This is a book by a talented author who first made a splash in the world of television and theater (in particular with his award-winning “Letters from the Front”, shown around the world to raving audiences). Now he has turned to novel writing and produced a thriller-romance that is not merely an unusual love story but a deep excursion into the psyche of one very tormented woman – something of an exploit for a male writer. The only other writer who manages to portray a woman’s anxieties as brilliantly (that I know of) is Flaubert. But what Bob Rector has done, is give us a thoroughly modern version of Madame Bovary. His Paula is a fascinating character – and equally explosive.
The book is set in the mid-twentieth century, a pivotal moment in our recent History when women began to liberate themselves from the shackles of male-imposed traditional views on marriage. That too makes the book unusual, and the evocation of the 1950s is perfect, down to the smallest detail, like cigarette-smoking or the make of the car Paula drives.
The plot is well-structured, a thriller full of fast-paced action, with unexpected twists and turns. The dialogue is lively, you can literally see the scenes unfold before your eyes. Paula is beautiful and combative. She is unhappy in her marriage to a bloated, self-important man who leaves her no space for herself. She is determined to free herself and we, the readers, find ourselves rooting for her. Handsome Kurt, her dare-devil lover, is the perfect counterpoint to her lackluster husband. And here, the book becomes a touching love story between two mature adults, Paula and Kurt who will stop at nothing to win her over.
Highly recommended. Note: I received an ARC with the understanding that I was free to review it as I saw fit.
Check out Ms. Nougat’s Amazon Author’s page at: http://www.amazon.com/Claude-Nougat/e/B0054DBGLK/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1396718806&sr=1-2-ent — visit her blog at: http://claudenougat.blogspot.com/