Perfection: Moments of Dark Honesty Enliven Portrait of a Marriage Gone Very Wrong

When Julie Metz's husband of 16 years suddenly passed away, her initial reaction was grief and shock. Her life with Henry has been tumultuous - he was a notorious flirt who bled money and hadn't enjoyed great career success - but they had a daughter together and had many happy memories.

Then she found out about the other women. That's right, women.

As it turns out, Henry had been engaging in multiple affairs with women both close to and unknown to Metz. His compulsive risk-taking and need for self-gratification had resulted in compulsive womanizing. In short, the happy marriage that Metz thought she was a part of was nothing more than a deception that both she and her husband had contributed to over many long years.

I've been really into the lady memoirs lately (witness my appreciation for This Is Not the Story You Think It Is). I have this need to understand the mechanics of long-term relationships, from those who have long slogged in its trenches. Metz does not disappoint - her account of her self-deception, virulent anger, and slow road to forgiveness is candid and spares no one, not even herself. Metz' report that a month after her husband died she couldn't shake how horny she was is just one of the book's brilliant little moments of dark honesty.

I did think the book a mite long. There's an investigation into whether Henry may have genetically susceptible to womanizing near the end and to me this was superfluous - Metz's story is what drives the narrative. There's also much detail on her dating life that could have been condensed.

That said, Perfection is an excellent anecdote to literature that tells us love must be full of longing and suffering. As Metz can attest, deception will result from this and we must be be vigilant in keeping our eyes open to the realities of our situation, however painful they may be.

Perfection: A Memoir Of Betrayal And Renewal/ Julie Metz / Hyperion Books / PB, 2010

**This post is part of a blog tour, as organized by BooksSparksPR. Much thanks to them for organizing this tour and for sending me a copy of this book.

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