Tamar Cohen’s debut is written with real style and some very dark humour. The story is that of a married woman who has recently been dumped by her married lover, she starts a journal on her therapist’s advice that she should be “journalling her emotions” Sally’s aside is “Did you know journal is a verb now?”
The journal follows Sally through her steady descent into madness as she obsesses over the things Clive said to her and his responses (he does respond to her desperate efforts to get in touch, sometimes.) “I meant everything I said to you. At the time”!! Sally’s reflections are darkly funny because we have all heard these phrases either first or second hand.
As I read the journal I was transported to many conversations with friends over the years, the need to go over every word said, every look interpreted etc. etc.
As the journal continues Sally meets up with Clive’s wife and daughter and these meetings and conversations are mulled over along with how she imagines Clive will react to hearing about the meetings. Sally builds up to tracking Clive’s children and his wife as covertly as possible including checking their facebook status updates constantly.
Sally is so obsessed with Clive and his life that she becomes increasingly distanced from her husband, and more shockingly, her children, she just doesn’t comprehend how ridiculously she is behaving.
I did feel that this book could have been just a fraction shorter but I loved the ending! I won’t spoil it but again the author had captured the difference time can make to feelings.
Tamar Cohen’s debut novel is well worth the read, I will miss the freshness of the writing. This isn’t fatal attraction, it is far more subtle and clever than that was.