Name and Address Withheld has been sitting on my TBR shelves for far too long! I picked it up at the local bookstore a while ago when they were having a sale, but it has been taking the backseat to my review books. However, I picked up another Jane Sigaloff the other day when I was shopping on Boxing Day, so that inspired me to pick up my original purchase.
Lizzie Ford is single, in her early 30's, and enjoying a successful career as an "agony aunt", both in a magazine and on the radio. She meets Matt while at a Christmas office party, one of the radio stations copywriters, and it was attraction at first sight. The two chatted for the evening, went to their seperate homes, and then couldn't keep apart. The first couple of weeks of their relationship feet too good to be true, and in fact, they were because Matt was keeping a secret- he's married. Despite the fact that he is one of the men truly caught in a marriage that has been over for a long time, Lizzie insists that he goes home and tries to work out things with his wife once she finds out, because she has no intention of being a mistress. Matters are complicated when Lizzie inadvertently develops an online friendship with Rachel, Matt's wife, when Rachel e-mails the popular "agony aunt". Eventually it all comes out, and it's up to Lizzie and her best friend Clare to keep the whole world from crashing down around her.
Despite the fact that I feel very strongly that it is unacceptable for spouses to cheat on one another, it was interesting to read a story written from the mistress's point of view. In the case of this story, Lizzie was the mistress that we could feel sorry for- she didn't know the truth until she was head over heels for Matt, and at that point she summoned up all of her strength and sent him packing. There were a few liasons between the two once she knew, but we're all human, right? That was one of the points of this story- that no matter who we are, we are all human in the end. We may be agony aunts, lawyers, or doctors, but we all have a human side which makes us all the more likely to make a really big mistake. Lots of mistakes are made by the characters in this book, but somehow everyone manages to muddle their way through it until the end.
I disagree with the critics who found the characters in the story "flat"- in fact I found it to be quite the opposite. This is chick-lit, and it is unapologetic about it (as it should be!). This story isn't shallow or super-fluffy, but actually has a moral component thrown in there. I would recommend it to any chick-lit lovers out there, especially if you're a fan of Jill Mansell, Emily Giffin or Wendy Holden. It was a light, fun read!