Monday, August 2, 2010
Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal
Written by Julie Metz
Reviewed by Melissa A. Palmer
Julie and Harry have been married for twelve years when he dies unexpectedly, leaving her a young widow with a young daughter, Liza. Julie struggles to put her grief aside so she can function, at some level, for her daughter. As a few months pass, she begins to become a more functional human being in society. Then, as if life had not been hard enough, seven months after Harry’s death, Julie discovers that Harry had repeated affairs throughout their marriage. Julie is hit with a wave of emotions—anger, disbelief, confusion, sadness etc. She begins to go through Harry’s emails and address book and begins contacting the other women in Harry’s life. Julie realizes that to put the past behind her in order to move into her future, she must find out the truth about Harry’s affairs and the extent of his relationship with all of these women. Doing so provides some sort of closure for Julie. She begins to date again, and the book chronicles the first few ventures into dating and figuring out what type of man she now wants to be with, and by doing so, figuring out the woman she has now become.
This book is well written and readers will experience the emotions along with Julie because they will care about her and her daughter Liza. I could put myself in Julie’s shoes and picture experiencing her emotions and reactions and I think that is a testament to her writing. Readers will want Julie to have a nice life after all this heartache. I think anyone who has ever been in a relationship could feel empathy for Julie. This woman thought she was happily married and then had to deal with her husband unexpectedly dying. If that was not enough, she then finds out that her life was a total farce because her husband was cheating on her for years. It was as if someone had pulled the rug out from underneath her. That hopeless feeling is one that no reader would ever want to experience or if the reader has, he/she would feel a kinship in pain.
This book, while non-fiction, reads as a piece of realistic fiction. The writing style makes it feel like a novel; there is a nice flow to it and readers will not be jarred by the use of the word I or by reminders about reading about what really happened in someone’s life. Again, I feel that is a testament to her writing. I enjoy the escapism of good fiction and this had it in the fact that I was sucked into this book. I sometimes had to remind myself that all these horrible things really happened to someone. I am not a big reader of non-fiction but I enjoyed this book.