Obsession by Amanda Robson

33229367One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could?

It is a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life.

Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky. But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?

Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?

Source Format Pages Publisher Publication Date
NetGalley eARC 464 Avon Books UK May 4th, 2017

Obsession is a hard-hitting, emotional turmoil of a novel focusing on the lives of 2 married couples. Rob and Carly. Jenni and Craig.

First person POVs from the four of them gave for a very personal and intimate reading experience, leaving me often times frustrated. One thing is for sure, there ain’t no saints and sinners in this book. There are only sinners. Which is funny because one husband and one wife are devoted Christians and they’re not married to each other.

Due to the nature of this book, there isn’t much I can reveal in terms of plot. I couldn’t even tell you just how many surprising turns of events happen because this way you’ll expect them as you read the book yourself. There may be one mega twist, or there may be a gazillion mini twists. You’ll never know until you plant yourself into the lives of the two families. Their lives and thoughts will pull you in and as you’re on the direct train towards Town ‘Oh Hell, No’ with them, don’t forget that this is fiction you’re reading. And, please, do not ask your spouse silly questions if you can’t handle the answers!

So, I promise you this- you won’t be bored. There’s drama galore but not in the cheap manner of a Latin American telenovela but rather in a devastating ‘this could actually happen’ way. Obsession is truly quite dark, difficult to process and full of emotions ranging from love to hate, from fidelity to spouse and God to disloyalty.

Obsession is not just a story about one woman’s obsession of her husband cheating on her. It’s about more. So much more. It’s about obsession with everything: sex, drugs, attention. It’s about depression and bad decisions. It’s about selfishness and more selfishness. It’s about being a complicated human being. Most importantly, it’s about showing that we’re ALL complicated, selfish and obsessed. Some are just better at hiding it than others.

Going back to being frustrated… yeah, Robson managed to twist it all up into a perfect knot that can never be untangled. Two relationships impacting each other. 4 adults with personal demons. Using, abusing, going crazy with no return. Frustrated? I wanted to like at least one character in this book. I didn’t. Not because they weren’t written well. But because they WERE written well. I never really want to be in anyone’s head like this, so deeply, not a single thought hidden.

You know how sometimes you’re asked: If you could have a superpower, what would you like?

And sometimes people say: the power to read minds.

I say: thanks, but no thanks! I say, fuck that! And again, no thanks! Sharing deepest thoughts, desires and dreams with a spouse is good, of course. But the beauty here is knowing said spouse… knowing where their limits are, knowing the truths and secrets they can handle or not, knowing what should and should not be left unsaid. Even though two people are one, two people are still two people.

Obsession, in that sense, was really well written. I may be repeating myself here, but whatever writing technique Robson was using- it worked.

To summarize:

There were moments in this book I felt I was invading the character’s most intimate moments and thoughts. These moments were brutally honest, selfish and sad. I cringed. A lot.

Responsibility is killing me.

There were moments in this book where the intimate moments in between characters made me want to cry for help and someone to pass a scoop of common sense. Please, someone send a good few moments of mental clarity! But life isn’t pretty… we take what we want.

We climax and climax, together. A waterfall that feels as if it will never stop.

There was a moment in Obsession, when I wanted to high five a devout Christian. That was a first for me *tongue in cheek* It was funny and unexpected. I laughed out loud, so loud.

‘Jenni, I can explain,’ he repeats.

‘Can you, Judas?’ I hiss.

Fact is this- the book does feel a bit long at 464 pages. It made me feel trapped in a nightmare, and yet I couldn’t stop reading. I was inhaling every word, inhaling every inner monologue, inhaling every bittersweet moment…. 464 pages…. 464 pages of me being disgusted, of me trying to be understanding, of me shaking fists at the Lord above (yeah, not really that last one)… 464 pages of me not understanding how people can live their lives into such difficulty. How, actually, it might be easier than one could think, to slip into a dark hole and become a vile monster.

One simple question from wife to husband. A stupid, silly question. One simple answer. A stupid, silly answer! Less than a minute of interaction in between partners which resulted into years of heading towards hell. One simple question and answer, at a crossroads, which, if both were left unsaid, could have pushed married lives into a completely different direction.

Time… yes, if only we could turn back time. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say and all that jazz.

Time… yes, time is a handy tool to use.. think before speaking. Think before asnwering. That’s what time was invented for. Time to use, time to spend, time to regret…

And the ending? I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I will say this- impact equivalent of a roundhouse kick to the Solar Plexus. Karma is a clever Lady, and life is its bitch.

Amazon UK ¦ USA

39 comments

  1. Not my kind of book, but due to your feeling of ‘invading the character’s most intimate moments, I can tell it has powerful writing. Beautifully simple cover as well. As much eye-catching as it is plain. Very well laid out. Great review, too. You seem to put as much emotion into reading and reviewing as we author’s do writing 🙂 great to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agree this seems a bit lengthy at over 400 pages but also sounds like a fun, guilty pleasure read that will humor that secret side of me that hates rl drama but loves to read about it 😉 Oops not secret now. I usually enjoy alternating 1st person narration. I am not a hundred percent sure why (maybe it is that it feels so personal – good point).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes.. I was worried about the length.. like how long could a drama last, right? But… the story spans over many years and eventually everything loops together nicely… well, nicely is a wrong word because it’s not nice at all how it ends…but I agree, a good dose of drama every now and again is good to read… in real life, drama isn’t great… that’s why I don’t have friends 😀 less people, less drama 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A round-house kick to the solar plexus… I can already feel the pain of that. This sounds darkly intimate and mysterious. Outstanding review, Liz! I also like the whole bit on superpowers. I can totally understand that perspective. But man… during those dark days, you sometimes wish you could read minds just for your sanity!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooh this book does sound freaky, but I’m intrigued for sure! Haha yeah I would *never* want the power to read minds!! It would be absolutely horrible! Buuuut- I do want to see what characters are thinking- and I reckon I’d like this deep POV (I hope!) Definitely want to check this one out thanks to your awesome review!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There’s usually always one victim in stories like this but it’s interesting that you name them all to be sinners here. I wonder if one of them is not more guilty than others. I also really like the fact that it has all four POV’s too and nobody’s voice is left out. You can be honest but really, should know better though than to answer that question, who would you go for, with my best friend’s husband or wife… everybody knows that :-). Great starting point for a book though.. Fabulous review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers, Inge! 🙂
      Aye… I think what made this book interesting was that they were all in one way or another at fault.. whether by direct actions or, indeed, by inactivity… Well written in terms of showing how things can spiral out of control… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Fantastic review , loved the last line .

    I think I saw someone review this book before and they had written a lot of positive things about it , I had even put it on my TBR , your review along with some mixed ones on Goodreads have convinced me to remove it from my TBR

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers, Donna 🙂 You know, re: length… it’s long, but some chapters are truly quite short, and generally the chapters are short, so there’s no – yawn, I’m bored, let’s move on. It’s very well put together in that sense. Also- it all draws together nicely so… I do hope you give this one a go… I was thinking of you the whole time I read this book because I remembered you liked the husband/wife plots… well, you get two couples here. Double bang! XD

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This sounds like a book and a review written with lots of emotion. Many of your words ring true here, I have thought mind reading would be great, but actually it would probably be torturous. Maybe the gift of being able to turn back time would be better? Sounds like the people in the book maybe could have done with that.
    Great review for a emotionally packed sounding book.
    Amanda.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Amanda for stopping by and for commenting 🙂
      You got it right- the characters could have used a time machine to go back and take back some of those thoughts they gave voice to.
      The book itself seems to be rather well received… then again… I should go take a look on Goodreads, just to see what others thought 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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