A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was interesting yet vaguely unsatisfying at the end. Things seemed to happen a little too randomly and easily for both Helen and Ben.
Ben's infatuation with a legal summer intern leads to a sex scandal that costs him his job and his family. His subsequent time in rehab and jail don't really seem to change him, excepting of course the loss of job and family. The effect of his actions on his wife and daughter are mostly that Helen has to go to work (she becomes a crisis manager for a very small PR agency, then for a much larger one) and they move to New York, away from their upstate small(ish) town where everyone knows them and what happened.
Helen's approach to the crisis management piece is what made this interesting: does admitting you failed, accepting some blame and apologizing really work for a corporation or famous person? Looking at the number of well-known/famous people who have "made mistakes" with infidelity (Gen. Patraeus, Gov. Spitzer, Rep. Weiner... the list goes on) who have also apologized, that does seem to be the strategy. But a company? You rarely see that.
The vaguely unsatisfying part is Ben's lack of real change, the flat affect that Helen presents throughout the book, and Sara's predictable early teen angst. Having said that, I'm not sure what this type of story could have done to be really satisfying or different from other stories of this kind.
ARC provided by publisher.