By: Bethany Chase
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 8/9/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
From Bethany Chase—whom bestselling author Emily Giffin calls “a great new voice in fiction”—comes a wise and delightfully relatable novel about a woman's journey to rebuild her life, and her heart, after a stunning betrayal.
Can you ever really know the person you love?
She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can't get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband's other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story's ending will mean forgiving the man she's loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.
Compassionate and uplifting, Results May Vary is a bittersweet celebration of the fact that in love and in life, we rarely get exactly what we bargained for.
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A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Bethany Chase returns following her debut, One That Got Away (2015) with a strong follow-up, RESULTS MAY VARY - a novel of emotions, love, loss, pain, betrayal, trust, and forgiveness.
Caroline is married to Adam, her high school sweetheart. A museum curator, a happy life, and a beautiful home in the Berkshires.
He was only twenty-five years old, gay Patrick Timothy Rubinowitz, the toast of the New York art scene. He was being hailed as the next Mapplethorpe; in the year or so since he’d started coming to people’s attention, he been universally anointed by everybody who mattered as photography’s next Big Thing.
Critics fawned over his impeccable classical technique, the richness of light in his images, the depth of contrast and range of tone he coaxed from his film. And of course, the beauty of his compositions.
Caroline takes a look at some of Patrick’s other photography work from Alicia. A little risque for the museum but powerful. A secret stash. Two guys together. Making love. A little blob of a birthmark. Then it hits her. Shocking- it is her husband in the photo.
One thousand times or more over sixteen years they had made love. From their senior year of high school. They were in love. How could he? This was uncharted territory. How could she have missed the signs? She thought her marriage was perfect? As soon as she slept and opened her eyes, the pain and reality would still be there. This was only the beginning.
Adam loved her, but declared himself incapable of illuminating his reason for betraying the love she had given him for more than half their lifetime. He wanted her forgiveness. Can she ever trust him again?
Her best friend Jonathan is there for her. Her sister, Ruby wants to visit. She has to explain her husband had an affair with a man. Had she been so absorbed in her own life she had been missing out on everyone else’s.
Breaking up with Adam did not only mean removing herself from a source of pain; it meant removing herself from a deep seated joy. Losing him. Does she really know the man she married?
With twists and surprises, Carolina also discovers her husband is also keeping more secrets, he has not shared with her. Can the marriage be saved, or is it time to move on with a new life. Rediscovery? "From we, to I."
With each chapter the author leads with a thought-provoking wise quote. Chase explores marriage and relationships with honesty and compassion, with difficult and realistic choices, and challenges; sprinkled with inspiration, wisdom, truths, and lots of wit.
Fans of Sarah Pekkanen and Emily Giffin will enjoy Chase's style and this charming modern contemporary look at marriage and relationships, with acceptance, and hope.
"Perforation problems, by the way means to me also the holes that will always exist in any story we try to make of our lives. So hang on, my love and grow big and strong, and take your hits and keep going. "-Iggy Pop to a fan named Laurence, 1995
August Must Reads
“An authentic and warm voice infuses this story of humor, heartbreak, and home.”
—Patti Callahan Henry, author of And Then I Found You
“This perfectly paced story is full of fresh, engaging characters.”
—Marisa de los Santos, author of Falling Together
“Chase has written an incredibly charming novel about shifting from being completed by a man to becoming a whole woman. Witnessing Caro’s growth is a pleasure.” —Library Journal
“Bethany Chase writes with a realism of expression that allows readers to empathize and appreciate the characters’ personalities and frustrations. The push and pull written into interpersonal dynamics between characters feels true to life, and is best seen in Caroline’s relationship with her sister. The surprises keep readers alert and the tempo of the novel holds their attention until the very last page.”—RT Book Reviews
“This latest novel from Chase will appeal to anyone who has ever looked up to realize they define themselves by those surrounding them. Caroline’s exploration of self-discovery is a familiar one, yet Chase has a way with phrasing and a thoughtful approach that pushes this one notch above the others. . . . A good fit for fans of Emily Giffin and Kristin Hannah.”—Booklist
“An altogether addictive read . . . Chase creates characters a reader can truly care about [in] a novel that doles out both laughter and tears.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Results May Vary is an openhearted and sweetly rendered story of lost love and found strength.”—Melissa DeCarlo, author of The Art of Crash Landing
“Relatable, engaging, and ultimately uplifting, as it explores the secrets hidden beneath the surface of a marriage that seems enviable . . . You'll root for Caroline as she struggles through heartbreak toward an unexpected new future.”—Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Perfect Neighbors
About the Author
After growing up in the foothills of the Northern Virginia Blue Ridge, I headed to Williams College for a degree in English. Only in the spring of my senior year did I begin to consider how exactly I might earn money with a degree in English. And this gave rise to the logical answer: interior design!
I've been working in the architecture & design industry for over eight years now, but when I'm not hanging out with mess-makers and paint-slingers, I'm writing. And when I'm not writing, I enjoy photography, karaoke, and complaining about being flat-chested.
Wanna shoot me a note? I'd love to hear from you! Read More