So, I’ve been a member of NetGalley for about four months now and have enjoyed (for the most part) the books I’ve received. One recent highlight came in the form of Results May Vary, by Bethany Chase. I couldn’t remember why I downloaded it (usually, I choose books for one of two categories: research for an upcoming book or fun smut), but for the first time in awhile, it was good to go into a novel without knowing too much.
And, in the spirit of not giving too much away, I’ll let you know the premise (which you can find online, this is not some sort of huge spoiler). A man and woman have been together since they were in high school and married for years. When the husband has an affair with a man, all kinds of everything unravels.
There are soooooo many things that are well done in this book. The characters themselves are some of the most honest I’ve ever come across — they literally jump off the page with realistic actions, dialogue, and imperfections. They are well-rounded human beings with emotional arcs and unique quirks. A story of an affair has certainly been done before, but this version of it feels new. The heartbreak is still present, as are any number of other questions — some of which are answered, some of which are not. Furthermore, Ms. Chase has an absolutely beautiful way with language.
As someone who has been married for a wee while (13 years, not to mention the year or so and change we were together before then), there were all sorts of passages that leapt out to me. Here’s one particularly memorable one:
You might learn that he hates bleu cheese, but you weren’t there the night he got annihilatingly sick on buffalo wings, and you didn’t spend the hours from one to four A.M. slumped against the wall outside the bathroom because he was sure he was going to die and you didn’t want to leave him alone with his paranoia and his bacteria. Patrick might have known that Adam’s father had had a heart attack, but he hadn’t seen his face when he got the news. Hadn’t held him, and felt him trembling. Hadn’t heard the words he mumbled into my hair the night Theodore was upgraded out of critical condition: “I don’t know what would happen to me without him.”
Patrick might have fucked my husband, but he didn’t know him.
And yet. He knew things I didn’t. Things I didn’t understand, because Adam had refused to explain them to me.
While I have not done so yet, I would absolutely pick up another book by this author. I believe the novel will be released on August 9th, and if you are in the market for a smart contemporary story, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Results May Vary.
Thank you to both the publisher and NetGalley for granting me access to this title.