A Small Indiscretion: A Novel
About the Book:
At nineteen, Annie Black abandons California for a London winter of drinking to oblivion and looking for love in the wrong places. Twenty years later, she is a happily married mother of three living in San Francisco. Then one morning, a photograph arrives in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened.
After a return trip to London, Annie’s marriage falters, her store floods, and her son, Robbie, takes a night-time ride that nearly costs him his life. Now Annie must fight to save her family by untangling the mysteries of that reckless winter in Europe that drew an invisible map of her future.
Jan Ellison is a talented writer who weaves together a story of three different time periods into smoothly flowing novel about the life of Annie Black. Annie spent a winter in London and while there has affairs with two men. She thought she has left that life behind when she married her husband and they set up a typical middle class life in California. Then one day her past caught up with her and the partial truths she told others (and had come to believe herself) reared their ugly head.
The story raises some interesting points. How much about your past should your spouse know? How much should your children know? How much of our memories are real, vs embellished to fit our image of ourselves? How do our "indiscretions" (usually on this blog they are called "sins") affect others?
I'm afraid I never grew to like Annie, the main character in this story. While I found her somewhat believeable (and incredibly stupid) as nineteen year old, her actions as a married mother of three went beyond stupid into the utterly selfish category. I disliked the men with whom she had affairs (and I'm pretty sure I was supposed to dislike them), I thought her husband was a great guy and I wished I knew more about her son.
Annie and her husband are lapsed Catholics. The book mentions that they had their children baptized because it made his parents happy. When tragedy strikes, She goes into a church and she said that her hope turned into a prayer. Later, to deal with the tragedy, her son goes to a Buddist monastary for a one hunded day silent retreat. One generation rejects the spiritual, the next seeks it.
I'd like to thank Leyane at FSB Media for sending me a review copy of this book. I was not obligated to write a positive review. Grade B.