A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal
By Julie Metz
(Hachette Books, Paperback, 9781401341350, 352pp.)
Publication Date: May 2010
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Julie Metz's life changes forever on one ordinary January afternoon when her husband, Henry, collapses on the kitchen floor and dies in her arms. Suddenly, this mother of a six-year-old is the young widow in a bucolic small town. And this is only the beginning. Seven months after Henry's death, just when Julie thinks she is emerging from the worst of it, comes the rest of it: She discovers that what had appeared to be the reality of her marriage was but a half-truth. Henry had hidden another life from her. "He loved you so much." That's what everyone keeps telling her. It's true that he loved Julie and their six-year-old daughter ebulliently and devotedly, but as she starts to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life without Henry in it, she learns that Henry had been unfaithful throughout their twelve years of marriage. The most damaging affair was ongoing--a tumultuous relationship that ended only with Henry's death. For Julie, the only thing to do was to get at the real truth--to strip away the veneer of "perfection" that was her life and confront each of the women beneath the veneer. Perfection is the story of Julie Metz's journey through chaos and transformation as she creates a different life for herself and her young daughter. It is the story of coming to terms with painful truths, of rebuilding both a life and an identity after betrayal and widowhood. It is a story of rebirth and happiness--if not perfection.
Julie Metz is a graphic designer and freelance writer. She lives with her daughter and partner in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently a recipient of a Macdowell Fellowship.
- How does the author's voice change as the book progresses? What does that tell the reader about her emotional state?
"In lyrical, moving prose, we're treated to a powerful story of love, infidelity, grief--and starting over."—Working Mother
"A visual standout. [Metz] brings refreshing candor to a startling, painful tale."—The New York Times, Janet Maslin
"Heart-wrenching but triumphant."—Glamour
"A fascinating memoir by a woman who, after learning of her much-loved late husband's history of affairs, decides to confront her former rivals."—People Magazine
"Readers will be mesmerized. Her honesty about middle-aged sex and fear of never finding the "new" right someone make this a delectable summer read."—USA Today
"You'll be absorbed by the real-life sleuthing in Perfection, a riveting memoir about a widow who discovers that her late husband lived a deceptive double life."—Real Simple
"It is impossible to put PERFECTION down as we follow Julie Metz through her true story of love, lies, loss and moving forward. Her raw and brave writing makes you want to cheer Metz on as she pieces her life back together, one beautiful sentence at a time."—Marian Fontana, author of A WIDOW'S WALK
"Julie Metz's memoir of how her marriage unraveled after her mate's death is piercingly honest, haunting and heartbreaking. Anyone who has ever been in a bad relationship will over-identify."—Susan Shapiro, author of FIVE MEN WHO BROKE MY HEART and LIGHTING UP
"Metz's Perfection chronicles with lapidary precision one woman's climb back to happiness after not just a spouse's death, but also the shocking recognition that her life before that death was not what she had thought it was. The journey is a painful one, but Ms. Metz is much the stronger for having survived to recount it."—Julie Powell, author of JULIE & JULIA
"This aching memoir of love, loss, and deception is candid and compelling. I found myself rooting for Julie Metz in her search for a happy second life."—Hilma Wolitzer, author of THE DOCTOR'S DAUGHTER and HEARTS
"Lyrical, haunting, and utterly gripping."—Redbook
"A dark, evocative memoir from a woman forced to come to terms with her husband's death and the revelation of his infidelity."—Shelf Awareness