I think this, of the three I have read so far, has the strongest sense of scope, pace, and subject.
The idea here is that a youngish woman who was carrying on an affair with a married man got pushed to the edge and ended it. As she storms off, he prepares ways to remove her from his life. This means making she sure she is cut off financially, making sure she won’t “make a scene” or “cause a fuss” and anything else that might needs doing.
I think this book does something that we need more of, explore common contemporary tropes in contexts that are less familiar. Specifically, I have seen and read plenty of books about men ridding their lives of mistresses. Primarily these stories are told through the eyes of the men or their wives. In the cases where the mistress’s version is told, there’s still a plenty heavy dose of scolding and judgment or just simply making her crazy.
So simply telling this through her perspective, in a fairly normal and straightforward manner helps. In addition, I don’t readily think about 1920s Europe through a voice in the 1930s as being the place in which the most honest and frank truths come out. There’s not a lot of shading or hiding or clipsing off the truth here. It’s simply presented. I liked this one a lot because of this frankness, because of how clearly presented it is.
This one reminded me a lot of the film The Apartment and the Lorrie Moore short story, “How to be an Other Woman.”