Review: Sometimes Mine by Martha Moody

From the back of the book:
Genie Toledo is a forty-something divorced doctor who is smart and funny and immensely likable but who keeps her friends and family at arm’s length. She devotes all her time to her work. The only person to penetrate her emotional life is Mick Crabbe, the charming college basketball coach with whom she’s had a longtime, long-distance affair. When Mick becomes seriously ill, Genie is forced to reassess and drastically change her priorities. What she sees is not just how important Mick is to her but how his ability to connect with the world has made him happier and more complete.

I received this book as an ARC from Riverhead Books/Penguin Group. I had read Best Friends by Moody awhile back, so was interested in reading her newest novel. This novel interested me in the first few pages and kept me interested all the way to the end. I truly enjoyed this novel and feel it is Moody’s finest work yet! I liked having the novel written from the “mistress” perspective. It gave the affair a different angle. There would be pages where I felt sorry for Genie, others where I was completely frustrated with her, and yet others where I was rooting for her. She was a likable character even though she was doing something I don’t agree with. I loved when the story intertwined Mick’s family with Genie’s life and how their lives intersected. I thought Moody’s portrayal of the relationships was extremely realistic.

At times, I identified with Genie’s character…”It hit me that the very thing that kept me going – my own will – was what had brought me down. I’d never enjoyed the moment as it happened, I’d always been preparing for the next thing.” Sometimes I feel like I am just trying to get through things in my life without really enjoying them, so I can finish and move on to the next thing. This reminded me that I need to clear my plate and enjoy what is in front of me more often.

This novel also looks at marriages: Mick’s marriage, Genie’s divorce, each of their parents’ marriage, Genie’s daughter’s impending marriage…”Maybe that’s life, I thought driving home: each generation reacting against the mistakes of the one before it, and no one ever, except by serendipity, getting it right.” Isn’t that the truth? Aren’t we constantly comparing our marriages to our parents’, our siblings’, our grandparents’, and our friends’ marriages? Telling ourselves my marriage will never be like that, or why can’t my marriage by like theirs?

I also loved the author’s statement: “We didn’t kiss enough, I was thinking, and neither of us wanted to stop, because a kiss was always beckoning the future, a kiss held the promise of something more.”

I folded down numerous pages that I want to reread again. This was a story that flowed easily for me from beginning to end even though the topic of adultery can be controversial. I enjoyed the hopeful ending left for the character, Genie. I would like to think she has a new beginning at the end of this story. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. Sometimes Mine plans to be published on August 6, 2009.

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