My rating: 4 of 5 stars
London in the 1880’ies. Edward is desperately unhappy in his marriage to Marie, when he comes upon Isaac, an impoverished writer who supplements his income by ‘disciplining’ men for money.
This story explores their clandestine relationship for several years whilst Edward desperately tries to keep up appearances with a family he doesn’t want, a son who doesn’t like him and a wife who wants another child.
The beginning of the story is told through flashbacks and they did feel a bit confusing at times, maybe because I didn’t read the story in one sitting. At first I felt I would have liked one continuous story, to see their relationship develop, but as I reflected upon it, I actually think that it did work nicely, that I got flashes to see to see the steps that led them to where they were now.
We do get sort of a happy ending, as happy as anything can be, when we are stuck in an era where sodomy is a crime and one of our MCs are a married man, but I still feel conflicted about this even after closing the book.
I somehow felt that Marie deserved more. She was a brilliant character, and hats off to the author for avoiding the obvious of casting her in the role of villain. She wasn’t. They were all victims.
All in all a nice story, with well rounded characters, that made you think. Recommended.