Publish Date: March 8, 2022
“If my clients know what to expect, my process won’t be effective. I’ll only tell you this: it always starts with The Confession.” – The Golden Couple
If Avery Chambers can’t fix you in 10 sessions, she won’t take you on as a client. Her successes are phenomenal–she helps people overcome everything from domineering parents to assault–and almost absorb the emptiness she sometimes feels since her husband’s death.
Marissa and Mathew Bishop seem like the golden couple–until Marissa cheats. She wants to repair things, both because she loves her husband and for the sake of their 8-year-old son. After a friend forwards an article about Avery, Marissa takes a chance on this maverick therapist, who lost her license due to controversial methods.
When the Bishops glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger.
Ten sessions might not seem like nearly enough time to solve complex therapeutic issues, but according to Avery Chambers, her unique brand of intensive short-term counseling changes lives.
Marissa and Matthew, “The Golden Couple”, seem to have everything: a happy marriage, a picture perfect family, dream jobs, a luxurious home, and nice cars. Over the years, this golden couple has lost its luster and they hire renegade therapist Avery to save their failed marriage after Marissa confesses to cheating on Matthew. Marissa’s infidelity destroys their already frail, distant relationship and Marissa contacts Avery in desperation. This begins the deep-dive into Avery, Marissa, and Matthew’s past. Everyone has secrets and lies that they are keeping from each other.
The story is told in alternating perspectives of Marissa and Avery. The therapist Avery’s side was compelling as a rogue therapist, and her backstory showed her human side as a wife and an animal lover. Therapists can be a bit clinical, so this other perspective was appreciated. However, Avery gets a little bit too much into her patients lives and her rogue techniques were invasive and fa bit creepy.
This book is a slow burn with a nice, even pace. I got wrapped up in the story and the characters although none were very likeable (except the dog Romeo). The ending was not what I was expecting, so the element of surprise was a positive spin.
My favorite quotes:
“Grief is a shape-shifter. It defies logic, sneaking up on you when you least expect it and leaving you empty-handed and hollowed out when you go searching for it.”
“Sometimes, we need to look at our lives from a different angle to recognize the dysfunction and damage certain relationships are causing.”
“An uneasy mind is difficult to quiet.”
“Most therapists only know what you tell them. Even if you try to be one hundred percent honest, you create an illusion based on your perceptions and unconscious biases.”
“You never know what is inside another person’s heart or head.“
This book is about marriage, relationships, family, secrets, betrayal, motherhood, and lies. The story is twisty and turny, and it was a fun mystery with an ending that was a complete surprise.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley exchange for an honest review.