Saturday, 7 September 2013

Tempting Fate ARC review and interview

Tempting FateTempting Fate by Jane Green

Book Synopsis

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 blind 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?

Shona's review 4 of 5 stars

This is my first Jane Green novel (in fact, and I feel really nervous saying this... I had never heard of Jane Green before now), but I can honestly say it wont be my last. The story telling was amazing, I loved how we got lots of background through the book, but it was delivered in a way I haven't really seen in other books. We get Gabby and Elliot's back story through memories and comparisons. A lot of the story was told with 'then and now' scenes. For instance' Christmas, Gabby remembered how they would all go out to buy a tree together, how they would take hours to choose the perfect tree. And would remember all the little details of the drinks, the fact the Olivia would always forget her gloves and would inevitably end up with Gabby's gloves, leaving Gabby to suffer from cold hands. Which would then cut to 'the now' with Gabby getting the tree on her own, needing help from a neighbour to bring the tree into the house for her.

I spent most of the book swinging between loving Gabby and hating her. Well maybe not hating her. Disliking her. I was torn between feeling sorry for her and thinking she deserved it all. On more than one occasion I even cried for her. It's easy to see why Gabby made the decisions she did. I think most people (not just women) would identify with the 'lather, rinse' repeat' factor of married life with kids. Most people would identify with the being taken for granted. Not being ignored, but feeling that level of invisibility that comes with being comfortable with your partner. Who wouldn't want to bask in the euphoria when someone else tells you you're attractive? But it's a slippery slope, one that Gabby fails to spot until its too late.

Green is not scared to let her characters screw up. She also isn't quick to wipe the slate clean and brush it all under the carpet. There is no easy ride for her characters. You screw up and you have to live with the consequences and work your way  through them and I loved that about this book. I think if Elliot had rolled over and said he had forgiven her right at the beginning I think I would have put the book down and walked away myself. This isn't something you can just say sorry for and have it all be all right again.

This book serves as a huge warning to everyone. Do not get so comfortable in your relationship that you forget to notice the things that enticed you into that relationship in the first place. Truly look at your partner and really appreciate what you have. It's true what they say, you never truly understand what you have until it's gone, and that is such a waste.

Tell us a little about Tempting Fate and what’s in store for your main character Gabby.

I am fascinated by the number of women around me, in their forties, who are teetering on the brink of a mid-life crisis. Something seems to happen to women during our forties,when we look at our lives and ask ourselves whether this is what we expected, or perhaps really wanted. Marriage, kids, life, all feel a little 'pots and pans'; we love our husbands and kids, but we miss feeling beautiful, seductive...alive; we miss feeling excited. If we're lucky, we move over that hump and settle into the afternoon of life, but should someone come along who sees us as we used to be seen, who makes us feel all the things we miss about being young, that can be dangerously intoxicating. Gabby is a woman in her forties who would never be unfaithful, who loves her life, but when a younger man comes along who makes her feel beautiful, she plays along, flattered, intoxicated, not planning on doing anything, just wanting to feel this way for a little bit longer... Tempting Fate is about cherishing what we have before it's too late, and whether we can ever fix it once we have made a mistake.

When you are writing, do you use any celebrities or people you know as inspiration?

I draw from everyone and everything. I can't specifically think of instances where I've used celebrities, but I'm sure it has happened. Certainly I have used characters from non-fiction memoirs, and people in my life, although the characters are never entirely based on any one person. Years ago, when I thought I was writing characters based on friends, I realised very quickly they developed into their own character within a few pages, nothing like the visual snapshot of the real person I held in my mind.

With over 10 million copies sold, you are one of the biggest brand women’s fiction authors of all time. What has been your most memorable experience as an author to date?

It is mostly the little things that blow me away. Someone recognizing my name from my credit card in a shop and saying, 'wow, you have the same name as my favorite author!', or being shown to a table in a restaurant and have someone whisper that Jemima J was her most favourite book ever. But I have to confess, being sent to meet Harrison Ford and have him fly me up to Malibu in his helicopter, probably won't ever be matched. He was the real deal: an old school movie star with buckets of humility and charm.

Can you tell us a bit about your average working day?

I am usually up at the crack of dawn, often running to an early meeting - I am in a fellowship of people who meet several times a week - before hitting a small writer's room in town with my laptop and a giant cup of coffee. I'm usually at my desk by 8.30, and sit and write until lunchtime. I set myself a daily quota of words, and won't leave the computer until those words are on the page. The last couple of years I have also taken myself off to a self-imposed writing retreat a couple of times a year. I go to little Inns, or to houses on lakes belonging to friends, and do nothing but write for five days. Those days are much more intensive - I write for around eight hours a day, and am completely exhausted afterwards - the beauty of going by myself is I don't need to do anything afterwards except crawl into bed. I'm now thinking about buying somewhere - a little tiny cabin on Golden Pond does sound rather delicious...

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I cook, garden, decorate, entertain, keep chickens, look after children, dogs and cats, make candles, make jewelry, read... I'm the ever-ready bunny. I keep going until the batteries run out. Which they do at around 8.30pm. I am good at many things, but late-night partying is sadly not one of them.