Title: Results May Vary
Author: Bethany Chase
Date finished: 8/9/16
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Pages in book: 352
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE:I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Blurb from the cover:
Can you ever really know the person you love?
She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, art curator Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can’t get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband’s other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story’s ending will mean forgiving the man she’s loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.
Compassionate and uplifting, Results May Vary is a bittersweet celebration of the heart’s ability to turn unexpected troubles into extraordinary strength.
My rating: 4.75 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book will count for my ARC August reading challenge for this month. This book is about Caroline Hammond, whose life up until we meet her could be described as ideal. She has a husband who worships her, a beautiful home in a town she loves, and a fulfilling job as curator at a museum, MASS MoCA (real place). Her life seems to shatter though when she discovers (accidentally) that her husband has been having an affair. With a man. Having had no inkling that her husband was attracted to men, or a lying jerk either, she calls into question everything she thought she knew about the man she’s been with for 17 years (half her life). This book is really about Caroline’s journey on the road to forgiveness and independence, as she discovers what may become of her marriage and what may become of her future.
Overall I really just loved this book. Caroline as a character was easy to relate to and interesting to talk to. Honestly one of my favorite things about her was that her sister could tell she was drinking when she started to talk more formally, I think I’m going to start doing that from now on because it is too funny! As a reader I was drawn into the story right from page one and just could not put this book down. The author really paints such a vivid picture for the reader, I would look up from reading and not have any idea where I was. The author was extremely talented at giving descriptions of the backdrop and Caroline’s internal monologue without being too wordy. And I really loved how Caroline talked about art and the museum, it was inspiring to see how passionate she was about her job and about art overall. This book deals with a lot of ups and downs for each of the characters as they make their way through the story, including devastating blows to the heart and to the ego. It was amazing the wealth of emotions that the author was able to draw out of me as I read this book: frustration, anger, love, and eventually forgiveness. The plot was riveting and really had some great plot twists to keep the reader engaged. I think that this is one of my favorite books of the year so far, I would definitely recommend reading this one!
The bottom line: This book was awesome, the author really taps into the emotions of the reader and makes the story come alive. I would look up from reading and not know where I was. Story was heart-wrenching and touching, with some good twists in the plot to keep the reader on their toes. I would definitely recommend!
As part of the blog tour I was given access to some additional content from the author, Bethany Chase. Since I’m a New England girl through and through her narrative on why she picked the Berkshires for the setting to this book really spoke to me. I’d like to share this with you readers as well!
The Setting: Why Bethany chose the Berkshires for Results May Vary
I set Results May Vary in the Berkshires because, like Caroline, I went to college at Williams and fell in love with the region. It reminds me a little bit of the Virginia Blue Ridge where I grew up—I am a mountain girl, through and through—but it has its own flavor, which is very much a New England one. It has beautiful old 18th-century houses, and a winding river or two, and maple trees everywhere that really do turn just the most outrageous colors of coral and red and gold in October.
The area is an interesting cultural hotspot—in Williamstown itself you have not just the college but also the world-class Clark Art Institute (I debated long and hard between having Caroline be a curator at the Clark vs MASS MoCA, but went with the latter in the end because it suited the plot better), and the Williamstown Theater Festival. Nearby you have the Tanglewood concert series, the beautiful Hancock Shaker Village, and then of course MASS MoCA, which is not just one of the largest contemporary art museums in the country but also a multi-disciplinary facility that hosts music, dance and theater as well as visual art. North Adams is interesting because it is a former industrial town that has been in a resurgence for the last 15 years or so, which is very intentionally led by the museum. One of the reasons I think the region is so great is that it has the beauty and charm of a small town, rural environment, yet packs this amazing cultural punch that far exceeds what you might expect from its population.
And, of course, it is beautiful. Those leaves! Those mountains! Those velvety white snowstorms, and the way they make you hunker down inside in front of a roaring fire. And then the spring that slinks slowly over the landscape, apologizing for the months that preceded it, until it bursts into the full green roar of May. I hope everyone gets to experience the Berkshires in their lives, not just in one season but in all of them.
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page