by Carole Matthews

August 2003
ISBN: 0-373-25033-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Red Dress Ink
Trade Paperback

It all begins innocently enough.

One day, while whiling away her time sitting at a plaza, a downcast Ali is sketched by a very charming, very handsome and very young street artist called Christian. Not only is his sketch very flattering but he is too, and Ali is charmed to the bone by him. At the same time she’s wary of their fifteen-year age difference and well aware of the fact that she’s not only married, but also a mother of three. But she’s tempted, oh so tempted!

Meanwhile Ali’s husband, Ed too is feeling listless and restless. He’s stuck shooting monotonous commercial videos while wistfully recalling those glorious days in his past when he’d worked in Hollywood and rubbed shoulders with the likes of Harrison Ford. There’s also a new woman in his life - a ruthless American efficiency expert called Orla who's making life hell on the sets for everybody….or is she after something else entirely?!

One day the temptation becomes too great for Ali and she spends an innocent day in the Kew Gardens with Christian. And when Ed finds out about it, without hesitation he throws her out and a desperate Ali moves in with Christian. She’s happy and miserable at the same time – she simply adores being the sole object of worship of this gorgeous young male, but at the same time misses her husband and kids. During this time, Ed is furious, unhappy, discontented and feels guilty for what he did to Ali, only he’s too proud to say so. Things take a very surprising and unusual turn for him, when not one, but two very beautiful young women vie with each other to console him!

Is this midlife crisis or what?!

The only losers in this equation appear to be their three children.

Carole Matthews neatly sets the stage for a couple in crisis even as their marriage breaks down, and they experience the simultaneous joys and sorrows of being able to live their own lives. But is it really as rosy and romantic as they think? This charming and modern British tale of a marriage gone awry is sure to make the readers laugh and cry at the same time. The author explains why the two principal characters, Ed and Ali Kingston, feel and act as they do. Things are told from both points of view, even though the entire story is narrated by Ali. This tale is salacious, stimulating as well as serious, for not only do the characters appear to be plucked from real life, but their dilemmas and emotional tug-of-wars are only too authentic and heartfelt. However, Ms. Matthews continually lightens the grave mood with her witticisms, droll observations and irony – and no one conveys this better than the youngest Kinston child, the four-year old Elliot, who’s like an adorable young Yoda; worldly-wise and yet hauntingly innocent. The whole plot is like quicksand – it deals with a serious topic under the cloak of comedy, and sucks you right in before you even know it.

To sum up, ‘A Minor Indiscretion’ is hard-hitting, very relevant to current times and great fun to read.

Reviewed in July 2003 by Rashmi.

Read more reviews of Carole Matthews books.Click Here