Desperate Housewives”
and “Dynasty” all rolled into one. In fact, THE
INFIDELITY PACT reads like “Desperate Housewives”
on steroids and will keep you hooked until the end. The characters
are very well drawn; while at first it took me a while to get to
know each woman, I started to notice the differences and see each
of them as unique.
The character who ties them together is a fifth person, a columnist
for a tabloid newspaper. I imagined Anson Larrabee to look like a
version of Truman Capote. He is effeminate, nosy, and has a mean
streak that would scare anyone regularly found in the society
papers. He has something on these women --- the secret infidelity
pact they thought no one knew about.
While I did not approve of what they were all trying to do, I did
sympathize with them. Carrie Karasyov does a good job creating
characters who feel real in an exaggerated sense. I was entertained
and at the same time felt connected to them; what’s more, I
even cared about the outcome to each of their stories.
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton (Ratmammy@lofton.org) on January 22, 2011
The Infidelity Pact