Evelyn After. Victoria Helen Stone. 2016. 258 pages. Lake Union Publishing. [Source: Kindle First Program.]
A girl was dead. A marriage was ruined. And the world just kept going on as if that were all okay, when it wasn’t okay. She wasn’t okay.
Evelyn lived a tidy, suburban life. Until the one evening when her husband
revealed that he’d been in an accident, one of his patients was involved, and
nobody could know a thing about it. That evening sparked a change in Evelyn
and the way she interacted with the world around her. Once a super-PTA parent,
she becomes a sulking shell of herself, bent on finding out truth about the
husband she thinks she knows.
In short, this is a book about infidelity. What drives a person to adultery. What havoc it wreaks on families. And the obsession a spouse can experience when secrets are revealed. No quote summed this up more than this: “Gary’s infidelity had freed a demon inside her, as if she’d been waiting her whole life to lie and cheat and steal and ruin lives.”
This book is told in vignettes that switch between Evelyn in the future, Evelyn before, and Evelyn after. As the story unfolds, the reader gets more pieces of the puzzle which help rationalize Evelyn’s choices in the present. This is an intriguing read, without question. There were twists and turns in the plot that I absolutely didn’t see coming, which constantly altered how I understood the “reality” of the situation. Perhaps by design, I found my perception of Evelyn changing as the book followed her on her quest to reveal the truth about her husband and the actions she took to balance the scales of justice in her mind. I was left questioning her judgment, waiting for her to be found out, and wanting her to simply step back and move on. Although I started the book nearly sympathetic and angry on her behalf, as the book went on, I just wanted out of her world in which she’d pitted herself as a victim. Despite that, I found it impossible to put this book down once I started, so I definitely recommend it.