Thursday, April 8, 2010

Proud Revenge, Passionate Wedlock

Six months ago Allegra was involved in a car accident which resulted in the death of her 1 month old daughter. Her husband Miguel believes that she had the accident while leaving him for another man and that she has been on holiday with her lover since then (not even bothering to attend their daughter's funeral). The truth is, Allegra was seriously injured in the accident and has been in hospital.

I approached this book with trepidation, sure that I would hate it based on the reviews I read on Amazon. I believe the negative reviews were all based on a line said by Miguel. When Allegra asks him if he brings his women to her beach house he replies, "Occasionally." I'm not convinced that he was cheating on her though. It's clear that he was angry at her question, and was trying to hurt her. Later on in the novel he makes it clear to the reader that he has never broken his vow of fidelity to Allegra, though he feels he has failed to keep his vows to love and protect her. In fact we only have 1 confirmed lover which was a relationship that ended years before their marriage. I guess the question is whether or not he would still considered himself married after he thought Allegra had been unfaithful to him. The question is never resolved, and I would have liked it if he had admitted to lying to her about the women. Still, this alleged infidelity was not a deal breaker for me, because I'm not convinced it actually happened.

Putting aside the question of infidelity, I'm still not sure whether I liked this book. Miguel's mother and Allegra's uncle deliberately lie to them in an effort to break up the marriage. Interfering relatives is one thing, but to be so obviously malicious is hard to believe. Miguel himself was not particularly likeable. He is somewhat redeemed in my eyes by his own admission of guilt with regards to his neglect of Allegra during her pregnancy, but he pretty much spends the whole book trying to deny his feelings for her and keep her at arm's length, only to suddenly declare his love for her at the end. His declaration was so out of the blue, it just wasn't believable. It seemed like the author suddenly realised she was running out of pages and it was time for the big confession to make everything all right.

Finally, a big thumbs down from me for the cheesy pregnancy epilogue. As soon as I read that Allegra couldn't have children, I feared this happening. You know this is going to happen as soon as you see phrases like "highly unlikely to ever have children" instead of the heroine being straight out infertile.

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