I think this book was even more engrossing than The Affair. I think that part of the reason is that three perspectives were not so repetitive, as the three characters lived different things even if some parts were identical. I also liked the end even if it was a bit unrealistic.
Robert’s part showed him in a worse light than in the previous book. He keeps lying in this book even though he promised his wife he would be honest. I can understand that he was worried about Stephanie when he contacted him. And when Kathy finds the email, she even excuses him, reasoning that his gentle and caring character was what had made her love him in the first place. Yet, the day of Jimmy’s funeral, she knows that he is lying to her about the calls, and when he claims he wants to drop by the office, she is pretty sure she is going to see Stephanie. So she drives to the office and his car is not there, but then she sees it at Stephanie’s address, and she waits there for hours, seeing the shapes in the bedroom until he leaves. I know that Robert was in a difficult position after learning Stephanie is pregnant. Yet, I think his worst sin is that he is not honest. He goes home with Kathy, making her think he is ready to work on their marriage, but deep down she is playing with the idea of a new life with Stephanie. If he felt that way, why didn’t he say to start with? And if he wanted to work on his marriage to Kathy, why didn’t he say anything to her when he learnt Stephanie was pregnant? Maybe the marriage would not have survived that anyway, but Kathy deserved some respect.
The end is at Jimmy’s funeral. Kathy sees Stephanie, and they move to talk to Robert’s shock. Stephanie tells her about the baby and how nothing happened the day Kathy spied on them, only a conversation which ended up with Stephanie not wanting to see Robert ever again. Kathy is ready to end her marriage now; she is tired of lies, and she knows that sooner or later Robert will cheat on her again, if not with Stephanie, with someone else. The two women walk together, leaving Robert behind. Kathy knows that now that Stephanie is expecting her children’s half-sibling, she will be in her life, and Kathy wants to help her. I find this a bit incredible, but I liked it. I think Robert deserved this, being left alone, without his family and his mistress.