Reviewed

“Better Than This” by Cathy Zane

This book was a roller coaster ride, and not always in the most thrilling of ways.

It is the story of a screwed up marriage, between Sarah and Robert (he’s old enough to be her father) who share a six year old daughter.

The marriage is screwed up ostensibly because of the age difference, because Sarah is a poor, small town girl with a sketchy family while Robert is a rich, successful businessman from one of the richest families in Seattle.

None of this is entirely true. Not really, because Sarah’s friends are torn between thinking Robert is a narcissistic gaslighter and fantastic guy. All while Sarah’s changing herself completely to fit with the vision of a wife he wants.

Which is fine. It seemed like a good, important story about the dynamics of marriage and how it can go bad so very quickly. But then… then we went totally off the rails and the deeper message of Sarah’s struggle for independence was almost entirely negated by how things are ‘resolved.’

******spoilers beyond this point*****

Sarah’s independence is not tied to her breaking free of Robert’s controlling and abusive behavior. Sarah gets her independence when Robert comes out of the closet and she feels somehow finally free because he has claimed the freedom to be who he wants.

It feels like a disservice is done to women and to the LGBT community.

But I’ll give it two stars because I did finish it. It only deserves one because that ending.

Better Than This is on sale August 28, 2018.

(I received a copy of Better Than This through NetGalley and She Writes Press in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.)

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