Friday, October 29, 2010

review: perfection by julie metz

"A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal," Perfection made me impatient. The back cover copy states, "Henry had hidden another life from her." Shortly after Henry's death in the memoir's open, I knew exactly what his secret was. With the swift pace of Henry's death, I expected a quick reveal of the secret; yet Metz frustratingly remained in the dark. All through her rebound with Tomas and the trip to Paris (an unnecessary detour for the course of the novel), I screamed for Metz to just figure it out. She didn't. When the revelation finally came at the end of part one, it seemed the stuff of daytime drama.

Part two did get me snickering as Metz's opinion suddenly shifts. My favorite line comes here (in reference to the other half of the betrayal): "I had listened to her book recommendations while eating her serviceable meat loaf, mashed potatoes, and oversteamed broccoli." Oh how one's opinion changes when the lies are exposed! The lightness there quickly came to an end, however, as Metz embarks upon a rage-fueled journey of contacting her husband's mistresses. While writing such vitriol may be cathartic, it hardly seems appropriate considering the daughter Metz had with the man painted so hatefully.

Thankfully, Metz lightens the tone somewhat in part three (though the venomous hatred is still there) and finally seems to move on in part four, where she begins dating. Eventually there is happiness, but I came away with an intense heaviness. The descriptiveness is excellent, but everything is dragged down by the hostility directed at the man Metz shares a child with (one hopes she never reads Perfection) and the many women involved in the infidelities.
Review copy provided by BookSparksPR.

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