I didn’t guess the importance of Mark until almost the last moment. He is the man who Louise had an affair with, Michael, and when Louise realises that she has been unfair to him, she decides to write a letter to him, apologising. Instead of posting the letter, she decides to take it to Michael. When she knocks at the door, nobody answers, so she puts it in the postbox. Yet, as soon as she does this, she realises that the only reason for the letter was that she wanted to see Michael, so she panics because she doesn’t want to leave the letter and starts banging on the door. As luck will have it, Juliet is there, and they both get a surprise when they find themselves face to face. Then the truth comes out. Louise admits that she did have an affair with Michael. She and Michael had been talking and she had felt understood in a way that she didn’t feel with Peter anymore. Peter only talked about his job and Toby, and Louise felt as if she had disappeared as a person. Then when Ben died, she realised that life was too short, and she called Michael and had sex only to regret it later. Juliet is not happy with her sister at that moment, and she realises that whatever she had with Michael had to end, and not because of what happened between Louise and Michael, but because she doesn’t really know the man. She didn’t even know his name was Michael!
Juliet decides to talk to Michael, and he is very reasonable. He tells her that her sister wasn’t the reason why she broke up with his wife, and he really liked Louise. Then Juliet tells him that she has realised she is not ready to date anybody yet, but he will continue looking after his dog.
Things come to head when Louise and Peter are out on a date, and when Peter takes her to see the photograph exhibition that Juliet went to with Michael, they get an unexpected surprise. As they stand admiring one of the photographs which depicts an empty street with just the outline of a man or a woman on a bench, leaning towards each other in an intimate gesture, Louise realises that it is her and Michael. Peter realises that as well, and Louise feels unable to deny it, and before she knows what is happening, Peter has stormed out. Distraught, Louise goes to find Juliet, who tries to help her. It is Juliet who calls Peter, who tells her that he will stay with his friend Hugh. Juliet tells her that she knows she loves Peter and she should fight for her family.
When Louise next sees Peter, she tries to tell him why she acted the way she did. Yet, when he asks her if she slept with him and she admits she did once, Peter can’t stand being there, and even though Louise begs her to stay with him, Peter leaves, telling her that he needs to think. Poor Louise. I know she didn’t act right, but it is clear that she regrets what she did. I really hope that she and Peter managed to patch up their marriage. I feel sorry for Peter too because in the last weeks he had been making a real effort to rekindle their married life, and Louise was more than reluctant to let herself enjoy it. Whenever I read a book in which there is an affair, it usually starts because people are not honest. If Louise had told Peter how she felt, I am sure Peter would have tried to change his ways, but instead Louise bottled up the whole thing.