The Other Half-Sarah Rayner

The Other Half
Sarah Rayner
St. Martin’s Griffin, Mar 25 2014, $15.99
ISBN: 9781250042101

In London, twenty-nine years old Chloe Appleton wants to start her own magazine before she turns thirty, but at the speed she is aging the writer knows time is running out on her. Publisher James Slater agrees to listen to Chloe’s pitch re beginning a new magazine targeting British women.

Chloe and James enjoy their friendly dinner-meeting, but become intoxicated and sleep together. They begin an affair in spite of the fact he is married to food writer Maggie and has a six year old son Nathan living in the burbs. When his transgression becomes known; James must choose between his mistress and his wife, but finds he cannot make up his mind.

The storyline rotates between the two women connected obviously by James but also by Chloe’s former boss who is Maggie’s BFF. The cast is solid especially the lead women; as the mistress keeps her head in the sand refusing to accept any culpability re her lover cheating or believe he will not end his marriage for her; and the bored wife comes across hurt but forcing the issue of choice. Neither female protagonist is treated with disdain, but the storyline lacks intense passion due in part because James is a wimpy (except for his noodle) loser and the climax too sweetly resolved.

Harriet Klausner

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