November 22nd 1963, is a day that Nell Benjamin will never forget, and not just because the President of the USA is gunned down. Her world falls apart and everything she knew about her life with Charlie is put into doubt under her intense scrutiny.
This novel is set in the middle decades of the twentieth century, a time of great turmoil, fear and excitement. The Cold War and Communism send shock waves of fear through every American heart; the CIA is everywhere, but for the most part unseen. Nell is a journalist, whilst Charlie publishes a small independent magazine featuring controversial issues of the day. Life is good for them; they have a beautiful daughter, Abby; their writing is successful; they live in a desirable part of New York, but then it's all shattered on that bright November day in 1963. Secrets and lies of the past begin to surface causing Nell to re-evaluate her marriage to Charlie. This is a story about truth and love, but not a "love story"; a story of human nature, intrigue and betrayal.
The characters are well-defined and believable, the plot has unexpected twists and turns, the writing is sublime, sprinkled with wry humour, well-paced, full of tension - an absolute joy to read. Hooked from the first line of the first page, I could not put this book down and was sorry when I finished it. I'm sure when I read it again in a couple of years I will probably find something new in it. A book to make you think long after you've finished it, which for me, is the mark of a really good piece of writing.
This is not a book to be rushed - savour it, enjoy each word.