Man of the Year by Caroline Lewis Walker, 3.5 Stars

It’s officially summer! As I write this post, my children are down to the last hour and fifteen minutes of school until August. It’s bittersweet. I love spending time with them and the unscheduled ease of summer. But I also work from home and enjoy quiet to focus and the ability to jump on a conference call without locking myself in a sound-proof closet or room.

Still, I will embrace all the amazing things about summer–sunshine, pool days, cold iced tea, vacation, wine on the patio, impromptu gatherings with friends, grilling, slicing into a giant watermelon, summer concerts and festivals and vacation. Ahhh, okay I’m read.

And of course, let the summer reading commence!

From the Publisher:

Dr. Robert Hart, Sag Harbor’s just-named Man of the Year, is the envy of his friends and neighbors. His medical practice is thriving. He has a beautiful old house and a beautiful new wife and a beautiful boat docked in the village marina. Even his wayward son, Jonah, is back on track, doing well at school, finally worthy of his father’s attentions. So when Jonah’s troubled college roommate, Nick, needs a place to stay for the summer, Hart and his wife generously offer him their guest house. A win-win: Jonah will have someone to hang with, and his father can bask in the warm glow of his own generosity.

But when he begins to notice his new houseguest getting a little too close to his wife, the good doctor’s veneer begins to crack. All the little lies Robert tells—harmless falsehoods meant to protect everything he holds dear—begin to mount. Before long, he’s embroiled in a desperate downward spiral, destroying the lives that stand in his way. It’s only the women in his life—his devoted office manager, his friends, his wife—who can clearly see the truth.

Biting and timely, Man of the Year races along at an electric pace, with a wicked twist that you won’t see coming.

My Review:

We all know men like Dr. Robert Hart–rich, good-looking, and at the top of their career game. But I always suspect, maybe unfairly, that the more perfect things look on the surface, the more of a crumbled mess they are just beneath that veneer.

Dr. Hart has everything; a son he loves–who is lazy and sponging off of him, a beautiful young wife–who he attained by cheating and is constantly worried she is going to make him a cuckold, and a newly acquired houseguest who he believes is making eyes at his wife.

He has no real proof that there is an affair going on, but he has had enough hints or concerns that the possibility of an affair simmers just under his skin, making him more and more insecure every day. He starts behaving erratically, people notice. Then something horrible happens and it just unravels from there.

I really liked this book and it did remind me a bit of narrator in Kaira Rouda’s Best Day Ever, although its a very different story. Walker really gets inside the head of Dr. Hart, showcasing both his narcissim and deep insecurities all the same time. And there may be a twist or five at the end. It’s a cautionary tale–that the higher of a pedestal we put ourselves on, the farther we have to fall.

Special thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out June 11, 2019. Get your copy!


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