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Reminiscent of Anne Tyler, Denting the Bosch, Teresa Link's incisive debut novel, examines the trials and tribulations of three middle-aged married couples in San Diego. When their friend Sylvia's husband announces he's leaving her for his secretary, Adele and Maggie feel stirrings of doubt about the solidity of their own marriages. Even after many happy years with Paul, Maggie still wonders what became of her first love, the political activist she was rebounding from when she met her future husband. Adele and her husband are locking horns over making their home in San Diego; Drew sees it as paradise, while Adele pines for New York. During a fight, Adele throws a coffee cup at her husband and instead hits their expensive stainless steel dishwasher. "You dented the Bosch," Drew exclaims, creating a metaphor for the fragility of their carefully constructed relationship.
In each of the three marriages, truth will out, forcing difficult choices and straining the wives' camaraderie. In the end, all six spouses must decide which transgressions can and cannot be forgiven.
While she maintains a wry humor, Link's exploration of her characters' lives is no light and frothy experience. She takes a frank and realistic look at all-too-real problems such as marital infidelity, economic instability and the ennui that can set in after year upon year of a stable relationship. However, the warmth and resilience of her three heroines is a tribute to the power of the female spirit and will leave readers ultimately hopeful and satisfied.
***This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness Readers Edition. Sign up for this free and awesome newsletter at http://www.shelf-awareness.com for the latest news and reviews! This review refers to an ARC provided by Shelf Awareness.***