- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Dutton (September 17, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0525954074
- ISBN-13: 978-0525954071
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 225 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,115,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hardcover – September 17, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
Graves follows her runaway self-publishing hit, On the Island, with this mostly forgettable tale of a crumbling suburban marriage. Claire Canton, a freelance graphic designer and mother of two, feels disconnected from her husband, Chris. Their marriage has been on a downslide since he was laid off four years earlier, and the antidepressants he still takes have adversely affected their sex life. Enter Daniel—a hot cop who's instantly attracted to Claire. The feeling is mutual and the two begin spending more time together, first under the pretense of Claire redesigning a logo for the police department, and then—against Claire's better judgment—as friends, inevitably causing Claire to examine her marriage and morals. Romance fans will enjoy the few steamy sex scenes, but may be disappointed by the slow pacing and lack of action elsewhere. (Sept. 17)
When Claire Canton’s husband, Chris, loses his job, he becomes distant and frustrated. It only gets worse when he lands a new job that feeds his workaholic tendencies and requires a lot of travel. Their two kids have a hard time adjusting, but Claire finds companionship in her graphic-design work, her neighborhood friends, and handsome police officer Daniel. What starts out as a Kansas City–set Desperate Housewives (rich neighbors living beyond their means, catty observations about an alcoholic mom) turns into a full-blown and emotional page-turner. Claire’s type 1 diabetes is deftly woven into the plot, and the kids are cute without being moppets. The fact that the novel reads like a very normal suburban story makes it highly accessible. Although it is Claire’s story, occasional chapters about Chris and Daniel make Claire’s dilemma more poignant. Chris is no villain, and you hope the couple can save their marriage. But Daniel is so handsome and so good for Claire. Graves also wrote the breakout hit, On the Island (2012). --Susan Maguire
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I was emotionally wiped out upon finishing Covet. There are no evil characters, or even characters I couldn't relate with. Just life brings hard times that can hammer a marriage into unrecognizable pieces. The question in Covet and reality is: will relationships endure, grow or fade?
Claire and Chris began their marriage (as all couples do) with dreams and hope for their new life. The smallest decisions each of them make affects this relationship. Some of these decisions appear inconsequential, yet create emotional distance and apathy in the marriage. I felt I was a silent observer to the story where I wanted to do some serious "What are you Thinking?" interventions. I found myself cheering on Claire, Chris and Daniel (handsome police officer and friend of Claire). With each character's point of view chapter, I found I readjusted my perspective on the storyline. Fickle, indecisive me.
In addition to the 3 major characters, there are a variety of friends and neighbors who are facing their own challenges.
I loved how it was shown that everyone has struggles. No one is untouched by adversity. It is a choice of how each of the characters (or ourselves) will face life's difficulties. A choice on how to live the life we have.
Covet is a 5 star read.
The author slowly and meticulously drew us into the life and of Claire and Chris, and helped to paint the picture of how they made it to the point of being ships passing in the night. What I always find fascinating when authors give the male and female POV, is that the male is usually thinking on the right track, but they don't often verbalize it. It was also intriguing to see how they each dealt with stress; initially Claire would reach out, but Chris would close up, even getting to the point of asking Claire to basically leave him alone because he was so depressed over his unemployment. With a year of unemployment, and then another year of working a stressful job that kept him away from his family, Chris drifted farther and farther away from Claire.
Meanwhile, enter Daniel; a sweet, gentle soul, who picked up on so much of what Claire needed and desired, and still managing to be a gentleman. Okay, now here is where me gauging my moral compass gained momentum. I knew that the direction of the relationship between Claire and Daniel was not healthy and extremely dangerous and I knew that it was wrong, but I understood it. The emotional bond that they created, is much more intimate and stronger than any physical relationship could be. I just kept holding my breath, because I was afraid of the outcome, and I cared enough about all three in this dynamic that I didn't want anyone to get hurt. Was it naïve of me to want to see them all happy, especially Daniel? In the end, I felt like my heart was a bit in limbo ; I was hopeful and optimistic, but a little sad and I wasn't really sure why. I felt like this story was a tool to recalibrate that moral compass, WOW Tracey, that some powerful gift you've got there. Thanks for a thought provoking read.
"We're the Cantons. Sun-kissed, all-American, picture-perfect. By all appearances, we're the ideal suburban family. As long as you don't look too closely."
On the outside, things look great. But with Chris's new job that requires traveling five days a week, not to mention the stress of being unemployed for a year and all the stresses that come along with that, life in the Canton household is far from perfect.
Claire does everything she can to keep the hopes and emotions of her family buoyed - but that comes at a cost. With her husband gone so often, she gets the leftovers - the scraps - of what little is left of his time after the ridiculous demands of his boss and after he spends time with his his kids. "As he should" she says. But after all that - simply put - Claire is lonely.
Now, this story is not what you think. It is not a story of adultery or betrayal. It is a story of loneliness and devotion and vulnerability and faith. It is a story of friendship and love and connections between people. It is a story of clinging to whatever you have to to cope and survive.
Covet is written from three different points of view - Claire, Chris and Daniel. We get glimpses into their past, into their present, and not only into their lives, but the lives of their friends and neighbors. Glimpses that go beyond the outer layers until you see just how vulnerable these characters are, no matter how things appear from a distance. I was pulling for Claire and Chris. I loved the friendship between Claire and Daniel - is it even possible for a man and a woman to be just friends?
And when tough decisions had to be made, I felt the heartbreak. But beyond that heartbreak, I also found hope. And faith. And my heart was completely full of FEELS!
This book blew me away. From the very first page until the very last word, I couldn't put it down and Tracey Garvis Graves secured her spot at the very top of my "I'll read anything and everything they ever write" list. I didn't eat. I stayed up way too late.
Simply put, books like this one are why I read.