I don’t remember the last time I really appreciated a story and the characters within, especially the second. Ms Romig has successfully summoned to life two real characters. They were created and developed in their deepness and I enjoyed exploring their consciousnesses, especially Tony’s and I regret she didn’t make his point of view more present in the story. I hated him, I really did, I was repulsed by him all the way while reading and wished I could slap him really hard. It’s been a long time since some fictional person had that effect on me. For me that kind of effect means that the author really gave a thought about the characters he/she wishes to create. From personal experience, I know how hard it is to give life to believable human beings on paper. It always reminded me of somehow playing God. The whole process of creating a whole universe populated by living creatures is a difficult journey and I remember my grandfather telling me that it never ends like you were expecting at the beginning. He used to tell me how Pouchkine didn’t know his Tatiana will marry the general. I guess even while writing our imaginary worlds we are unable to control their happening and their ending, well at least not entirely. I sometimes wonder if we have the slightest control over our lives at all or we’re just given the illusion. Ms Romig’s Consequences made me think about all that and more.
For me Claire and Tony have a protagonist / antagonist relationship, they seem to be both at the same time and complete each other because the one is not possible without the other. I remember wondering if Ms Romig has ever liked her characters, especially Anthony, to create them so unpleasant and so real. They weren’t sugarcoated neither idealized nor perfect. With that in mind, the others characters appeared to me strangely unattached to the story and that continues to be the fact now while reading the second chapter of the story. Apart from Claire and Tony, the others were just a blur, for me they remained at the surface. I suppose the second book tries to rectify that but now I don’t want to read about them and don’t care about them. The flashbacks to Tony’s past were interesting and gave the story a little punch while it was lacking action. At first the story went well, it was high paced and I patiently read about Claire’s life as prisoner in Tony’s house. I enjoyed the rhythm until his proposal. Then suddenly, it stopped. I had to read about the wedding with all the unnecessary details, later about the honeymoon, their trip to Europe, and their other trips…long story short I was bored and honestly skipped some of the descriptions. I still find them insignificant to the story; some of them could have been saved. And most of all they were full of clichés something the story wasn’t until then. Fiji, seriously? Paris? The French Riviera? Florence, Rome? I’m honestly tired of reading about the same destinations over and over again. We all know what to visit in the damn Paris, and if you really go there you will see nothing is really so romantic but more crowded and just everyday life to some people. I think mother earth is big enough to find other places worth visiting in a story. Then again, French people speaking fluent English and being polite?! Please! If I may say the French despise English language and often some French people pretend not to understand English just because they hate speaking it! I’ve witnessed it some many times and I barely know a French person that could speak fluent English. So, if I may suggest cut the usual crap and go deeper when placing the story in some foreign country. Europe always appears like one giant shallow sightseeing cliché!
Now about the plot, it was clever and well constructed and I’m not sure I would have liked it so much if it wasn’t for the ending. Before finishing the book, I read some of the reviews and knew there will be surprise at the end. But I was telling myself not to except too much because I surely will be disappointed. I wasn’t. It was the best possible ending. It gave a final logical touch to the story and at the same time opened it. The idea reminded me of that ‘Everything happens for a reason’ thing, that there are not coincidences but just a logical turns of the events. Like a puzzle and a domino. I felt pity for Claire and how her life turned to be even when she married the devil. I regretted her decision and never understood why she did it, how can you possible love a monster like this one. Then I guess love is not always logical or beautiful, it is that unexplainable thing that still makes us human. There is also this Beauty and the Beast feeling and we all know now that appearances can be really deceptive.
One last thing, I do not want to judge the lifestyle described within the story, but its shallowness always irritates me and the fact Claire was like a trophy wife didn’t help. All that meaningless shopping Claire finally used to enjoy so much, I hope it was premeditated in order to show how a person can change and adopt a lifestyle she never aspired to. If it is not the case, well I’m disappointed. Desperate housewives was never my must watch show. But I appreciated that desire to live, the will to survive and the pursuit of happiness no matter what your life turns out to be.
Now I know I’ll have to wait a whole year to read the third part but I don’t have much of a choice, don’t I [Anthony]?
"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone." Orson Welles