Indiscretion

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.

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Because they exude the easy charm and self-assurance often held by persons possessed with the advantages of talent, intelligence, and beauty, Harry and Madeleine Winslow are the golden couple everyone wants to know. It doesn't hurt either that they own both a Manhattan brownstone and a lovely cottage in the Hamptons to which they readily issue summer-weekend invitations. Harry, a National Book Award-winning author is the gregarious host, while Maddy's good nature and excellent culinary skills keep each guest satisfied. They are very much in love and adore their little boy, and so, to have any kind of story, something must go wrong. Enter the youthful and very beguiling Claire, who falls for Harry and Maddy in a big way. Their story is told by Walter Gervais, Maddy's dearest friend since childhood, who observes and tells all. VERDICT Dubow's first novel is a deliciously absorbing page-turner. His captivating characters jump off the page to pull the reader into their story. [See Prepub Alert, 8/9/12.]—Sheila M. Riley, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC
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.)
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.”
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.”
People
“An homage to Gatsby-right down to its Nick Carraway-ish narrator-this is a suspenseful, diverting debut.”
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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062201072
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/05/2013
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
26,007
File size:
1 MB

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.”

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