Author: Jan Ellison
A Small Indiscretion creates a murmuration, then a tidal wave, into the cleft of Annie Black Gunnlaugsson’s previously solid marriage to Jonathon. As Annie ponders, then fondles, then embraces the past, she errs deeply in judgment. Jonathon, her wonderful husband of twenty odd years leaves her, knowing things that Annie is not aware of. And simultaneously, Annie and Jonathon’s twenty year old son, Robbie, lies in a coma after an almost fatal car accident. And as the past unfolds, Annie realizes that her actions when she was twenty and living in London (the same age as Robbie is now), have created the marital tsunami that she now has to face. And all the players back then have come to haunt her now.
As Ellison detonates the lives of the Gunnlaugsson family in prose and with a plot that thrusts Annie Gunnlaugsson from past to present, we suffer with them as the family sits by the bedside of Robbie Gunnlaugsson as he fights for life. In a series of writings that Annie addresses to Robbie, we learn of the past people in Annie’s life: Patrick Arghal, a man she loves but who does not love her; Malcolm Church, her boss, who loves Annie too much; Louise Church, Malcolm’s wife and the mother of Daisy Church; Mitch, the doctor who saves Robbie’s life and Jonathon Gunnlaugsson’s friend.
Beautifully scored, and placed carefully against a palette of one’s family vulnerability when the center falls apart, A Small Indiscretion winds us tautly into the drama of how a marriage can tolerate the worse, and remain intact. As the family implodes, then expands, we learn of Annie’s past that affects all aspects of her future life with her family. Jonathon leaves Annie when he discovers the secret about Robbie that Annie is unaware of, and after Annie confesses a one night affair with Patrick on a present trip to London. As the plot leans in and out of Annie at twenty and Annie in the present, A Small Indiscretion detonates and reels us in.
A nicely turned emotionally nuanced story about understanding and forgiveness, and the true strength of marital and familial love.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Overall: 4 out of 5
Review by Broad “A”
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own
A Small Indiscretion: A Novel is available on Amazon.com as well as booksellers nationwide.