What do you think happened to your husband, Mrs. Keller?”
The Sunday morning starts like any other, aside from the slight hangover. Dani Keller wakes up on her Seattle houseboat, a headache building behind her eyes from the wine she drank at a party the night before. But on this particular Sunday morning, she’s surprised to see that her husband, Ian, is not home. As the hours pass, Dani fills her day with small things. But still, Ian does not return. Irritation shifts to worry, worry slides almost imperceptibly into panic. And then, like a relentless blackness, the terrible realization hits Dani: He’s gone.
As the police work methodically through all the logical explanations—he’s hurt, he’s run off, he’s been killed—Dani searches frantically for a clue as to whether Ian is in fact dead or alive. And, slowly, she unpacks their relationship, holding each moment up to the light: from its intense, adulterous beginning, to the grandeur of their new love, to the difficulties of forever. She examines all the sins she can—and cannot—remember. As the days pass, Dani will plumb the depths of her conscience, turning over and revealing the darkest of her secrets in order to discover the hard truth—about herself, her husband, and their lives together.
To be quite honest, I really didn't like this book but I feel like that's my fault and not the novel's. For one thing, it says right there "adulterous beginning" and I know that I cannot read books about adultery. It's something I just cannot deal with.
The other thing, though, is that I really like good "disappearance" novels, where characters have to really learn more about themselves and their families to find out about the person who has disappeared. I suppose that's true of this novel but not in the normal way. In this book, Dani, the protagonist, spends most of the novel going through her relationship and looking at it a different way around. However, I don't feel like it gave her any understand but more just told the reader what had happened. This would have been fine if it took up the first fifty pages or so but it almost the entirety of the book. I wanted to know more about the disappearance, not about their intense rendezvous while still married to other people.
I did like the basic framework of the novel. I liked Dani waking up and slowly discovering she doesn't know where her husband is. I like the way she formed new bonds with her mother and daughter. I liked how the story finally ended, when we did discover what had happened to Ian. I wish the novel had been more of that and less inner exploration but I think some people will enjoy that more than I did.
This book was in no way bad; it just wasn't my cup of tea. I'm sure others will really enjoy it but I was looking for something else.