Title: A Line Blurred
Author: Bryan Healey
As its title evidently suggests, Bryan Healey’s debut novel A Line Blurred underlines the bitter consequences of blurring a line that could trigger serious repercussions. With acute details, Healey reiterates that our actions involve consequences that could forever alter the course of our lives. For better or for worse.
Kevin is an executive living a depressed, painfully predictable suburban life frustrated that life didn’t quite turn out the way he wanted it to. His relationship with his wife Kylie is hanging by a thread over their loveless marriage. Refusing to believe that there is nothing in their marriage left for either of them and hence it is practically over, the couple leads a life under the pretense of normalcy for the sake of their two kids.
When a chance encounter brings a new woman into his life, Kevin finds himself completely drawn to her, risking everything in his life. As their romance flourish, Kevin seeks comfort in Rachel as she soon became his ‘emotional outlet.’ On the other end of the spectrum, Kylie meets Christopher, a much younger man, with whom she starts a dangerous relationship that could have equally serious ramifications. Unbeknownst to each other, Kevin and Kylie continue their affairs and lead their life at home ignoring the bigger problems in their married life.
Each constantly finding rationalization with their guilt, the couple has grown comfortable with their deceit to the extent that each never questioned the other, reaching an unspoken “mutual truce of circumstance”. When the inevitable caught up with them, it threatens to destroy their lives with irrevocable damages to everyone involved.
Told over a span of five days, A Line Blurred narrates a succinctly-written, moving account of the dire consequences in its wake plunging one family into emotional doom, when an important line has been blurred that cannot be redrawn back, that cannot be undone. The extra-marital affairs set against the backdrop of mundane everyday life will jolt you with such force that you will almost feel the blow it brings with it.
Healey has given life to utterly believable characters that you will immediately grow close to. There were times I felt frustrated with the absurdity of Kevin and Kylie staying in their marriage, seemingly ignoring its lifelessness. Isn’t it better for them to separate on mutual terms than live in an almost torturous life? Other times, I find myself empathizing with their reason for doing so; putting their children’s well-being first. Now how could anyone go against that that? Along with Kevin and Kylie, we are torn between the dilemmas of their marriage, unsure to the decisions that could set them free.
Ironically, the blurring of the line following a few coincidences and twist of fate in Kevin and Kylie’s married life is ultimately what makes the couple realize the hurtful truth which they have been deliberately avoiding. The startling climax of the book thus comes as an utter shock where stakes were raised against the odds. As you close the last page, you will be left wondering ‘what if’.
Reviewed by Hamdhoon Rashad for Bookpleasures.com