The Mistress’s Revenge

Most recently, I read The Mistress’s Revenge, a debut novel by Tamar Cohen, (another Goodreads win). The book has a unique structure, in that it is not divided into chapters. Instead, it is written as a journal, from the point of view of the main character, Sally Islip.

Sally has been having a passionate affair with the older and married Clive Gooding for five years. He has made promises to her, and suddenly, decides that it is over, an action which sends Sally reeling, seeming to the verge of insanity.

While Clive says he needs to give his wife (and children, too), another chance, Sally just can’t let him go. She even spends time with his wife and children just so she can feel closer to him. He tries telling her to stop, offering her money to go away, finally resulting in physical intimidation.

Sally is, of course, completely involved in her own “depression,” and her own family begins to further disintegrate. Eventually her partner, Daniel, and their two children learn that they must try to make the best of their own lives. Too late, Sally realizes what she has lost.

But in the meantime, other events happen that some might say results in Clive getting what he deserved. And at the end of her journal, Sally provides an update to the current state of her own life, scars of her past still quite visible.

This book was so well-written. It was so easy to become completely engrossed in Sally’s personal thoughts and emotional state. Of course, anyone who has suffered true heartbreak can empathize and knows what she is going through. But it was a bit more than that, too. At one point, I could actually feel myself going crazy along with Sally. Maybe that means I really am a little nuts. But, the point is that the novel really was that good. I’d definitely recommend it.


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