Book Title: Degrees of Love: A Novel by Lisa Slabach
Category: Adult Fiction, 344 pages
Genre: Women's Fiction
Release date: Dec 1, 2017
Tour dates: Jan 3 to 31, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Adult themes including infidelity, occasional F-word, non-explicit sex scenes)
At thirty-six, Susan Sinclair has it all. She's just been promoted to Senior Vice President of Mobile Banking at her firm, a prestigious position bringing fresh creative challenges and a hefty salary increase. Like the shiny new BMW in the driveway of the Silicon Valley home she shares with her husband, Matt, and their two beautiful boys, Susan exudes confidence and style.
Yet despite her success in juggling the roles of wife, mother, and businesswoman, Susan struggles with a secret dissatisfaction. Matt's work in cutting-edge computer research pays less than her job, and with each advance in her career, he has grown more distant. But Matt refuses to admit there is a problem, and Susan forces herself to play along, determined to give her boys the close-knit family life she never had.
Then she meets her new boss, Reese Kirkpatrick. Working and traveling together, she and Reese become a crackerjack team, but little by little, pleasure mixes with business. For the first time in a long time—maybe ever—Susan feels seen and appreciated for who she is. Certain she would never allow their friendship to cross the line, Susan lets herself stray dangerously close to the edge.
A moment of weakness changes everything. Now, unable to stomach the façade her marriage has become yet unwilling to decimate her family by moving forward with Reese, Susan faces a choice that could cost her everything—including her children . . . but possibly bring her more than she can dream.
A SOCCER MOM’S BLOG
Tell us about your latest book.
Degrees of Love: A Novel is about a Silicon Valley soccer mom who on the surface has it all, but internally she struggles with bouts of unhappiness and unspoken resentment of her success from her husband. When she meets her new boss, she goes through a sort of awakening and is caught in a moral quagmire after becoming involved with him. In some ways, it is an exploration of the variations of love, including love of family and self.
Where did you get the idea for Degrees of Love?
When I was a VP of sales, I traveled a lot. During a particularly grueling back-to-back travel period, the idea for the story came to me while I watched a well-dressed woman jetting through LAX. That night I had dinner by myself in a Marriott hotel lounge and spent most of the time observing the other business travelers. I left the lounge, went to my room, and scrawled out a scene. Most of that first scene has been cut, but there are snippets of it in Chapter 5.
You are a former actress and have been a sales leader—how autobiographical is Degrees of Love?
Although I have been asked a few times if the book is a memoir, having similar work history and love of cooking is where the similarities end. I met my husband when we were sophomores in college and have been married for over thirty years. We both pursued theater for a number of years and jointly decided to exit stage left in order to give our girls a more stable home environment. I have no regrets. Just like any marriage we’ve had our ups and downs, but he is the great love of my life and I know I am his.
Does your family support you in your writing career? How?
Absolutely. Just as some families are sports families, my family is the artsy family—my oldest daughter wants to be a screenwriter, my youngest wants to be a concept artist for film, and my husband used to be an actor/musician and still plays multiple instruments. They all understand the urge to create and give me space to write. My book launch was family event with everyone pitching in and cheering me on.
In Degrees of Love, Susan loves to cook. Do you cook?
Yes, I do. Since I spend so much of my time either on the phone or in front of a computer, I find the physical mindfulness of cooking very relaxing. I have a pink kitchen, complete with a pink stove and refrigerator and a plethora of pink accoutrements. On Sundays, I love pouring myself a glass of wine and spending the afternoon cooking a big meal for my family. I actually have made all of the dishes referenced in my stories, except for the casserole prepared by Sarah in Chapter 3!
What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
When my husband was in law school, I was the sole support for our young family. At the time, I worked at Saks Fifth Avenue and made good money as retail goes, but struggled to make ends meet with two toddlers in daycare and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I took a risk, quit my salaried position, and went to work as a straight commission sales person in the financial industry. I barely had enough banked to float us until my first commission check. Thankfully, it worked out, but I did have some serious motivation.
Any New Year’s resolutions?
Praise for Degrees of Love:
"Slabach crafts a relatable, heartbreakingly real story that will no doubt resonate with those at a similar station in life: women who love their families yet yearn for just a little more—to feel wanted rather than needed, to feel passion rather than complacency. In engaging prose and through skillful storytelling, Slabach captivates with an all-too-familiar story that raises questions with no easy answers."
- Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"This does not read like a debut author’s book. Slabach shows herself to be adept at portraying the complex emotions of the human condition. Her characters live and breathe on the page in a way that every author strives for, but few actually manage. Susan’s struggles ring true, and the way she handles everything makes her a very likable and relatable character."
- Sarah Perry, San Francisco Book Review, 5 Stars
"Profound, heart wrenching and very emotional, it is hard to believe that Degrees of Love is a debut novel by Lisa Slabach. This is one of the best novels I have read this year."
- Rabia Tanveer, Readers' Favorite
To read more reviews, please visit Lisa Slabach's page on iRead Book Tours.
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