For some reason, stories about the unfaithful husband, mistress and poor wife seemed to trend in the local drama series and movies. I never watched any of those movies yet. But for the drama series, I have my own dose of entertainment from those locally aired Korean drama series. It’s not that I dislike this kind of story line. I just feel that I have more than enough exposure with this theme and to extend them in print is like being served with the same old dish for months. This was my biased and unfair impression as I was reading the first few chapters of the book.
The title of the book never gave me signs of the story’s theme. To Have and To Hold arrived to me as the story of a couple who surpassed a trying chapter in their life because of their strong and unending love. To my surprise, the story was way different than my expectation.
Every girl shares that one great wish of finding Mr. Right. Alice thought she had it in Joe. He was good looking, educated, financially stable and could provide everything except for one, faithfulness. Alice thought she was living in a fairy tale. She married Joe, the most eligible bachelor in London without knowing that he wasn’t after all the most fantasized prince charming. While Alice remained as the dutiful and obedient wife, Joe lived his life chasing and seducing all the women he could ever wish for.
In the course of reading the book, I checked the reviews at Goodreads and I was disappointed with its low ratings. However, I never gave up reading because I trusted the seal of having Jane Green. True enough, Green amazed me again with another writing masterpiece.
Unlike Green’s other works, the book limited its theme about the husband’s unfaithfulness. It related how one cheating leads to another and creates that wrecking domino effect to what was once a sacred and blissful life. As a single and female reader, I love how the book introduced me with the hidden issues about married life. I often see marriage in the context of the best and worst. Green was able to present how a heavenly marriage be gradually dragged to a silent and torturing hell. Worst is that I was able to better understand why women tend to suffer more in unsuccessful marriages.
On the brighter side, I love how the novel made me see the opposing tandem of betrayal and survival. One betrayal should never be revenged with another betrayal. A wound can never be healed with another deeper wound. In addition, Green emphasized in the entire novel that women should never lose their own self because of marriage. Cliché as it may sound but a real man empowers, but never changes the woman he chose to love.
If I would rate the book, I’ll give it 4 out 5 stars. It gave me my own share of lessons, realizations, excellent and convincing character development and more importantly, an unpredictable ending.
I hope Jane Green and Broadway Books will not sue me for showing this page. Not my favorite part of the book but got me thinking for a while
Hopefully, not all men are Joe :)
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