I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Other Half by Sarah Rayner
Published by Macmillan on 2014-03-25
Reviewed by Vanessa
In the internationally bestselling author Sarah Rayner's The Other Half, Chloe, bright, hip and single, is a feature writer with ambitions to launch a magazine of her own. When she meets James, her potential new boss, she knows she shouldn't mix business with pleasure, but finds it impossible to resist... Maggie appears to have it all. She's beautiful, a talented writer, and has a gorgeous husband. But something's not quite right: his job as a magazine publisher is keeping him in the city until late most evenings, and some nights he doesn't come home at all... Told in the alternating voices of the mistress and the wife, this story of an affair is a sharp, seductive take on modern love. Who, if anyone, comes out unscathed? In writing that is lively, sexy and sharp, the international bestselling author Sarah Rayner explores modern-day relationships and age-old moral dilemmas.
Chloe has ambitions of launching a magazine of her own as well as finding her soul mate, too. She never knew that waiting around that proverbial corner was the answer to both of her quests. Literally bumping in to the man of her dreams, James, Chloe embarks on a position that she never dreamed of finding herself in. However, she just couldn’t help herself as she takes a bit of something that belongs to another woman and desperately tries to write her own HEA in the end.
Maggie has it all! Or so outsiders think. With a hubby, James, who is constantly working in the city and a free-lance career that helps them meet the bills, Maggie soon finds that everything she thought she had going for her really wasn’t there at all. Upon discovering her husband’s extracurricular activities, Maggie must reevaluate things that had already begun to creep onto her screen before James’ betrayal—things that she just fell into because of life choices and her lack of forging ahead making her path as she went.
The Other Half explores the two sides of a love triangle as each woman embarks upon her path to happiness. The ugliness that this situation invokes isn’t easy to read at times, but it does show the weakness/shallowness of one major player who doesn’t truly get a voice. I desperately wanted to gain more insight into this character in The Other Half, but I found that their growth had stagnated somewhere in the past before The Other Half gave voice to Maggie and Chloe.
Love Chloe or hate her, I found that I couldn’t completely give into either emotion. She seemed more a victim of her circumstances and inability to “man-up” at times as she took what was clearly on offer. However, Maggie did give in to weaknesses as well in her life choices, but she grew to harden into her moral foundations even more as The Other Half progressed to the end. Maggie and Chloe seemed to be two sides of the same coin as The Other Half was pondered more. Each fell into things throughout their life, but as they grew, they learned to take more control and own their lives more in The Other Half. They even acquired the ability to walk away from something so tempting that it would be easier to hang on rather than let go.
Personally, I wouldn’t classify The Other Half as a traditional romance, but there are some elements of romance in this tale, even if they are somewhat distasteful for the simple fact that some characters aren’t completely free to be with another.