Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Santangeli Marriage

Marisa is coerced into marrying Lorenzo Santangeli to provide him with an heir. Although he is pressured by his family into the marriage, he enters it quite willingly. She on the other hand, is bitter, angry and resentful. After a disastrous honeymoon, they separate for 8 months, living in different countries. Now Lorenzo is determined to bring Marisa home and make their marriage work.

During their separation, Lorenzo has an affair with a married woman. Normally this would totally ruin the story for me, but in this case is was somehow made palatable. I think it was a combination of things - the reader finds out about the infidelity early in the story, so it's not a sudden shock at the end. Perhaps more importantly, Lorenzo admits to himself that it was wrong and he should never have had the affair. Unfortunately he never really apologises to Marisa for it, and doesn't give her space to deal with it. He gets her straight into bed immediately after she finds out, and is angry when she doesn't give him immediate forgiveness (which he didn't actually ask for). He expects her to implicitly trust his assurance that the affair is over without giving her any reason to. Putting that aside, I like the fact that his infidelity is acknowledged as being wrong, and not just blamed on his wife's neglect, as is done in so many other novels.

I liked this book, and I didn't expect to. It left me feeling good. The ending was pretty cheese-free. No miraculous pregnancy. We don't even find out that Lorenzo purchased the Casa Adriana for Marisa, which I kept expecting from the moment we hear about it. Just a nice happy ending without a whole heap of Deus Ex machina. It's books like these which keep me coming back to Sara Craven even after the horrible stuff she often produces. I'll be reading this one again.

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