Saturday, June 20, 2009

91 - Perfection; Julie Metz

Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal , by Julie Metz is an extremely personal account of a not so “perfect” life. After the unexpected death of her husband Henry, and 12 years of marriage, 44 year old Julie Metz finds herself alone with a six year old daughter to raise. She spent the greater part of the next seven months living in a fog and missing the love of her life terribly. When a friend tells her about a woman Henry had been seeing in New York, Julie is shocked. Before long Julie learns it is not just one woman that Henry had strayed with, but a succession of at least five women, including a good friend.
Obsessed to find out more she searches emails and journals tracking down the women and setting out to meet them, and to understand “why” Henry had been unfaithful over and over again.
For Henry it seemed, was always looking for thrills in life, in love, and in lust, in other words “perfection”, but as Julie Metz points out “true perfection comes when you enjoy the whole of your life, and not just the good bits”.
Little by little Julie went from a “you are so lucky to be dead attitude Henry”, to one of forgiveness, moving on, and learning to love again.
A painfully honest memoir, without a “poor me” tone, Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal, kept me engaged as a reader. Certainly not an easy story to tell, it was very well done. I was also impressed to learn the Julie Metz is a graphic artist that designs book jackets, and that the picture perfect tulip on the cover really seemed to fit the title beautifully. My only negative comment about this book is that I thought there was a bit too much detail into all of Henry’s romantic involvements; other than that I really enjoyed this memoir.
RATING - 4/5 - COMPLETED 6/19/09
Where From – My (review) Stacks


  1. I love the cover of the book! This is a new to me title. Thanks for reviewing it.

  2. This does sound good. It must be so hard to forgive someone when you find out they have continually been unfaithful. Especially with her husband dead, she has no way to vent her anger against him.

  3. Although this sounds interesting, I wonder what kind of an effect this book will have on her daughter. I always wonder about this with memoirs where people talk about their kids' parents - is it really that important to tell the truth about yourself, knowing that your kid is going to read it and absorb what you're saying about their mother/father?

    How do you think this book does with that?

  4. I just saw this on the new books list at Amazon. It's in my queue. Just waiting for the library to get it now.
    Thanks for the review. I can't wait to read it.

  5. I have this book to read and review also. Loved your thoughts on this!!

  6. I can't even imagine what it must have been like for the author. Her husband dies and then she discovers he's been unfaithful with, not one, but several woman. The sense of betrayal and the anger that must have come with that . . . This sounds like an interesting memoir, Diane. I am glad to know the author was able to work through all of that.

  7. I think the tulip on the cover is quite fitting too. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to tell a personal story of loss and betrayal. Great review. =)

  8. I am reading this one right now, and finding it really absorbing. I am glad you felt the same.

  9. I finished this one while I was on vcation and still need to write my review. I thought it was ok, but I didn't like it quite as much as you did, I don't think.

  10. I agree that Julie delved too deeply into Henry's past and became a bit obsessed. I wanted to learn more about him apart from his love affairs, his background for instance, which is shrouded in mystery. We are only given hints, such as his olive complexion, and his obsession with perfection and "flavor" - using the Japanese word. Asian, Hispanic, partly??


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