With the evocative power of The Paris Wife and the aching vulnerability of John Irving's books, a heady and addictive debut novel, set in the present day, in which the idyllic lives of a wealthy and glamorous husband and wife are upended when they meet an impressionable and ambitious young woman.
Harry and Madeleine Winslow have been blessed with talent, money, and charm. Harry is a National Book Award-winning author on the cusp of greatness. Madeleine is a woman of sublime beauty and grace whose elemental goodness and serenity belie a privileged upbringing. Bonded by deep devotion, they share a love that is both envied and adored. The Winslows play host to a coterie of close friends and acolytes eager to bask in their golden radiance, whether they are in their bucolic East Hampton cottage, living abroad in Rome thanks to Harry's writing grant, or in their comfortable Manhattan brownstone.
One weekend at the start of the summer season, Harry and Maddy, who are in their early forties, meet Claire and cannot help but be enchanted by her winsome youth, quiet intelligence, and disarming naivety. Drawn by the Winslows' indescribable magnetism, Claire eagerly falls into their welcoming orbit. But over the course of the summer, reverence transforms into dangerous desire. By Labor Day, it is no longer enough to just be one of their hangers-on.
A story of love, lust, deception, and betrayal told through the omniscient eyes of Maddy's childhood friend Walter, a narrator akin to Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, Indiscretion is a juicy, deeply textured novel filled with fascinating true-to-life characters - an irresistibly sensual page-turner that explores having it all, and the consequences of wanting more.
"Despite a disappointing and drawn-out ending, smart and observant writing makes the story well worth the ride." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. Dubow's book is a page turner that skillfully tugs at the heartstrings." - Kirkus
"Dubow's first novel is a deliciously absorbing page-turner. His captivating characters jump off the page to pull the reader into their story." - Library Journal
"Charles Dubow has pulled off something remarkable: a finely tuned, perfectly pitched literary novel with the urgency of a tensely plotted thriller. I couldn't put it down." - Chris Pavone, author of The Expats
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Rated of 5
Donna T. (Tacoma, WA)
Most improbable situations
Indiscretion is a book that I enjoyed but found some of the plot (especially toward the end) to be most improbable. The three quarters of the book kept me reading, even though I felt the story was mostly predictable. The characters were generally well developed and mostly believable. My biggest quibble is with the individual that was telling the story. I found him weak, at times unpassionate and I just don't believe the situation as it fully played out was realistic.
Rated of 5
Judy W. (Tucker, GA)
Indiscretion by Charles Dubow
Alas, another novel-same theme: "Man can't keep his pants zipped"! There was not much to the story to engage the reader. Forced myself to finish the book thinking surely something different would happen to the main characters. I would only recommend Indiscretion to those who enjoy a good, trashy read.
Rated of 5
Roni S. (Pittsburgh, PA)
This is Charles Dubow's first novel and it is beautifully written with good character development. There are 4 main characters and one of them is the narrator. The reader cares about some of the characters. You feel their joy and their pain. Anyone interested in life in the Hamptons would enjoy this book but it also has a much wider appeal. Other settings include Manhattan, Paris and Rome. Some of the early parts of the book are very sensual. I will look forward to other books by this author. Of course, the title, "Indiscretion" tells it all.
Rated of 5
Jean G. (Rockford, IL)
an age old discussion
This book reads very elementary in subject and simplistic in style and diction, one I first thought of as an inconsequential beach read. It is saved by the clever appearance of the narrator who has an integral part in the story along with his occasional narration. This provides some much needed depth into the actions of the characters who on the whole remain one-dimensional throughout. Predictable events take place and most of the emotion drawn out of the reader comes from the narrator's ability to surprise. There are consequences in the lives of the characters that create fodder for discussion. A modern story involving the twists and turns of life. Easily read and a good read for book clubs.
Rated of 5
Sarah N. (Corte Madera, CA)
I couldn't look away...
Indiscretion kept me wanting more and terrified of where it was going to take me. As a married woman, I am always fascinated and repelled by the thought of such indiscretions. I was thrilled by the fact that I thought I knew where the book was taking me but then didn't. I will put Charles Dubow on my list of "must read" authors for when his next book comes out.
Rated of 5
Laurence O. (Phoenix, AZ)
No Discretion Needed to Enjoy Indiscretion
I will admit, after about 30 pages I was ready to return the book--it was so slow and somewhat trite. However I am the type of person who has never walked out of a movie. I was not enjoying and never put down a book I started to read, but didn't enjoy.
I am so glad I read the next 20 pages--it captivated me. Charles Dubow does an excellent job developing the characters and you love the 6 major characters. The book is a great read for hopeless romantics and those that ponder what we do while we are here in this universe.
Dubow artfully takes you through and you experience all the emotional highs of the great, happy moments and the depths of the negative and sad moments.
Great for a book group or club--so much to discuss.
Charles Dubow was born in New York City and spent his summers at his family's house on Georgica Pond in East Hampton. He was educated at Wesleyan University and New York University. He has worked as a roustabout, a lumberjack, a sheepherder in New Zealand, a congressional aide and was a founding editor of Forbes.com and later an editor at Businessweek.com. He lives in New York City with his wife Melinda, children William and Lally, and Labrador Retriever Luke. This is his first novel.
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