Title: Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal
Author: Julie Metz
Release Date: June 9, 2009
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the publisher’s website:
Julie Metz’s life changes forever on one ordinary January afternoon when her husband, Henry, collapses on the kitchen floor and dies in her arms. Suddenly, this mother of a six-year-old is the young widow in a bucolic small town. And this is only the beginning. Seven months after Henry’s death, just when Julie thinks she is emerging from the worst of it, comes the rest of it: She discovers that what had appeared to be the reality of her marriage was but a half-truth. Henry had hidden another life from her.
“He loved you so much.” That’s what everyone keeps telling her. It’s true that he loved Julie and their six-year-old daughter ebulliently and devotedly, but as she starts to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life without Henry in it, she learns that Henry had been unfaithful throughout their twelve years of marriage. The most damaging affair was ongoing—a tumultuous relationship that ended only with Henry’s death. For Julie, the only thing to do was to get at the real truth—to strip away the veneer of“perfection” that was her life and confront each of the women beneath the veneer.
Perfection is the story of Julie Metz’s journey through chaos and transformation as she creates a different life for herself and her young daughter. It is the story of coming to terms with painful truths, of rebuilding both a life and an identity after betrayal and widowhood. It is a story of rebirth and happiness—if not perfection.
Perfection was a book I thought sounded really interesting, especially since I’ve been reading a decent amount of women’s fiction dealing with the subject of betrayal. I was curious about reading a non-fiction take on the subject.
I found Perfection to be very well-written and smooth. This isn’t one of those memoirs that plods along and takes a long time to read. It’s almost difficult to forget that this is a fiction novel; Metz writes with such clarity and focus that it’s a simple and quick read.
I have to say, in some ways Perfection was a difficult book to read. The idea of a woman who had been hurt and betrayed by her husband was sad and definitely made me angry on her behalf. However, calling up each of the women her husband had been unfaithful with and yelling at them didn’t exactly seem like the best idea, especially when considering emotional health. In a lot of ways, it seemed like Metz was living in her husband’s past, rather than trying to put it all behind her. To be fair, the author realizes this more than once in Perfection; but you have to ask yourself, if I were in her place, might I do the same thing?
Perfection is a solid memoir about betrayal, as well as how to move past it. Metz employs many techniques to deal with her grief. While some of them move her backwards, rather than forwards, this book is an interesting look at moving past a horrible betrayal and coming through stronger on the other side.
Thank you for the publisher for sending me this book to review.