Posted on February 18, 2013 by betsylerner
“VOW is brilliant from both a literary and a psychological perspective. It certainly takes emotional honesty to write with such candor about the drama and allure of one’s personal adulterous experiences, but this book is more than simply honest; it is also searingly well told. A tremendous achievement.”
– ELIZABETH GILBERT, Eat Pray Love
Vow is so tender and sharp, so suffused with our common humanity, and so precise. Plump is also unfailingly honest about what affairs give us and what they take away. This book is a real gift.
Elizabeth Weil. No Cheating, No Dying
“Metaphors and similes and original descriptions can’t defend the reader against the sheer pain of broken vows. Wendy Plump creates a beautifully wrought word painting from which, I, for one, came away with a new slant on ‘marital vows.’ Couples should read this book.” – Carly Simon
Congratulations to Wendy Plump. Her first book, the memoir VOW, is publishing today. It was the first memoir I took on in ages and the reason is the writing. In telling the story of her infidelity and her husband’s subsequent infidelity, Plump goes far beyond the cliches associated with cheating and cracks it wide open. What begins as a voyeuristic look at a marriage coming apart ends as a deep portrait of betrayal and loss written with elegance, measure, and poise.
What most interests you in memoirs: the prose, the story, the intimacy?
REDBOOK Reads: Vow
Wendy Plump’s heartbreaking memoir of marital infidelity is a disarmingly honest, beautifully insightful, and disturbingly real portrayal of the dissolution of a relationship — and a family.
By Hannah Hickok
Crack open Vow and prepare to be quickly carried away by Plump’s vivid prose, so-close-you-can-hear-it voice, and suspenseful storytelling skills. You’ll find yourself sneaking a page or two in the elevator, during a walk from point A to B, and trying to avoid drifting off to sleep so you can turn one more page The super-hot topic — cheating — combined with descriptive, at times poetic writing makes Vow a thought-provoking, compelling read. The events, which Plump describes with amazing clarity and detail, are by turns gut-wrenching and addictive. It feels like reading your favorite TV soap opera, except this time it’s happening to real people — and you’re hearing the saga from a close friend over coffee. Plump welcomes us to her world with impressive openness and honesty, cataloguing the start of her relationship with her husband, Bill, which begins in college and lasts over 20 years, ending with an explosive discovery that shatters their relationship and changes both their lives forever. She chronicles her affairs in the early years of their marriage, before their two sons were born, with a handful of dreamy, very different men — all of whom brought lust, passion, and excitement into her life. Plump reflects on these decisions in a matter-of-fact yet emotionally lucid way that is nothing short of fascinating.
But the real kicker comes — and we’re not spoiling anything here as it’s advertised on the back of the book — when Plump finds out about her husband’s affair. She discovers that Bill has a second family just a few short blocks away from their suburban home, and his mistress of a decade is now the mother of Bill’s third, youngest child. Needless to say, Plump’s life — as well as her kids’ and their extended family and friends’ — are thrown into unimaginable turmoil, and Plump comes face-to-face with a decision she never thought she’d have to make, despite her own infidelity: the end of her marriage. The fact that such events are “unimaginable” is one reason that I think every woman should read this memoir. Does merely thinking about this sort of thing send chills down your spine, as it does mine? Although Plump never imagined this happening either, she has the guts to tell her story in a way that’s real, relatable, and will make you think hard about your own temptations.
Read Wendy’s story without judgment, as a study in relationships and the ways we can, if we’re not very careful, hurt the people we love the most.
Read the Modern Love piece on which the book is based: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/fashion/12Modern.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
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