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Good Intentions
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I loved Lynn, her children and the man who eventually became her lover. Her husband jilts her and the husband of the woman who is having an affair with Lynn's husband becomes Lynn's lover. In short, they switch partners. Lynn's lover is a nice person, where as her husband paired off with a barracuda.
Renee Bowers (I agree with another reader -- I wish her name was pronounced like Renee, rhymes with day instead of Renee, rhymes with beanie) is the divorce attorney. Her husband is a cold, unloving and very cruel man who bears a mirror image to Renee's tyrannical father. His daughter Debbie from a previous marriage is no prize, either. Debbie is her daddy's daughter, all right. She is a step daughter to beware of! I didn't like Debbie from the start and she and her nasty father Philip deserved each other. Renee was a fool to put up with their tyranny and cruelty.
Debbie was sneaky, spoiled, spiteful and mean. For example, early in the book, 16-year-old Debbie cries about a nightmare she allegedly has about Renee killing her father in a car accident. It is hard to believe that a 16-year-old would wake up crying about a stupid dream. I, for one, don't believe she dreamed it. I was also disgusted with Philip's allowing himself to be taken in by his wretched daughter. All Debbie did was cause friction and try to pry Renee and Philip apart. I actually cheered when Renee finally slapped the loathsome, nasty girl good and hard across her face and told her where to go. I was glad that Renee appeared in a later book ("See Jane Run") and had the good sense to jump her father's ship, Philip's ship and disgusting Debbie's ship once and for good.
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on July 11, 1998
Had I been the editor of this book, I would have instructed JF to scrap the "love story" with Lynn and Marc. It was not the least bit interesting or compelling, and the "sexual tension" between the two of them made for a rather boring read. Renee, on the other hand, did have a much more interesting character and storyline (and PLEASE, let her pronounce her name Re-NAY instead of REE-NIE!) However, Renee and her story were not without flaws. For one thing, Renee is a successful divorce lawyer who's a mere 10-15 pounds overweight and does all the housekeeping and cooking. However, because of her lousy childhood and cold-hearted parents, she believes she is a fat, frowsy loser who was "lucky" to land her philandering, condescending, handsome husband. I had trouble believing that someone as intelligent as Renee would give Phillip the time of day, let alone marry him. Also, why are all the idiot women (including Phillip's "other women") constantly telling Renee that Phillip is such a good catch? Don't they know better? The character of Kathryn, Renee's sister, is the most baffling. She seems to have no sense of herself (didn't this woman ever have to get a job?) and is a childless widow who clings to other people, including her younger sister, and unfortunately, good old philandering psychiatrist Phillip. What bothered me even more than Phillip's taking advantage of Kathryn's mental state was his lack of ethics in dealing with all of his attractive female patients over the 6 years of his and Renee's marriage. Shouldn't Renee, as a lawyer, have been appalled by this, instead of quietly putting up with it? I would have liked to see her bring a mass lawsuit against him at the end, on behalf of his former patients. Instead, the ending was anticlimactic. Just so I don't spoil it, let me sum it up by saying that there's a quote from Phillip's spoiled-brat daughter from his first marriage that says it all: "How much more are you going to stand for? Why don't you tell! him to go to hell? Why don't you tell ME to go to hell?" The daughter, Debbie, spends the whole book putting down Renee, and it is never quite clear why (was Renee an "other woman" too?), nor does it strike me as believable that Renee, the warrior lawyer in the courtroom, would meekly put up with a mouthy stepdaughter at home. Phillip would have been a better character had his sadism been more subtle. A weakness of the book is that he is presented as "handsome" (which of course we can't see) and "charming" (of which there is no evidence whatsoever to support it). Again, Renee, no matter how bad her self-image is, seems far too sharp to have put up with a bad marriage for so long.
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on April 7, 2004
I have read many of Joy Fielding's latest novels, and had to dig deep to get this older one. It was different from the usual murder/suspense plots that Fielding usually writes. I enjoyed the in-depth look at 2 women's emotional states and needs (and desires). What a twist of how Marc and Lynn got together! The sexual tension theme did get a bit redundant after a while, however. I found the Renee pronunciation thing a tad annoying too, but I decided to read it as "Re-nay" and make it easier on myself! I despised both Debbie and Philip, but I think that Debbie finally helped Renee to snap out of her fantasy that Philip was perfect and that she was the problem. I think Debbie (perhaps unwittingly) did Renee a favor, but perhaps she did care for Renee enough to give her a dose of reality. I also read "See Jane Run" but I don't remember the Renee character from that novel.
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on January 1, 2009
I am still a few books away from having read ALL of Joy Fielding's novels. This one's allright; not terribly exciting, not boring. Keeps you turning the pages, hoping for a surprise... none there, I'm afraid. I wouldn't spend the $ on a new book, but if you can get it used and need something light to read... by all means!
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on July 21, 1998
I found this book different from any of Joy Fielding's books that I have read before. I didn't love the book but I enjoyed the characters and the story line.
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on May 25, 2015
great author
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