Love and Other Natural Disasters
This is your life, now what?
This is the question Eve has to answer when she finds out during Thanksgiving dinner that her husband, Jon, has been having a long distance emotional affair with another woman for the past year. Eve is devastated and demands that Jon move out that night. Jon complies and leaves their house. Eve’s feeling of betrayal and mistrust lead her to start hacking Jon’s email in order to find out more about the other woman, Laney. Eve reads all Jon’s correspondence with Laney, but she is unable to figure why Jon lied to her for a year. Eve questions Jon’s motives for the past year of their marriage. The affair causes Eve to reexamine her life as well. She truly wants to figure out what she wants out of life and from her marriage. Eve wonders about the “what-ifs” in her life (getting pregnant, marrying Jon) and what her life would be like if she had not married Jon.
Eve and Jon must also deal with the judgment of family and friends. Eve and John’s friends and family feel that if Jon did not have sex with Laney, then all should be fine with the marriage. After all, it was just an emotional affair. But Eve does not see it that way. Eve cannot understand why her husband would spend a year secretly communicating with another woman, confiding in her and sharing details of their marriage. Lil, Eve’s friend, sums it up when she says, “If he were having sex with the woman, you could chalk the whole thing up to novelty. It could be that he was so overcome by lust that he lost his mind for a while. You could even say he was so hot for her that he mistook it for love, and once they go thinking it’s love, well, everything’s fair game. But a year of emails phone calls—that’s about his mind and his heart, not just his dick. Call me crazy, but the dick’s preferable.”
Love and Other Natural Disasters is not typical chick lit. Holly Shumas’s perspective as a licensed family therapist allows her to get into the complications of fidelity and emotional intimacy in the novel. Eve learns more about herself during the time that she and Jon are part. Eventually, Eve and Jon learn to deal with their anger and to forgive each other. They both take responsibility for their actions and their relationship. Although Eve and Jon decide to take another chance on their marriage, their future is uncertain.
Although the actions of Eve and Jon were at times annoying and frustrating, I found Love and Other Natural Disasters to be an enjoyable book. I wanted to know what happened to the characters and how their problems were resolved.