My Wife’s Affair
Peter, a financial writer and failed novelist, takes his wife and three sons from New Jersey to modern-day London for his new job. His wife, Georgie, a once-actress now restless homemaker, is excited to be in the historic city. Through friends she lands an acting part, since her children will be in school all day. She thrives again in the exciting world of the theater she’d enjoyed before becoming the mother of three rambunctious boys. She plunges into her role as the 18th-century actress Dora Jordan, the longtime mistress of the future King William IV. Peter supports her endeavors, wishing to make her happy, but Georgie’s role starts to consume her. Piers, the older, debonair writer of the one-woman show, seduces her attention. She is torn between her love for her children and husband and the thrill of her new fulfilling life.
Narrated by Peter, the story unfolds as seen from hindsight, his understandable anger at the affair, and his terrible guilt for the outcome which cumulates in tragedy. Peter seems too omniscient at times, but the beautiful prose and engrossing emotion will make you overlook this fault. He’s sympathetic as a laid-back Midwesterner who still can’t believe this beautiful New York woman married him, and her betrayal nearly destroys him. The story is not really historical, though Mrs. Jordan’s speeches as her career soars, her affair deepens with the duke, and then unravels mimic the turbulent emotions Georgie is suffering. I found the novel difficult to put down.