Monday 9 September 2013

Tempting Fate by Jane Green

When Gabby first met Elliott she knew he was the man for her.  In twenty years of marriage she has never doubted her love for him - even when he refused to give her the one thing she still wants most of all.  But now their two daughters are growing up Gabby feels that time and her youth are slipping away.  For the first time in her life she is restless. And then she meets Matt ....
Intoxicated by the way this young, handsome and successful man makes her feel, Gabby is momentarily blinded to what she stands to lose on this dangerous path.  And in one reckless moment she destroys all that she holds dear.
Consumed by regret, Gabby does everything she can to repair the home she has broken. But are some betrayals too great to forgive?

I've read quite a lot of Jane Green's novels over the years, and am especially fond of 'Bookends' which was published way back in 2000.    I haven't read any of her more recent novels, I felt that maybe I'd grown out of stories that featured twenty-something single girls, looking for love.   I was pleasantly surprised when I started to read Tempting Fate.   Jane Green's characters have matured too, along with her writing style and her plots.   Tempting Fate is the story of Gabby, a woman in her forties, happily married for twenty years to the love of her life.   Gabby and Elliott are settled, successful and are looking forward to spending their latter years together, seeing their two lovely daughters grow and leave the nest and settling back to reflect on what has been, so far, a very happy marriage.

Gabby is English, but has lived in America for many years.  Her relationship with her own mother was always fraught, Gabby felt that her bohemian mother Natasha really didn't have a lot of time for her, preferring to tend to the many waifs and strays that she welcomed into their home.   Marrying Elliott, becoming a mother and being part of a circle of friends has made Gabby finally feel wanted.    There is just one more thing that would make her happier, but Elliott won't hear of it, and it seems that Gabby's fate is sealed.

A chance meeting with young, handsome and very rich Matt will change Gabby's life forever, and after just one night she hurtles down the path through her 'year of insanity'.  

Tempting Fate really is a great read.  It will appeal to women in their middle years, those of us that are happily settled and think that we know what life is all about.  It will make those readers talk a deep breath and take a critical look around them, to see if things really are as clear-cut as we like to think.   The story is also a reminder to us, making it clear that excitement and passion are not always the best way.

Jane Green writes very well, she gets into the intricacies of family relationships, and also those often difficult friendships between mature women.   The themes of betrayal and hope run strongly through the story. Resentments and secrets are exposed and explored and the intimate, often hidden thoughts of the everyday married women are slowly revealed.

Tempting Fate is an enjoyable, well-written novel from a much loved and well established author.  Her fans will not be disappointed, and I hope that she gains many new readers too.

My thanks to Francesca from Penguin Books who sent my copy for review.  Tempting Fate will be published as a Michael Joseph Paperback Original by Penguin on 12 September 2013.

Jane Green's first book 'Straight Talking' is credited with sparking a revolution in women's literature when it was published sixteen years ago.  Hailed as the voice of a new generation of women, Jane was writing about twenty-something women who were single, solvent and very independent.  She filled a chasm in contemporary women's fiction, brushing aside the aspirational bonkbusters of the time to speak to women in a real way.
Now in her forties, Jane's work continues to set her apart from all the rest.  Her writing has grown and changed with her, whilst still retaining a realism and emotional honesty which is rare in the genre.
She's on of only a handful of women's fiction authors that regularly gets reviews in both the broadsheet press and tabloid papers.  All fourteen of her novels have been huge top ten bestsellers, she's sold over 3 million copies in the UK alone.  Jane is one of the few English women's fiction authors to make it in America, where she is also a guaranteed bestseller.
Now married for the second time, she is now Jane Green Warburg, and lives in Connecticut with her husband Ian Warburg and their blended family of six children.

For more information about Jane and her books, visit her website, or her Facebook page, she is also on Twitter.

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