The Anatomy of Cheating: A Novel by Nesly Clerge (Kindle Edition)
Reviewed by Suzanne Odom
Nesly Clerge’s latest novel opens with psychiatrist, Dr. Bernadette Moore speaking about her book, “The Anatomy of Cheating” on a book tour. Her book discusses infidelity and the reasons why people cheat in relationships, both men and women. This is the final leg of her tour which she scheduled in her own town of Waltham, Massachusetts. The forum is well-attended with both skeptics and believers. At the end of her presentation, she signs copies of her books for the attendees. Two women approach, one dressed sexily and drawing admiring glances from the men, and the other a less than confident housewife wearing a too big sweater.
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The sexily clad woman is Penelope and her best friend, the housewife, is Chelsea Hall, wife of Garrett Hall a successful radiologist. They have one teenage daughter, Kimberlie. Garrett provides Chelsea and their daughter with a lavish lifestyle, a beautiful home, luxurious furnishings, and fancy cars. But he doesn’t give her what she needs most, attention. The husband of Chelsea’s dreams turns out to be a chronic cheater. She puts up with his infidelity anyway because deep down Chelsea still loves him.
She soon meets someone, an author whose books she has read and reviewed. His name is Luke Thompson, and his own marriage is floundering. Chelsea and Luke strike up an email correspondence and eventually decide to meet for coffee. Both are intrigued with each other from the start and delve into an illicit affair, something Chelsea would never have done until she meets Luke. He makes her feel special and beautiful and is not bothered by her fuller figure as Garrett is. She dreams of being with him forever, and he with her.
As the story progresses, many shocking secrets are revealed, ones that will surprise the reader. Several family members’ lives are altered by these terrible secrets. Clerge draws you in with excellent writing, a mesmerizing tale, and twists and turns that leave you guessing until the very end. This book is very enjoyable, and I found it very hard to break away from.