Micki Martini's Rec of the Week: 6/27 - 7/3

June 30, 2011

The Journal by MsEm
Reviewed by Micki Martini

Rating: M
Genre: Angst/Romance
Characters: Edward/Bella

Summary: His wife's journal. He shouldn't read it, but he can't help himself. My entries I entered into the Quickie Contest, EXTENDED.

In The Journal by MsEm, Bella and Edward have been married for twenty years but have been drifting apart. When Bella suspects Edward is being unfaithful she seeks therapy for depression. Her therapist encourages her to write down her feelings in a journal. She writes:

After almost 20 years of marriage, I feel like I don't even know him anymore. Or myself, but I'm hoping to fix this.

Edward spies her journal lying out and reads it. Initially he wants to blame her for his affair.

It's her fault. She stopped talking to him, touching him, making an effort.

When Edward discovers Bella was minutes away from attempting to overdose on sleeping pills, he begins to blame himself. He realizes immediately he doesn't want to lose her or their life together. He is moved to save his marriage but meanwhile Bella continues to withdraw. She is consumed by wanting to know more about the affair yet is apprehensive about it. She thinks that once she knows the details, she may never be able to forgive Edward. She finally confronts him:

"I know about the affair...," she interrupts him quietly. Grabbing the throw pillow that sits between them to hug to her chest, she starts to explain, "A few months ago, I found a receipt in one of your pockets while doing the laundry, and there was only one item bought on there… We haven't used those in years," she adds in a whisper that holds no emotion, trying to keep herself from breaking down right away.

He already knows how she had found out from reading her journal, but before he can respond, she continues, dejectedly, "There's just been one woman…right?

As the story progresses, Bella and Edward analyze the mistakes they have made in their marriage while realizing that fixing them may be an impossible task. Did I mention this one is angsty? Bring tissues to this weepalooza.

If I had to describe this story with one word it would be REAL. I've been married twenty-some years, most of my friends have been as well. This seems to be a turning point in a lot of relationships; as the kids grow up, needs as marriage partners change. When communications problems exist, marriage cracks turn into gaping holes quickly. Add to that an affair, and it's a recipe for divorce. What Bella and Edward still have going for them is their love - shaken, but not destroyed.

The anger she feels towards her husband and his infidelity grows stronger as she continues to write, but the love that she feels for him is always there to intercept.

… I love him, but I sometimes wish I didn't. I feel like I should leave him, but I know I can't live without him. I hate him for that, but I love him too much to leave …

This is MsEm's first posted fanfic. The chapters are short, less than 2000 words each, and they pack an emotional punch. There are 16 chapters currently posted, she updates regularly, and posts teasers on The Journal's Facebook page.


  1. adonicass said...:

    Pain-filled review, MM. Dare I read The Journal?


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