Cheat cover

Cheat is the story of a woman who cheats on her husband. It has beautiful linework and realistic characters, but it doesn’t fulfill its promise. Although Christine Norrie does a wonderful job of showing us the circumstances that may lead to infidelity, the book was promoted with questions like “how will the betrayed spouses react?” (As seen on the back cover.) But the discovery and its effects are given short shrift here, leaving me feeling unfulfilled as a reader.

The lead-up to temptation is well-trodden ground in fiction; the aftermath, not so much. I was looking forward to Ms. Norrie’s insight on what happens after her characters’ life-changing choices, but when it comes to that section of the story, events happen quickly and less believably than in the rest of book.

Cheat cover

For instance, earlier in the book, much is made of the lead couple’s working style and joint career. By the end, we have no idea how that will be affected, although we know it must change. It’s as though she ran out of room and had to tie things up in too short a space. It reads as shallow when compared to the excellent work seen previously.

Let me reiterate, though, that this book is lovely to look at. Norrie’s style is well-suited to such a character-driven piece, and the way she captures expression and movement is inspirational. I just wish she’d had more space to work out the significant events promised by the first half of the story.

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