Friday, August 29, 2014

The Woman Who Loved Too Well

The Woman Who Loved Too Well

By David Orsini

In the summer of 1942, Marc Roussillon, a heroic French pilot flying with the RAF, draws his wife Simone into a plot to save his best friend Jean-Claude, who has been captured by the Germans. Aware of her influence upon Gerhard Hauptmann, a German officer, Marc urges Simone to persuade Gerhard to help her set Jean-Claude free. But, unknown to Marc, Gerhard agrees to help her only if she will sleep with him. Just before Jean-Claude is freed, Simone joins Gerhard for ten days in Switzerland. Falling in love with Gerhard confuses Simone and makes her feel guilty. She still loves Marc, but she also needs Gerhard. 

When he discovers that Simone has fallen in love with Gerhard, Marc tells Simone that they can save their marriage if she joins him in his plan to kill Gerhard. Lying, he convinces her that Gerhard is responsible for the deaths of many innocent people. Now Simone consents to Marc’s plan. She will meet Gerhard at a Swiss ski resort. There, Marc plans to kill Gerhard. 

But Marc’s plan unfolds in ways that he does not anticipate. Simone discovers that Marc lied about Gerhard. Now she hurries to save Gerhard from Marc’s revenge. In a sequence of violent episodes that occur in Switzerland, Marc, Simone, and Gerhard play out the turbulent resolution of their triangle.

Mark and Simone had the perfect marriage, until their mutual friend Jean-Claude was captured and tortured by the German army. In order to save him, Simone must fool Gerhard, a German officer, into thinking she loves him. The problem is, she actually does fall in love with him. When the plot backfires, it becomes the downfall of Mark and Simone's blissful life together.

This read gave me conflicting thoughts. If they were so in love with each other, how could Simone love another as much? I’m not naïve, I know this happens in real life. I just can’t understand it. And Mark becomes a psychopath, but yet has such self-loathing, which doesn't make sense. I tried putting myself in their place to understand the depth of their feelings. I sympathized with Simone, but couldn't even feel sorry for Mark.

This was an intriguing read. The characters created the ultimate love triangle. Even the minor ones had depth. I did feel it strange, though, that the story-line involved Jean-Claude so much, but he is never involved. Of course it didn't end the way I would have liked, but I did love the story.

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**The above opinions are 100% my own, whether I purchased the book or it was given to me to review.

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About the Author

David Orsini is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University, where he earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English Literature. David has taught literature, grammar, and composition at secondary schools and colleges in Rhode Island. He is the author of Bitterness / Seven Stories, The Subtleties of Seduction, and The Woman Who Loved Too Well

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