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Results May Vary: A Novel by Bethany Chase

Results May Vary: A Novel

by Bethany Chase

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Caroline discovers that her husband is having an affair...with a man. Drama ensues, of course, as this novel follows Caroline on a journey of self-discovery. Written well, I enjoyed this book, although it was a bit predictable. ( )
  l-mo | Feb 10, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It took me a while to get into this (at first I would leave it sitting quite a while between reading sessions), but somewhere around the middle I began feeling more fully engaged. Overall, a decent read - the kind of thing I'd recommend for airplane reading. ( )
  somegirl | Nov 26, 2016 |
A special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I read this author's debut title "The One that Got Away," and thoroughly enjoyed it. Her second book did not disappoint. It was also beautifully written.

Since high school, it’s always been Caroline and Adam. In their 30s, the married couple is the envy of all their friends. Adams is an expert on all things Caroline and lovingly dotes on her. Caroline thought she knew everything about Adam, too, until she accidently stumbles upon nude photos of him with a man. The door opens wider to reveal her husband is not who she knows him to be. The story follows Caroline as she deals with the charade Adam has made of their marriage, and her attempts to come to peace with those lies.

On another book review site, a reviewer called this book a ‘fluffy’ read. I take offense to that comment, not only on behalf of the author, but as a reader as well. Fluff is, as defined by Merriam-Webster:
1. down
2. something fluffy
3. something inconsequential

I don't equate emotional stories as any of these, and frankly, to call a realistic story of a woman coming to grips with not only her husband’s infidelity, but also his sexuality, a fluffy story, well, in my opinion, you might as well call all fiction fluffy. Still, I'm trying to figure out the reviewer's barometer for fluffiness. Would they consider a paranormal adventure or vampires-in-love to be more or less fluffy?

I empathized with Caroline as she rediscovers who she is without Adam at her side and timidly treads the waters of a new relationship. What I loved most about this book, besides sentences that literally made me sigh aloud, and as a writer made me envious, were the few times my toes got to curling and butterflies danced in my stomach.

Toes curling and butterflies dancing—Ah ha! Clearly that is the fluff here.

I consider Results May Vary women's fiction, and typically women’s fiction cannot be confused with romance titles, but there is some romance building within the story. Perhaps it's what pushed the reviewer's fluffy limits. Or perhaps she/he simply prefers a gritty plot with guns, secret agents and drug cartels. Whatever the case, Results May Vary was told in a realistic fashion and not in an overly dramatic (aka sappy) way, as true romance stories can be, and personally, I thought this book’s subject was the opposite of fluffy. I thought it rather thought provoking, and it was so easy to slip into this book.

The same reviewer claimed Caroline's husband, Adam, was poorly developed and hard to figure out — only I thought Chase portrayed Adam clearly as a man who lived his life as a lie to accommodate his overbearing father’s biddings, a lie he convinced himself of. And a good portion of the book is spent describing his quirks, from painstaking letter writing, to always wanting to be right—all things Caroline once found endearing about him.

Women’s fiction seems to move at a slower pace than most fiction, but I found that for the most part, Results May Vary moved at an easy, enjoyable pace because the writing was spectacular. However, there was a chapter to two where Caroline entertains a wealthy classmate in hopes to gain sponsorship funds for the museum she works at—as the significance to the overall story seemed minor, it could've possibly been cut. Still, it was interesting and didn't distract from my my overall feeling about the book. Because, as I might have mentioned before, it was extremely well written. It really, really was. ( )
  SuzanneML | Sep 26, 2016 |
I picked up this book because I came a brief review of it and though I usually try to avoid books with blatant infidelity as a plot point, something in the review grabbed my interest. What I found was a very thoughtful, well told story of how one can react, can grow, when faced with the sure knowledge that what was held true is false. The power of secrets can be mighty, and the author pitted that fierce strength against the equally bold, often underplayed, power of self. But what I think I really liked the best was how the author incorporated quotes of love and relationships, by writers, artists, philosophers, as chapter headings. Sometimes the quotes, so eloquent and evocative, were sheer beauty in their own, sometimes they were foreshadowing for that chapter, sometimes both, but for me, they were always that little chocolate candy, wrapped up in glittery paper, to savor along with a well told tale.

So yes, this is the story of a woman who finds out her husband, who was her high school sweetheart and only love, has been unfaithful with another man, and then goes on to discover even deeper betrayals, but it also is a story of survival, and reshaping your life when you thought it perfectly shaped. It's not a "stages of grief" novel, but there is movement and growth. It also reminded me quite clearly that I am several decades older than the characters in this novel, but it didn't put me off their lives and world.

One of my favorite quotes for the book, comes from the mouth of a local folk artist the main character knows.
"And there you go. Honey, aside from love, art is the most subjective thing there is. You're never gonna have a predictable result."

To that I'd add since writing is a form of art, books, and thoughts on books are highly subjective, too.

Tags: 2016-read, didn-t-want-to-put-it-down, i-liked-it, made-me-think, read, read-on-recommendation, sometimes-fluff-is-good, thank-you-charleston-county-library, thought-provoking ( )
1 vote bookczuk | Sep 18, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a really good novel . It tells the story of a young woman whose marriage falls apart after ten years when she discovers her husband had a affair with another man . She goes through a sort mental breakdown questioning how she could have been so blind to her husband's true self . It is a great exploration of what a woman goes through at the beginning stages of divorce . Looking forward to more from this author . ( )
  AquariusNat | Sep 5, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804179441, Paperback)

From Bethany Chase—whom bestselling author Emily Giffin calls “a great new voice in fiction”—comes a wise and delightfully relatable novel about a woman’s journey to rebuild her life, and her heart, after a stunning betrayal.
Can you ever really know the person you love?
She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can’t get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband’s other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story’s ending will mean forgiving the man she’s loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.
Compassionate and uplifting, Results May Vary is a bittersweet celebration of the heart’s ability to turn unexpected troubles into extraordinary strength.
Advance praise for Results May Vary
“An altogether addictive read . . . Chase creates characters a reader can truly care about [in] a novel that doles out both laughter and tears.”—Kirkus Reviews

Results May Vary is an openhearted and sweetly rendered story of lost love and found strength. Readers will empathize with the novel’s heroine, Caroline Hammond, as her journey of first marital and then personal discoveries unfolds against a lush backdrop of art galleries and museum exhibits.”—Melissa DeCarlo, author of The Art of Crash Landing

Praise for Bethany Chase’s The One That Got Away
“An authentic and warm voice infuses this story of humor, heartbreak, and home.”—Patti Callahan Henry, author of And Then I Found You
“This perfectly paced story is full of fresh, engaging characters.”—Marisa de los Santos, author of Falling Together

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 06 Jun 2016 18:35:06 -0400)

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