Indiscretion
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Indiscretion

3.6 81
by Charles Dubow
     
 

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"Every story has a narrator. Someone who writes it down after it's all over. Why am I the narrator of this story? I am because it is the story of my life—and of the people I love most. . . ."

Harry and Madeleine Winslow have been blessed with talent, money, and charm. Harry is a National Book Award–winning author on the cusp of greatness. Madeleine

Overview

"Every story has a narrator. Someone who writes it down after it's all over. Why am I the narrator of this story? I am because it is the story of my life—and of the people I love most. . . ."

Harry and Madeleine Winslow have been blessed with talent, money, and charm. Harry is a National Book Award–winning author on the cusp of greatness. Madeleine is a woman of sublime beauty and grace whose elemental goodness and serenity belie a privileged upbringing. Bonded by deep devotion, they share a love that is both envied and admired. The Winslows play host to a coterie of close friends and acolytes eager to bask in their golden radiance, whether they are in their bucolic East Hampton cottage, abroad in Rome thanks to Harry's writing grant, or in their comfortable Manhattan brownstone.

One weekend at the start of the summer season, Harry and Maddy, who are in their early forties, meet Claire and cannot help but be enchanted by her winsome youth, quiet intelligence, and disarming naivete. Drawn by the Winslows' inscrutable magnetism, Claire eagerly falls into their welcoming orbit. But over the course of the summer, her reverence transforms into a dangerous desire. By Labor Day, it is no longer enough to remain one of their hangers-on.

A story of love, lust, deception, and betrayal as seen through the omniscient eyes of Maddy's childhood friend Walter, a narrator akin to Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, Indiscretion is a juicy, richly textured novel filled with fascinating, true-to-life characters—an irresistibly sensual page-turner that explores having it all and the consequences of wanting more.

Indiscretion also marks the debut of a remarkably gifted writer and storyteller whose unique voice bears all the hallmarks of an exciting new literary talent.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dubow tracks the fallout of an affair in his elegant debut centering on a golden couple, Harry and Maddy Winslow. He’s an award-winning writer, she’s a beautiful heiress; Walter Gervais, Maddy’s childhood friend and secret admirer, narrates the story. One weekend in the Hamptons, the Winslows meet Claire, a needy ingenue who develops a crush on the couple, especially Harry. Her role as hanger-on is severed when the Winslows leave for a year abroad, but Harry finds himself struggling with his next novel, and a chance encounter with Claire while on a business trip back to the U.S. launches him into a heady affair. Dubow draws the relationship perfectly—Claire is a giddy romantic, and Harry delights in playing the wealthy cosmopolitan. When Maddy discovers her husband’s betrayal, the four players form a miserable face-off, where Walter’s unrequited love bubbles to the surface in the face of Maddy’s grief, and Harry and Claire negotiate the affair’s relationship potential. Despite a disappointing and drawn-out ending, smart and observant writing makes the story well worth the ride. Agents: Britton Schey and Eric Simonoff, William Morris Endeavor. (Feb.)
People
“An homage to Gatsby-right down to its Nick Carraway-ish narrator-this is a suspenseful, diverting debut.”
Library Journal
He's a National Book Award-winning author, she's kind and beautiful, and together they entertain friends at their elegant Manhattan brownstone and East Hampton cottage. But Harry and Madeleine Winslow are heading for trouble when they take charming young Claire under their wing. Great expectations for this work from New Yorker-to-the-bone Dubow; with a 100,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
Dubow crafts an epic novel of friendship, betrayal and undying love. It's a beautifully written debut. Walter Gervais is a true gentleman and childhood friend of Harry Winslow's wife, Maddy, and it's through his eyes that the story is told. Unobtrusive and playing a rather peripheral role, at least in the beginning, he delivers a balanced and fascinating account of the events that invariably change not only his friends' lives, but his own. Renowned author Harry and financially independent Maddy are the quintessential New York couple: attractive, socially prominent and undeniably in love. They spend their summers in Maddy's small house in East Hampton with their son, Johnny, surrounded by a circle of friends. One evening, a beautiful younger woman accompanies her lover to a party at the couple's house, and she gradually insinuates herself into their lives and becomes a welcomed houseguest. Claire's attracted to Harry, but he rebuffs her and makes light of the situation, reminding her he's married and madly in love with his wife. At summer's end, much to Claire's disappointment, the Winslows move to Rome for a year so Harry can begin work on his new book. When Harry's editor summons him back to New York for a meeting with the publishers a couple of months after the move, he runs into Claire at a club, and they engage in a steamy, passionate affair that continues after Harry returns to Rome. Harry's dilemma is that he loves both women, but he never entertains the thought of leaving his wife. But Maddy eventually discovers the deceit and leaves Harry. She returns to New York with Johnny, and Harry follows. Up to this point, the book has been an entertaining read, but it's the latter half of the book that really seals the deal. As the couple struggles with the ruins of their relationship, the author chooses to add more unexpected layers to the story that elevate it from run-of-the-mill to outstanding. Dubow's book is a page turner that skillfully tugs at the heartstrings.
Booklist
“Dubow proves himself to be an elegant writer with a shrewd sense of how to shape his material for the broadest appeal. Glamourous settings, old money, and steamy sex all combine to make this one a totally addictive read.”
BookPage
“Dubow has composed an addictive first novel that keeps the reader guessing with the turn of each page. . . . INDISCRETION transcends the love story archetype.”
New World Review
“Charles Dubow’s greatest triumph is in the way that he reinvents and reinvigorates familiar themes in a mesmerizing new way.”
People Magazine
"An homage to Gatsby-right down to its Nick Carraway-ish narrator-this is a suspenseful, diverting debut."
Washington Independent Review of Books
“Dubow writes with a kind of urgency that grabs you by the pajamas and won’t let go. Indiscretion is a page-turner of high style.”
O Magazine
"A smart, sensuous, and moving debut. … Delicious. ... The characters exude a Jazz Age glamour."
Kate Christenson
“Indiscretion richly delves into the complex permutations of love. Charles Dubow writes with nuanced precision, and his characters are captivatingly real. This is a fine, supple, riveting first novel.”
Chris Pavone
“Charles Dubow has pulled off something remarkable: a finely tuned, perfectly pitched literary novel with the urgency of a tensely plotted thriller. I couldn’t put it down.”
O magazine
“A smart, sensuous, and moving debut. … Delicious. ... The characters exude a Jazz Age glamour.”
Daily Beast
“A cultural lament wrapped in a lesson about extramarital lust—a riveting read.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062201058
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/05/2013
Pages:
388
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.29(d)

What People are saying about this

Kate Christenson

“Indiscretion richly delves into the complex permutations of love. Charles Dubow writes with nuanced precision, and his characters are captivatingly real. This is a fine, supple, riveting first novel.”

Chris Pavone

“Charles Dubow has pulled off something remarkable: a finely tuned, perfectly pitched literary novel with the urgency of a tensely plotted thriller. I couldn’t put it down.”

Meet the Author

Charles Dubow was born in New York City and spent his summers at his family's house on Georgica Pond in East Hampton. He was educated at Wesleyan University and New York University. He has worked as a roustabout, a lumberjack, a sheepherder in New Zealand, and a congressional aide, and was a founding editor of Forbes.com and later an editor at Businessweek.com. He lives in New York City with his wife, Melinda; children, William and Lally; and Labrador retriever, Luke. This is his first novel.

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Indiscretion: A Novel 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 80 reviews.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
This is the type of book that once you pick up, you can't put back down because you are instantly enchanted by the story. I was immediately intrigued after reading just the Prologue and was certainly not disappointed with the rest of the novel. The main characters in the novel - Walter, Claire, Harry and Maddy - they are very realistic written. Each have their distinct personalities, unique quirks, and personal flaws. The characters are written in such a way that the reader feels instantly at ease with them, almost as if we've known them ourselves for years. They easily endear themselves to the reader and we let our guards down for them, definitely not knowing where the story or their lives will lead us. It all starts so innocent and enchanting during a lazy summer in the Hamptons. Things soon turn from idyllic to something much deeper and darker with secrets abounding. The heart of the novel takes place in the East Hamptons, where our four main characters meet for the first time and become entwined in a strange game of sorts. The writing of the book is simply incredible. It's lyrical and enchanting - completely enthralling the reader into the midst of the story and not letting go until we're out of breath and the story is suddenly over. This book is definitely one that demands to be read in one sitting, with the pages being devoured and the reader begging for more. After reading this complicated and sophisticated novel, one will be thinking and talking about it for a long time to come. It's the type of book that sticks with you long after you finished the last page. I will definitely be reading more of this author's works and I highly recommend this book for lovers of deeply layered fiction and twisted story lines. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
robinpeggy More than 1 year ago
Brilliant first novel.  Each character is indelibly sketched and I couldn't put it down....no spoilers in this review, but the plot twist is really well done.  A beautifully written portrait of very believable people.  You will care about what happens to each of them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw this was the Nook daily find and was looking for something to keep my occupied during a sleepless night (I am a night shift RN). I figured with a title like indiscretion it would be a quick read without much plot. I was wrong. It was excellently written. I found myself drawn to and empathizing with each of the main characters, which is difficult to do. Plot twists were somewhat predictable, however, I had to keep reading just to see how the author had each character react to the situations. Finished the book in a matter of hours and was pleasantly surprised.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very strange writing pattern. Didnt finish it. Disappointed that I spent the $2.00.
Cycling_Chef More than 1 year ago
INDISCRETION is a page-turning novel of an age-old story, freshly told. Writing a spoiler-free review is a challenge, but here goes. The characters are interesting and flawed and could be your friends or neighbors, (or yourself, but, hopefully, not). The reader feels like a fly on the wall watching the beautiful and troubled story unfold. The author's writing style is smart and lyrical evoking a strong connection with the characters and their loves, loneliness, heartbreak, joy and anger. It's worth mentioning another reader's review that this is NOT romance,chick-lit or mommy porn, but a thought-provoking novel I could not put down. Recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Life has enough sadness in it. This book is depressing. Should have stopped before the end .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful. I might be in the minority, but I didn't see the ending coming. The characters were so well written, I felt as if I knew them I had to race through it b/c I couldn't wait to see where it was headed, and now that its over I think I'll go back and read it again. Wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story and the consequences of the characters' actions just shook me. Very unsettling and quite frankly a miserable ending. I appreciated the realistic approach... and that not all lives/stories end happily...but good grief. I needed to erase this from my mind once I was done.
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
Harry and Maddy are a happily married middle-aged couple with a young son who has health issues. Harry is a famous author, Maddy the party hostess and friend everyone adores. They have a social circle that includes Walter, a lonely man who is our narrator. A beautiful young woman named Claire enters their lives and they take her under their wing, and all is well until their happy little world is shattered by an indiscretion.  Most of these type of  novels are about the woman wronged, but I found this look at adultery from the male perspective intriguing. Walter, the friend, is the narrator and given that this takes place mostly on a summer place in the Hamptons and is about an obsessive love affair, it echoes The Great Gatsby. The characters are interesting, especially Maddy, and the plot keeps the reader invested in the story. The last few chapters are incredibly sad  and devastating, and I found myself impressed with Dubrow's ability to move the reader so deeply in his debut novel. There are some explicit (and well written) sex scenes, so if that offends you, this book may not be for you.
tigerlille More than 1 year ago
Beautifully, elegantly written novel; you savor each page, despite the knowledge that this story's inevitable end will be a bad one.  i suspect that the people who found this book &quot;boring,&quot; etc., were looking for a pop music type of read, which this is not. Complex characters, and a world peopled by the east coast wealthy and elite.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never write reviews. But I couldn't stop reading this book. If you just liketo read then you'll like this book its a tragic love story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read, thought provoking, realistic and you feel the gamut of emotions reading it. Love the authors writing style and can't wait to read more from him. 300 pgs
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quick, enjoyable read
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Once I started reading it I could not put it down. Simply riveting.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was kind of boring and I never really got into it. The characters were under developed and you never really connected to any of them. The story dragged and it was kind of predictable. Don't really recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry, this was such a depressing end! I know life is not all happy endings but the entire last half was sad, haunting and depressing!
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