Bill Matiland is one of the highest-ranking attorney’s in the Florida State Attorney’s Office in Jacksonville, Florida in 2005.
One late night in bed next to his wife, Debbie, an UNF English professor, the couple are talking when Debbie accidentally has a slight of tongue and says to Bill, “When we were married.” As an attorney, Bill cannot help but read more into the slip and knows in that moment everything about the life he knew as a loving husband and father for 18 years had changed. The woman he loved was no longer on the same path as him, relationship wise. Where did it all go wrong?
We soon uncover lies and truths that hurt each party involved, as they cope with the fact that their marriage may be over. Bill takes the slap in the face very hard, and struggles to understand where everything went wrong. Bill is a shark in the court room, impressive to all who work with him, even those who have only heard him by name – however, at home he is seen differently. Physically, he is short, balding, and put on too many pounds in the midsection. His wife is a gorgeous blonde, often described as big breasted. A feature that she uses to her advantage.
The fall of their marriage is long and hard, and we watch as Debbie and Bill each take different paths to heal and grow in different ways – some ways, leading to a backwards sort of growth.
This story was a very easy read – I flew through it at a quick pace, though it is over 500 pages. I was interested in the characters and what was going to happen next to them: where would they end up? Would they get what they deserved?
It was an interesting concept to start, I mean, how would you react and change your life if faced with this new turn of events?
Throughout the story we got to know the characters pretty well, we saw both Debbie and Bill’s side of the story. I liked that it was clear the story was Bill’s story. It was told in first person POV. When it was in Debbie’s focus, the POV was always third person. This definitely was telling the reader who we are supposed to sympathize, and empathize, with. I also liked that throughout the entire story, Bill was a man who always aimed to do the right thing, even though doing so could cause consequences, as we see in the book. We see him do this with women, Debbie, and his job.
This book had a very heavy focus on psychical appearances and sex. Debbie was basically a nymphomaniac, and obsessed with her own appearance and using it to her advantage. For a woman who had two teenage children, I felt this was a bit contrived, but it played into her character and how situations were handled.
Bill’s character was doing the right thing, for example he did not show interest in other women, but this almost felt contradictory as the story was told in his POV and the immediate descriptions of any women were their chest, and rest of their body. Not only did sex revolve around Debbie and Bill’s relationship, it also was the main focus of many of the court cases, and at times this focus felt superficial and a bit exhausting.. There were a few sex scenes in this book, and many of the descriptions were blunt and a bit crude, there was no glossing over any terms or actions in a scene.
One thing that stood out while reading is that each chapter began with a recap of everything that’s happened so far, which really took me out of the moment.
This book is an easy, quick read, and I am curious what will happen next, in Book two. I think the book was most interesting when Bill’s work life was highly involved as the external pressures added to the pressure already in his personal life.
I would not recommend this book to a book club group, but I do believe many men would enjoy this, and women with an open outlook.
I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I did not receive any further compensation.
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