Scandal, drama and betrayal – these elements form the main themes of a Tess Stimson book. One may wonder whether it is her novels, or Stimson herself that proves to be most controversial.

A self-proclaimed “mistress” and a “betrayed wife”, the intriguing British writer busies herself in questioning human relationships with her novels. Perhaps it can be observed that, like the early modernist Virginia Woolf, Stimson intricately weaves connections of human relationships and scrutinises them only to prove by the end that it is human to falter.

Interestingly, she views infidelity as a “symptom” of a marriage…

Her novel, The Adultery Club, immediately made it into the Top Ten Best Sellers in 2007. It focuses on a seemingly ideally faithful husband – Nicholas Lyon, who despite being in love with his wife gives in to desire. The stereotypical narrative presents a forty-something year old lawyer seduced by a woman half his age. Lyon’s guilt claws at him from inside, yet his desire eventually lead to his marriage crumbling down.

Stimson is often criticised for discussing unashamed infidelity in her writing, regarded as a pessimist when it comes to marital relations. Interestingly, she views infidelity as a “symptom” of a marriage, one that does not necessarily lead to its break down.

Why I love Tess Stimson is because, despite her criticism, she seeks to highlight a dark reality that thrives in the world – betrayal.

The Adultery Club is published by Pan Macmillan and is available for £6.99

Tess Stimson’s latest novel: The Wife Who Ran Away, is due to be released in the UK in January 2012.

Image courtesy of Tess Stimson


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