Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
First Published: September 20, 2018
Source: Prime Reading
A desperate young woman in Southern California sits down to write a letter to a man she’s never met—a choice that will forever change both their lives.
My heart goes out to you, David. Even though I do not know you…
The correspondence between Carrie Allsop and David Mayer reveals, piece by piece, the painful details of a devastating affair between their spouses. With each commiserating scratch of the pen, they confess their fears and bare their souls. They share the bewilderment over how things went so wrong and come to wonder where to go from here.
Told entirely through the letters of two comforting strangers and those of two illicit lovers, Evidence of the Affair explores the complex nature of the heart. And ultimately, for one woman, how liberating it can be when it’s broken.
This little novella was a surprise, told entirely in letters, the novel chronicles the events surrounding an affair and the deep hurt that the spurned spouses feel. Being a divorcee myself and having suffered through the traumatizing stress of infidelity, I found this book to be a comfort.
“Lying has just become so much easier than telling the truth. I don’t remember when things got so hard. But life has been a matter of keeping our heads above water for years now.”
The story explores the relationships of two very different couples, how they met, their every day lives, and what went wrong. I appreciated the frank discussion about love and how easy it is to fall into the lull of domesticity and how it can become, quite frankly, boring. Nothing will ever match the excitement of a new relationship, getting to know someone new and the electricity of a new sex partner. This is the tired and true story of how many relationships start and die in a fiery blaze.
There were a lot of elements of the novel that I found convenient and cheesy and had to suspend my belief, how quickly a close friendship between Carrie and David was just not all that grounded in reality. I understand that everyone takes the pain of being cheated on differently and how easy it is to attach yourself to another person in times of pain, I’ve been there. The way that it plays out however was just not the most convincing. The story had some redeeming qualities by approaching the question of whether or not a relationship can survive cheating and the judgment that is passed on the hurt party.
Even so, I found myself blazing through the novella wanting to uncover the events peripherally through letters. The epistolary format of this novel provided an interesting way to tell this story in a manner that is easy to digest, and I had a lot of fun reading it. I picked up this novella when I spotted it on Prime Reading, the author has been on my radar for two years now since The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo made such a splash in the book community. This book has solidified my interest in Taylor Jenkins Reid and I will definitely be picking up more of her books this year.
- What are your thoughts on books told entirely in letters?
- Do you think it is possible for a marriage to recover from infidelity?
- What do you think of friendships formed from hurt parties in a cheating relationship?