June 2024
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So Long at the Fair, Christina Schwarz

Jon always thought that he was an honorable man, until Freddi walks into his life and he finds himself having an affair.  So Long at the Fair combines his struggle to decide between his wife, whom he loves very much, and his mistress, who he just can’t stay away from, with the tale of the previous generation and how they have led him to this moment.

This book started out well.  Jon’s struggle was well-written and while I don’t approve of or condone his choice to have an affair, I could see the dilemma he’d landed himself in.  He loves his wife, but he also loves his girlfriend in a different and more exciting way.  I really liked Ginny, both old and young incarnations, and I was hoping for happiness for her throughout the book.  The plot was very engaging and I was looking forward to see just how these plotlines could combine to create a great tale.

The bulk of the story takes place over one day, and I tend to like when authors do that because I like the minutae of daily lives.  No exception here.  The rest of story skips around two other time periods – the 1960s, when their parents were finding their own way in life and creating the problems that would undercut the main characters’ lives, and another storyline centered on the youth of Jon and Ginny, how they fell in love.  I liked all these examinations of the different types of love and how they develop.  The book is sort of a study in marital relationships, which made it interesting.  It was sometimes hard to keep track of who was whose parents, but I had it straight by the end of the novel, and the skipping around never bothered me much.

This may be a spoiler, but I was, however, disappointed in the ending, and I won’t give away more than that about it.  I think it could have been done better.

I’m not sure I’d recommend this one.  It was a fairly pleasant way to spend an afternoon, but there are so many better books out there. Buy this book on Amazon.


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