Marie Force Blog
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The Great Treading Water Debate

TreadingWater500It happens every time I do any sort of promotion for Treading Water, the inevitable one-star reviews about my “cheating” hero. These comments always take me back more than ten years now, to writing that book and the dilemma I faced on behalf of my character, Jack. His wife is in a coma after a mysterious accident. He is told by doctors that she will never recover. He does everything he can think of to change the outcome, consulting specialists and refusing to accept the reality of her situation for nearly a year. And when it finally sinks in with him that the doctors were right and there is nothing that can be done, he hits the depths of despair.

He’s only just emerging from that dark time when he meets Andi, the interior designer who is in town from Chicago to work on the hotel that Jack’s company is building in Newport, RI. Jack is not looking to replace his wife. He is certainly not looking for love. He’s got all he can handle to manage his three daughters and his business. The last thing on his mind is a new relationship.

When writing Treading Water, I wanted to accomplish two things—I wanted to push Jack outside the comfort zone of his easy, happy-go-lucky life by placing this enormous challenge in his path. And I wanted him to be conflicted about how to handle a new relationship in the midst of the ongoing tragedy of his wife’s condition.

I had two very distinct paths I could take with him. He could divorce Clare to be with Andi. Or, Jack could be with Andi without divorcing Clare. To me, there was only ONE path Jack could take and still come out of it “heroically.” And that was to remain married to Clare. In fact, it never occurs to him that he should divorce her. But let’s face it, that was an option available to him after he meets Andi.

I thought at the time, and I continue to believe today, that no one would’ve loved Jack if he divorced his wife of twenty years while she was in a coma. No decent man would ever do such a thing, no matter what he might want for himself. Not to mention, he had three daughters who wouldn’t understand why their father was divorcing their sick mother. I never seriously considered divorce as an option for him.

Reminder—he is forty-three years old, and the doctors have told him his wife will never recover. She has been in a coma for more than a year when he meets Andi, quite by chance. He is not looking for her, but he finds her anyway. Most of the people in his life, including Clare’s mother, are urging him to get back to living after sitting by Clare’s bedside for the better part of a year.

So these are the reasons he stayed married, and now I have to contend with the readers who consider him a cheater because he moved on with someone else while his wife was in a coma.

I’ve had this debate with so many readers over the years, and my argument is always the same. We all THINK we know what we’d do in any situation—until we find ourselves in it. Nothing is quite as black and white as it seems on the surface after life throws you a curve ball you never saw coming. Most of our lives are actually lived in the gray area, in which right and wrong isn’t as clear cut as we’d like it to be, and the truth is, no one knows what they’d really do in any given situation until they are IN IT.

One of the things I love best about Treading Water is how, in his forties, Jack thinks he knows himself so well until his life is upended, forcing him to reexamine his beliefs. Everything he knew to be true is now open for debate, and he comes out on the other side profoundly changed by the experience.

How funny is it that the first book I every wrote is by far the most controversial? It has the most one-star reviews from people who couldn’t get past Jack “cheating” on his wife. Emotions run high when the topic of infidelity is introduced in this context, and that’s why Treading Water makes for such a fun book club book. Everyone has an opinion!

Mine has always been that Jack did the best he could for his wife, his daughters and himself in an unimaginable situation. He made sure Clare had the best of everything, including round-the-clock private-duty nurses who cared for her. He visited her regularly. He made sure his daughters visited her regularly. He stepped up for his kids in a way that he never had before when Clare managed their home life while he ran his business. And when he meets someone who makes him feel better for the first time in more than a year, he is powerless to resist the comfort she offers.

What do you think? Is Jack a hero or a demon for allowing himself to fall in love with someone else while remaining married to his incapacitated wife? What do you think about the gray area that falls between right and wrong? I’m very interested in your thoughts, but I will delete anything that ventures into the area of rancor. Most of you know I love Jack enough to have named my business after him—HTJB, Inc. House That Jack Built. It all came from him, my first character, who gave me the greatest dilemma of my career in my first book.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts!

xoxo
Marie

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 133 comments
angela - February 23, 2016

I THINK WE WOULD ALL LIKE TO THINK WE ARE SUPERSTARS AND WILL ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING IN THIS CASE WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING, HE TOOK CARE OF HIS WIFE PUT HER IN A HOUSE NEXT TO HIS AND NEVER ABANDONDED HER NOT EVEN WHEN HE MET ANDI. LOVE JUST COMES HE DIDN’T GO LOOKING FOR IT. I LOVED THESE BOOKS AND I THOUGHT IT WAS WRITTEN WITH COMPASSION AND EMOTION. IS HE A HERO OR A VILLIAN NEITHER HE IS JUST HUMAN.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    SO well stated. He’s just human. Exactly!

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yvonne - February 23, 2016

I am a believer that you NEVER know what you will do when you are put in a dire situation . Life is not black and white and what is good for one , might not be good for someone else. There are internal struggles and past history that affect us all. So , who am I to judge what someone else does. I might not agree at the moment but what if I am put in that situation? Just some food for thought

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Isn’t it so true? How easy is it to say I WOULD NEVER…. until you are in it and the perspective is so different. I think that’s the central theme of this book, thinking about what you would do and examining your own feelings about what’s right and what’s wrong. I think people who flat out object to Jack’s actions might hold themselves to a rigid set of rules that prevents them from fully experiencing a lot of things.

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      yvonne - February 23, 2016

      Keep on doing your wonderful writing!

      Reply
Vivian Whitehead - February 23, 2016

I read this book not long after it came out. It was an excellent read, a real page turner. I think Jack did the best he could with a horrendous situation. And the curve balls he is thrown by life show he is of good character. I would not call what happened cheating, just that he was trying to live his life when he was told there was no hope for his wife’s recovery.

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Janet Wellman Tarnosky Merritt - February 23, 2016

I absolutely loved this book and the entire series and have even given thought to reading it again, as it was an early Marie Force experience for me! I also absolutely have no tolerance for cheating in a marriage, if the marriage isn’t working for you then it is time to move on in an adult fashion not sneak around behind someone’s back. That being said, there is not even an iota of cheating, in my opinion, in this book. I understand that he made a commitment to Claire and needed to stand by her, which he did. However, given the fact that the medical community was giving him zero chance of his wife recovering, should he really just spend the next 40 years alone? Seriously? Andi was not only good for him but good for the girls, who obviously were not cheating on their mother by loving someone else. The girls needed a mother figure at that point in their lives, as much as Jack needed the support of someone who loved him in the fashion that Andi did. I do not see the cheating problem in this story. I think you did a wonderful job of telling the story and gave everyone an opportunity to think about how they would deal with life’s lumps. I personally believe that people are kidding themselves if they think that they would remain without love and the friendship that it offers at such a young age.

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    Barbara Hamilton Cotton - February 23, 2016

    My feeling exactly

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Thank you–and that’s a very interesting perspective about the girls not “cheating” on their mother by loving Andi. I agree!

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Judy Briley Sklavos - February 23, 2016

This book is so well written expressing his deep feelings about the situation. My heart hurt for him. This is one of those books you get so involved in you cant put it down. Great story about heart wrenching circumstances. Loved it and the ones that follow.

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Elizabeth Breese - February 23, 2016

I think Jacks’s situation is terrible and scary. He had a wonderful life until it all changed one day. He loves Clare, but in reality it’s like she died. I struggled with his moving on with Andi, but the fact that the relationship kind of just happened vs him going looking for it made it easier.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    It is like a death, you’re right about that. And I agree that it was critical that he wasn’t out there actively looking for someone else. It just happened. So many landmines in this story for me! HA!

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Penny Foster - February 23, 2016

This is the only series of yours I have not read and I admit it is because of the reviews. I am now going to read it! I should have known that you would treat such a difficult subject with the same care and consideration that you put into all of your characters’ lives. Cannot wait to get started!

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Thank you for giving it a whirl. I hope you enjoy it!

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    Kerrie Gaden - February 23, 2016

    Penny I’m sure you’ll love the entire series

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    Rachel Meland Hartmann - February 23, 2016

    This is not the only book in the series with a little bit of controversy. You definitely should read them! They are excellent and they do make you think. Read the whole series, don’t stop at book one. So much more happens! 🙂

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    Vicki Sadlier Widiker - February 23, 2016

    Penny, you won’t regret reading this series. So much depth to the characters. You will hurt for them, cheer for them and fall in love with the extended families.

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Sarah Partain - February 23, 2016

I never saw Jack as a bad guy. And you’re right…if Jack had divorced Clare while she was in a coma, I would never have finished Treading Water, let alone gone on to read ALL of your other books and fallen in love with your other families. Jack made the best decision in an impossible situation.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    I never would’ve gotten away with a divorce, but the people who think he’s a cheater would’ve thought that was ok?? I find that hard to believe. 🙂

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      Carol McClellan - February 23, 2016

      I think you would have had more people upset with you if you did have him divorce Clare while she was in the coma. I know I would have been.

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Barbara Hamilton Cotton - February 23, 2016

Jack is a good husband and father. He does everything he should. Without giving the story away , he is exactly what I would want my husband to do. Yes , till death do us part , but an irreversible coma , as they thought , IS death. I would hope my husband wouldn’t beat himself up about finding someone. My main goal is my husband’s happiness. After a coma like that , I would hope he found someone when he wasn’t looking. I know I will get flack for this but I think this is how Jack was. I love this series. I am sorry for the 1 star review. I give every book you write a 5!!

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    I feel the same way you do. If I’m incapacitated, go live your life. What can he do for me that he isn’t already doing? And what good does it do to ruin two lives when one is already ruined?

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      Judy Rowen - February 23, 2016

      I agree whole heartedly.

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Tammy Young - February 23, 2016

When I first started reading the book I thought “How could he?!” But as I was reading I totally understood. It was very well written, I could feel the strong emotions he was going through as well as Clare’s. Honestly at first I didn’t think I would like it because of the idea of him not staying faithful to her but that is NOT what this story is about. I love this series and I suggest that anyone who is on the fence about reading it to give it a try and read them all. The completed series is really worth reading. Don’t worry, there is happiness to be found in this emotional series 🙂

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    I’m glad you were able to come around to seeing the dilemma from Jack’s point of view. 🙂

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      Tammy Young - February 23, 2016

      I wonder if the negative people leaving 1 star reviews actually read the entire series, because each book basically takes you through another phase of their journey that brings everything together perfectly.

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lisaione - February 23, 2016

And this is why I have never read this group of books, while voraciously reading everything else you’ve written. In my head he’s a cheat. As I grow older much of the black and white of my youth has slowly turned grey but not my thoughts on fidelity. I understand the circumstances in this story, I know that until you are in a set a circumstances you can’t know what will be right for you, but still, in my head he’s a cheat. So, while tempted many times to pick this up, I know I won’t like the hero, so I stay away.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    I totally get the reluctance. But… If you haven’t actually read it, you might be missing out on something you might enjoy when you get all the context of the situation. Treading Water is currently free. I dare you to give it a try. LOL!

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Andrea Stephens - February 23, 2016

I fell in love with Jack. I hurt with him. I love that series the most of all of your series (and I’ve read them all!) and I’ve reread it at least 3 times. The Fall comes in 2nd. I love a broken, imperfect hero. We are all beautiful disasters. None of us is without flaw. The beauty is in the journey and the most beautiful things are found off the well beaten path…out in the wild and untamed. We can stand on the path and see parts of the beauty beyond, but we only see it from our sheltered, safe perspective. If we are brave enough, daring enough (or maybe we get pushed or thrown) to get off that path and end up in the beauty of the wilds…only then do we really experience it in its fullness. And only then, when our perspective changes, do we really see what’s what.

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Ruth Goldstein - February 23, 2016

The dilemma that Jack faced was very well written – you could see how torn he was, thinking of Clare and Andi, and his girls, and wondering what he could do. It is easy for people to say what they would do or not do, but it’s your story to tell, and I believe you told it the best way possible – very thought provoking, not matter what your beliefs!

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angela - February 23, 2016

PLEASE READ THESE BOOKS THEY ARE GREAT ITS THAT CURVE IN LIFE THAT YOU HAVE NO CLUE HOW YOU WILL REACT. ITS VERY EASY TO SAY WHAT WE WOULD DO IN A SITUATION LIKE THAT BUT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT HOW WE TRULY WOULD REACT I THINK HE GAVE HIS WIFE HIS UTMOST RESPECT AS BEST AS HE COULD AFTER A YEAR IN A COMA. I JUST WANT TO SAY DON’T ALWAYS GO BY THE REVIEWS SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO EXPERIENCE THE BOOKS YOURSELF.

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UpNorthof203 - February 23, 2016

I think that the “honesty” part story was set in motion when Clare couldn’t trust her marriage enough to share what happened to her. That is what set the marriage on its ear, and then set in motion what followed. Actions (or inaction) have consequences….. In no way should her character be blamed for the rape. I want to make THAT piece clear, but sometimes things take on a life of their own. He did the best he could given the circumstances.

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Rebecca Gill - February 23, 2016

This is my favourite series. I love how truly conflicted Jack is. It made me think what would I do? To many people judge. The saying walk a mile in my shoes springs to mind with this book.
It’s beautifully written, with compassion and gives a rare incite into what people in situations similar to this have to deal with. Nothing is black and white. Life is full of grey.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    A lot of people have said that it made them wonder what they would do, Rebecca. Thank you for the kind thoughts. I agree–life is ALL about the gray!

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Sharon Wood Young - February 23, 2016

I read it because it was by Marie and really it was not an issue for me. I thought that is was a logical step in re-building his life. When his wife woke up, I was more afraid he would leave Andi. I really believe that you do not know what you would do if presented with what Jack was facing with 3 daughters and a wife who was never supposed to wake up.

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Stacie Blair - February 23, 2016

TW is my my favorite series that you wrote. The first time reading it, I did feel as if Jack was cheating but I also felt his turmoil and internal struggle. He was in love with two women one of which was not available to him and may never be. His cheating to not go without conscience, regret and sorrow for the love he lost.
As I continued to read the story I learned to respect Jack’s decision and learned to love the new life he was creating.

When Clair woke up I was devastated for her. Cried my eyes out knowing the world that she would now have to face.
I cried for Jack. Claire was never supposed to wake up. I could feel his pure joy knowing that she was awake and well. I could feel his heart break as he knew he was losing her all over again because he chose to move on. I felt his uncertainty to know whether or not he was going to do the right thing.
My heart broke for Andie. She knew this was always a possibility. She knew she was in love and in a relationship with a married man but his marriage was not typical. He was married to a “ghost” and now she was alive. Because of her love for Jack and Claire’s daughters she was so happy that Claire was awake and well. They would finally have their mother back but she was also so sad as she knew Claire was first and now she was losing the love of her life assuming Jack would go back to his wife.

I love the last book of the series. I love that the families were able to come together for their daughter’s wedding and although not controversal, they were one big happy family. Although Jack and Claire are married to others, they were able to maintain their friendship and I believe wholeheartedly that they will always love one another and have the upmost recpect for one another as well as each other’s new spouses. The fact that they were both able to find true love elsewhere and be happy while still maintaining a strong relationship with each other and parent their daughters together, made me so happy. the story starts off tragic but it turns into exactly what was meant to be!

I cant wsit to see everything else to this series will bring.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Thank you Stacie! Jack’s euphoria and agony was “fun” to write!

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Peggy Dixon - February 23, 2016

I have always loved Jack. I also love And and Clare. Yes, the gray area is really where life is lived. I understood his dilemma and I saw clearly that And was a complete surprise but he did fall in love with her. I believe if Clare hadn’t released Jack he would have stayed with her and that he also loved her. It was agonizing to read. You made me feel every bit of the pain all three of them felt. I never thought of him as cheating on Clare. I understood though that in the end he would have been very unhappy without Andi. This is what I loved about the book.

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Judy Cavins - February 23, 2016

I guess I would have to say that anybody who critical of Jack in MY PERSONAL opinion may be a little close minded. I can’t imagine that I would expect anyone in that very particular situation to not “stray” especially after the length of time. (I have been married to the love of my life for 46 years). We have often said, that we hope we have given each other the the kind of love and strength to have the courage to go forward, not to hide in grief. To have courage to look for another love.( I do not believe in open marriages) but I do believe in living life. I suppose your critics probably don’t read the Quantam series or “50” LOL. My husband and I have read parts together. Life is out there to grab it. Change of feelings an emotions and willingness to accept growth and change keep you strong.

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Carol McClellan - February 23, 2016

I can see why some people would have trouble with Jack getting together with Andi while still being married. I am not one of them. He waited over a year, he was told Clare would never get better, Clare’s parents told him he should start living again. Plus he never went looking for it. I think you had him do the right thing by staying married to Clare.

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Christi - February 23, 2016

This is by far one of my favorite books and series. I love Jack. He has been dealt a situation that he could have never imagined. None of us know how we would handle a situation of this nature if it happened in our lives. Beyond that, the character and their paths in a book is from the imagination of the author. Readers should realize that they may not always agree with the direction of the story but it is not their story to tell, it is the author’s story. I have read a lot lately about writing to the market instead of the stories that are in your mind. While I understand the premise of this in order to succeed in the publishing world, I still love the stories that have been written just because they talk to the author and want out on paper. Back to Jack, I don’t consider him cheating. He did everything he could for his wife but was not given any hope of every having her back with him and his children. Love finds us when we least expect it and not always in the optimal situation. To me, Jack is one of my book heroes….never a villain!

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Thank you, Christi! You guys know he’s my ultimate hero too!

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Ethel Murphy - February 23, 2016

I have to admit, I had a hard time with Jack and Andi, only because of Clare. She came out of her coma and had to deal with that on top of everything that happened to her. But then she finds love also. Just reading how both Jack and Clare had to deal with life and family makes for a terrific series!!! I loved it!!!

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    I can definitely understand that, Ethel, but her recovery was like a 1 percent thing, and no one expected it. I still remember the day I wrote that scene. Will never forget it.

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Therese Lewis Smith - February 23, 2016

I love the Treading Water series, and I love and admire Jack. You are so right, you never know how you will react in any given situation until it happens to you. I found Jack to be an amazing and upstanding man, a true ‘family’ man…. and I thank you for gifting us with this series.

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Kamy Moss - February 23, 2016

I adore the Treading Water series, having now read it 5 times. I understand how people might see him as the cheater, but I see him as a man so grief stricken who is searching for the strength to keep his family from falling apart. And Andi was his compass. Without her, I feel like he would have been lost at sea. He fell in love in a very honest, realistic way when Andi entered his life. He wasn’t looking for love because he had that with Clare. I love the story and I love the complexity of Jack’s character.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Thank you, Kamy! I agree that their story unfolded in a very honest and organic way. They both had a lot on the line. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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moodygirlmb - February 23, 2016

i am one of those people who try and look at all sides to an issue. Lets face it, life isn’t just one thing or the other, there are usually many facets to it. In real life a divorce separates a person’s responsibilities. If Jack had divorced her, it would no longer be his decision over her care. His children weren’t old enough to take that responsibility. Would it have fallen on the courts to decide who would see to her care? Very likely and would she have received the same care under them? Not very likely. Jack never shirked his responsibilities. That made him a hero to me. He always put others ahead of him. When he was bounced out of his comfort zone, he could have done so many things. He could have put his wife in an institute and forgotten her. He could have left his girls care up to others, family or people he hired. He could have basically “ran away” from the situation. He stood tall and grew from it. Even in the depths of despair he took care of his family. In my eyes, those who told him he had to move on, were right. Because he didn’t go looking for someone, because that someone found him instead, I feel it was “fate”. It was meant to happen. And, who are we to question it? Those who call him a cheater and refuse to face the facts of all he had done for others are very narrow minded, and those people are missing out on everything life has to offer.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Interesting perspective, thank you!

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Mary Smith - February 23, 2016

I fell in love with Jack but it was a very difficult story to begin with. I am not sorry I finished this book because it made me realize what it took to write it. I have been a fan of yours and your books ever since.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    It was grueling, Mary, and all-consuming. Treading Water took me on one hell of a journey–and I’ve been on that journey ever since. 🙂

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      Mary Smith - February 23, 2016

      I am just so happy that I started reading your books and I can tell you put your heart and soul in every story.
      I hope to get to your neck of the woods someday soon and hope to be able to meet you in person.

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Laurie Laska - February 23, 2016

It’s funny that this book has received your most one star reviews. It was my introduction to Marie Force books and was an immediate 5 star review for me, and to this day remains my all-time favorite of your stories. I loved Jack from the start and agonized with him through his dilemma with how to handle his life and family after his wife’s accident. I thought how you wrote his story was sensitive, realistic, and honest. And I never for one minute felt that Jack was cheating on his wife. That wasn’t the person you created in your story, and would have been so out of character for Jack. Marie, you are excellent at writing that ‘gray area’ in lives and relationships. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. We love you and will read what you write until you stop writing, which we hope is never.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Thank you Laurie! No plans to quit any time soon!

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Sandra Daigle - February 23, 2016

Do the people that give only 1 star live life without any major decisions? Come on. We all face daily challenges. I will go back and give 4 stars like I should have. Did not realize it was that important. HA!!!!! A new decision for me made today. Going to be a very good day.
Jack is truly a very good man. He could have had the plug pulled when the doctor told him that there was no hope. He finally made a decision to return to work and was not expecting to fall in love again.
Always enjoy your books.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Thank you Sandra! Yes, people love to give one-star reviews when they don’t agree with the premise of the book, which is certainly their right to do!

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Diane Blaser - February 23, 2016

Jack is definitely not a bad man in my opinion. I loved this book and the huge emotional dilemma Jack faced made me sad but, as you said, life is full of gray areas. He did everything he could to cope with the situation at hand! Thanks for this awesome series. I really enjoyed it.

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Judy Rowen - February 23, 2016

Treading Water was one of my All-Time favorites! I am an older woman and I truly hate cheating. However, Jack was a good man – loyal husband, wonderful father and he honestly planned to spend the rest of his life loving his wife. Who knows what they would do if faced with the dilemma he was faced with – having his wife in a coma and the bleak future which was that she would never recover. I honestly could not find fault with the relationship which developed with the other woman and even his kids as well as other family members loved having her in their lives. I thought it was a wonderfully written story and I felt he did what he thought was fair with both tosses of the coin so to speak. That is real life to me and I still give this story five stars!

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Susan Ellen Ronan Gourley - February 23, 2016

After discovering your books a few years ago Treading Water was the second book of yours that I read. I absolutely fell in love with the characters (especially Jack) and your writing style. I don’t see Jack as a cheater he found himself in a situation he never thought he would be in and did the best he could. Like you said Marie, nothing is black and white and until you are thrown into something so unexpected you don’t really know how you will navigate through it. I love all of your books but the Treading Water series holds a special place in my heart. I only wish there were more than four books for us to enjoy. I would love to continue to discover these characters as they journey through life.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Thank you, Susan! There may be another book eventually!

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Robyn Eaton Shaffer - February 23, 2016

Treading Water was one of the first books that I read of yours and to this day, remains one of my favorites. I have read it, at least, 3 times and will read it again soon I’m sure. I never had one bad thought towards Jack and his decision to move on after it looked like all hope was gone. I would expect my husband to do the same if we ever found ourselves in that situation. In “real life” very few people come back to live a regular life after being in a coma for such a long period.
I love your books and hope you continue to write them for many, many years to come!

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Thank you Robyn! I appreciate that!

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Catherine Canaday Kelley - February 23, 2016

I would hardly say that Jack was a cheater! I read this book a long time ago and never had that thought even as I read it the first time. He was given the best medical information available to him. No one knows if anything is final…except death. I know there are a lot of religious beliefs that you’re married forever even if your spouse has passed. That is not living! Everyone deserves to be happy. Jack did not seek a relationship with anyone else. I believe that very same God put her in his path for a reason.

I believe a one-star review is totally unfair and shows a real lack of compassion for the living!

Marie… I love your books. Please don’t change. I may like some better than others but this one was a heart-breaker for sure!

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Thank you! I like your thought that Andi was put in his path for a reason. Very true!

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Farmer_Girl - February 23, 2016

I owned this book even before it was made free. It’s also one of the few Marie Force books I never got around to reading. In fact I own the entire Treading Water series but haven’t read any books in this series. (So many books so little time.) Cheating isn’t a trigger for me so that’s never an issue. I moved this book up in my queue to read. Interesting topic but that’s to be expected from an MF book.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Thank you! I hope you enjoy it when you read it!

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californiagang - February 23, 2016

Cheating is a really sore subject for me, given my ex spouse chose that route and ended a 30 year relationship with 2 teenage boys, but, having said that, I don’t see this situation with Jack as cheating. He’s been told that his wife will never come out of a coma, he’s been true to her for a year trying to find a way for her to come out of that coma, without success. Him finding companionship with someone special while he is still young would be something his wife would want for him, heck, even his wifes mother is telling him to go on with his life. It’s a very emotional thing, and can’t be an easy decision for anyone to make, but until one is put into that situation, no one can pass judgement.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    It’s great that you can have that perspective after what you endured. Thank you for sharing your story.

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Sharon Rudolph - February 23, 2016

I love Jack, I never felt he was cheating, he did everything for Clare! When she woke up, he continued to do everything for her. He let Andi go, he and Clare had to work through those difficult times. I always felt that everything he did was for Clare.

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Eloise - February 23, 2016

Treading Water is also my favorite series. I go back and re-read it often. I always come away feeling that Jack is one of the most honorable men ever depicted in fiction. To be faced with such an unexpected and inconceivable situation is soul searing. As I read, I confess to feeling that Andi was also put into just as difficult a situation as Jack. I ached with grief for her several times during the book. What saves not only Jack and Andi, in my opinion, but Clare as well is honest love. I shed tears for all three before the end of the book. I walked away with sincere respect for all three as well. You truly outdid yourself with this series, Marie!

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Wow, thank you Eloise! That’s high praise for Jack. 🙂

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Debbie Smith - February 23, 2016

I continually put off reading the Treading Water series because of the story line. Once I convinced myself to give it a try, I was very surprised at how much I LOVED it. Each book was real emotional roller coaster and never once did I think Jack was “cheating” on his wife. You told the stories in such a way that we could understand each characters point of view and emotions. It is really one of my favorite series because of the path you took to get to the HEA. Can’t remember the name of the book, but my favorite was Brandon’s.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Oh yay, Debbie! I love to hear that you loved it once you finally read it. And Brandon’s story is a personal favorite of mine, too. What an amazing journey that story took me on. I still think about it all the time.

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Phyllis Wenzel - February 23, 2016

I like so many here have said loved the series. When reading it I never had a bad thought about Jack at all, as a matter of fact I really felt horribly bad for him, he always did the right thing by everyone, made everyone happy. Being told all along his wife wouldn’t come out of the coma and then bang one day she wakes up, after he had finally started to live again, love again. Now the inner turmoil the poor guy is faced with is gut wrenching. He has to make choices that wreck so many hearts. How can people think less of him, he was the one who got hurt the most in this book, well in my opinion. If it was my husband, I would have wanted him to do exactly what Jack did, go live your life. Have to add one thing, at some point, Jack was going to have to make a decision to either divorce his wife or not, if he was going to be able to live with and marry Andi and be a dad with their child. And I do believe he would have made that decision at that point.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Phyllis, I don’t think Jack ever would’ve divorced Clare. That’s just not how he rolled. It was a tough spot for sure, which is what made it so fun to write. 😉

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      Phyllis Wenzel - February 24, 2016

      Marie, you would know, you were inside his head 🙂 Jack was the best of the best, but I always thought at some point whether it was 15 or 20 years down the road, he might have to make a decision so he could fully move on in his life. ( yes I realize this is not a real life) but I get into what I am reading and I felt he would need to do that at some point. That is all I was saying, I think. 🙂

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jefjaxlake - February 23, 2016

Treading Water is one of my very favorite books because of the angst that Jack goes through during his journey with Claire and meeting Andi. He is in an impossible situation and does his best to ensure that everyone in the equation is being taken care of. The idea that Jack is a “cheater” gob smacks me! I never had that thought the first or the 5th time I read Treading Water. Reading this book tore at my heart. I couldn’t imagine being in Jack’s dilemma. I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what Jack would do. And he handled it in exactly the way his character should have – with love, empathy, sincerity and grace. Marie – you are dead on when you say that you never know what you would do in a situation until you are IN the situation. People make judgments about what they think they would do, but unless you are in it, you truly have no idea what you would really do. Jack is one of my favorite characters. Thank you for bringing him – and his tragically unimaginable situation – into your readers’ lives.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Thank you! I appreciate your input.

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Marcia White - February 23, 2016

I think Jack did the right thing. He did right by his wife and his children. With the information he had it was time for him to move on and make a life for himself. That is what I would expect my husband to do as well. It was well written and explored all the emotions involved.

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Kerrie Gaden - February 23, 2016

Jack was never a cheater to me. It was actually Claire that I had all my issues with. I always felt that she was selfish, firstly for doing what she did, in front of her daughters, then the way she acted after she woke up.
I know it all worked out in the end, but Jack was always my hero.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Kerrie, I think her actions came from total PTSD after what she went through. I felt for her, too.

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Marcy Meyer - February 23, 2016

I think Jack did the best he could under those circumstances. There is absolutely no way to know what each of us would do faced with that reality, and I think there is no right or wrong answer. It is definitely a gray area, that would be heartbreaking to live through. Jack was NOT a cheater. It’s not like he jumped back on the ‘horse’ right after Clare’s accident and not showing any sign of grief. He did everything he could do to be a good husband and father, but there had to come a time for him to move on. Even their kids and Clare’s family felt that it was o.k. I think people can be a little too judgmental and stuck in their black & white worlds. I loved this story and lately I have been thinking of re-reading it again, which I probably will now. lol

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    LOL about jumping back on the horse, Marcy. No, he definitely didn’t do that!

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Mary - February 23, 2016

Love this book it is definitely a five star. I’ve read all your series and this is one of my favorites. People who have given this book a one star have not read it all the way through Jack is a very devoted husband and father . He does the best he can for everyone involved.

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Gina Baisley Kalos - February 23, 2016

I have always said the same thing you did…..You never know what you would do until you are put in that situation. A friend of mine and I had a huge fight over a controversial topic and she told me I was wrong for wanting a choice if I was ever in that situation. Well turns out she ended up in that situation and needed to make a choice!! She eventually apologized to me and said she really didn’t know what she would’ve done without that choice!! I LOVE Jack and think he is definitely a hero for how he stepped up for his wife and daughters. No one can fault him for wanting to be happy again.

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julie fletcher - February 23, 2016

I really enjoyed this book, Jack is an amazing man, father and husband. He dotes on his family, when Claire chooses to try ending her life by not moving fast enough to get out of a car coming her way. We find Jack’s devastated to learn this of his strong beautiful wife, he’s left to pick up the pieces alone, he’s got 3 beautiful daughters that don’t really know him anymore, he has to change his life. Getting to know his daughters again, living his life in limbo, visiting Claire day in day out. I don’t think Jack is a cheat when he meets Andi, he’s a man that stopped living due to his wife’s condition, situation isn’t an easy one granted but he’s a man that’s lonely. Jack’s still alive with human feelings which he hasn’t felt for over a year since Claire s accident. Andi comes along and bang!! Jack feels attracted to Andi, she opens him up to feeling again, they fall in love. Now when Claire wakes up he’s torn between his commitment to Andi, his marriage vows to Claire. Andi leaves so he can be with Claire but neither Claire or Jack feel like they can go back to things as they once we’re. You have to admire Jack for doing what was right here, I’d give Claire a medal for what’s she’s gone through, still going through now. Claire gives up Jack so he can be with Andi who’s carrying his twin son’s. So Jack divorces Claire marries Andi and they become parents to beautiful baby boys on there wedding day, adopting Andi’s son also. I loved this book, did I cry? You betcha I was so emotionally involved when reading this, I’d talk to myself asking what would I want if I was left with little hope of coming out of a coma? I’d want that person I was with to live find love again. Sorry bit long my comments but had loads to say.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Thank you Julie!

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      Julie Fletcher - February 24, 2016

      Your most welcome Marie! Love your books so much!!!

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Kim - February 23, 2016

I love this book and it was a story that I couldn’t stop thinking about for a long time, mainly because I knew someone in a similar situation. My uncle’s sister had a brain tumor in her late 30’s, became incapacitated and eventually had to go to a nursing home for several years before she died. She had a husband and 2 school age children, but unlike Jack, he did eventually divorce her and remarry after a few years. It did cause a terrible rift between my uncle and his former brother in law, but it was a no win situation. I can’t reread that book very often because there’s such a gut punch, but it remains one of my very favorite books.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Wow, that is interesting, Kim. To realize there was a rift because he did divorce her. People are often faced with unimaginable dilemmas.

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      Kim - February 23, 2016

      It was very difficult. My uncle had lived with them while he attended college and they were a very close family. Sadly, my uncle also died fairly young; he was only 49 and died after a very brief bout with cancer.

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Kim Hughes - February 23, 2016

I felt Jack did the best he could as a husband to Clare and a father to their girls. I must admit though I didn’t like him much in how he treated Andi. I can’t say there was a right way to handle it but I honestly felt he was as good as gold to Clare but Andi took a backseat in his life. I felt sorry for her that she could not have it all from Jack like Claremont had. Please do not misunderstand though the book is perfect just the way you wrote it.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    I understand what you mean, especially based on the condition she was in at the time they separated. But I think Andi knew he had to settle things one way or the other with Clare–and remember–she LEFT. He did not want her to. 🙂

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Karen Millen - February 23, 2016

I’m a palliative care nurse, and I have been involved with a few patients with Dementia, young women in their 40s. Seen their husbands try to deal with wife’s that have no idea who they are, and observed a few become involved in new relationships, just like Jack. Again like Jack these relationships were not entered into lightly or without splitting family opinions. I think I found this book so compassionate, emotional, so very heartfelt and touching, maybe because of my professional experience. I’m a huge fan of all your work Marie, but the treading water series is my favourite, with ‘starting over’ as the book I have read over and over and over!!!

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Jane O'Brien - February 23, 2016

There is no question that I loved the book and the series. Did I love Jack? Not so much. Yes he should go on with his life, working and taking care of his children. However, you are either faithful or you or not. Jack was not. Claire is in a coma, but what if she weren’t? Jack and Andi would have met anyway. Would the attraction still have been there, I think so. Would he have acted on it? And in some ways he tried to hide behind his wedding ring. I’ve been through serious medical issues – two bouts of cancer, surgery, chemo and radiation. And wasn’t easy and my husband stuck by me, until he had a fatal heart attack and died at the young age of 63.

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    Marie Force - February 23, 2016

    Sorry for the loss of your husband, Jane. The issue you mentioned came up in the book. Jack asks Jamie–what would I have done if Clare had never gotten hurt and I met Andi? Jamie says, you might’ve looked, but you never would’ve touched. You were the most solidly married man I ever knew. He struggled with that, but Jamie put his mind at ease. Nothing was “normal” in his life when he met Andi.

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Kathi Kelley - February 23, 2016

Kathi Kelley Treading Water was one of the very first books I read by you Marie. I loved that book and the entire series. In my book Jack is a hero for all the reasons you stated. I could not agree more with Barbara, Catherine and jefaxlake. Personally I thought the book was a 5+. It is sad that some readers are unable to open their minds to the greater implications of the material they are reading. Small minds, small numbers but you know that Marie! Please keep writing as Marie and M.S. Thank you for all of the many hours of reading pleasure you have provided to me over the years!!

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Laura Tavares - February 23, 2016

Jack did the best he could. The right thing in my opinion. He had to continue living. His wife was not going to recover. But his Life did not end. Everyone needs love in their life. It found him. In order to be a complete person and thrive and take care of his daughters Jack needed to let go of Claire and the life they had planned to share. But he never let go of his responsibility to her as her spouse. I believe he made the only decision he could and live a full life.

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Kirsten - February 23, 2016

I think I’ve read every one of your books now and I thought this was one of your best stories specifically because there were so many gray areas. Real people live in these gray areas and we got the chance to ride this roller coaster of gray areas with all of these characters. What a ride. It made me squirm. It broke my heart. It made me smile. It’s a great story. The fine details make these characters human. Clare coming face to face with the very pregnant Andi and feeling a moment of sympathy for her. Those are the kinds of details I never forgot. Great stories create the kinds of discussions that are generated here. This was a great story.

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Kara Rickel Conrad - February 23, 2016

I LOVE this book! I don’t know if I’d call Jack a hero, but I definitely don’t think he’s a demon. I’ve always thought of him as a good man trying to do the best he can for his family and himself. The book is one of my favorites because it is definitely not a formulaic romance. Love, love, love it!

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Ali Hird - February 23, 2016

I was so surprised to read this blog post as I never considered Jack to be a cheater. I am certainly no fan of infidelity but I think the situation Jack finds himself in, in Treading Water is quite extraordinary.

I wonder if the push back you get is from people who have been cheated on and just can’t get past it under any circumstances.

I love this story and have recently re-read it and am sure to enjoy it just as much when I read the series again.

I am still shaking my head at how differently we all see things, guess that is what keeps life interesting.

I hope people stick with the series if not they are really missing out.

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Shelley Youngblood - February 23, 2016

I loved this story. Have read it several times and listened to it on audible. He is definitely a hero! His dedication to his family goes above everything. It also seemed to resolve itself as the series continues. The angst/agony he experienced was completely transparent and I did not view him as a “cheater.”

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Donna Opalenik - February 23, 2016

I read this book a while back, one thing I know for sure is that I didn’t think Jack was a cheater, Actually, that never entered my mind. I gave him credit for doing the best he could for his wife, daughters and his business. I felt you addressed all the emotions that a spouse would feel in that situation. I know that if I was in a coma I would want my husband to live his life to the fullest. I would hope he would find someone to share his life with. It is sad that people make judgements on a situation that unless it actually happened to them… they really wouldn’t know how they would react. I believe that things happen for a reason and in my opinion Andi was that thing that happened. “FATE” I loved this series.

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Tammy Parson - February 23, 2016

This is the first series of your books that I read and I felt such despair for Jack, Clare the girls and Andi. I believe that the story unfolded as it was meant to. Jack would have been loyal to Clare even though he was torn. Life is a journey and a struggle and I LOVE this extended family with all the Treading Water books.

Don’t let the one star reviews get you down. This is a great Love story. I cherish all of the books and would be delighted if you continued their story.

By the way, this is the series that made me NEED to read everything you wrote. Life for my family and I is a struggle at the moment and your stories take me to another place and my worries are forgotten for a time.

Keep doing what your doing and don’t second guess yourself.

Sincerely,
Tammy Parson

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Marialba Martinez - February 24, 2016

Jack is neithet a devil or a hero-he is a man faced with very difficult decisions to make in a desperate situation. I confess when I read Treading Water I found it very difficult to get through because of the incredibly hard decisions he had to face. I was a nail biter by the end of the book and positively just cried with joy at the ending. But no matter what, one person was left behind and that was nerve wracking to face. I also confess I haven’t gone back to the series because of the emotional angst I went thru reading the book. But someday soon I will, I promise. It was a sensational story, one I have never forgotten!

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Alicia Klick - February 24, 2016

On I loved this series and always felt that you wrote Jack perfectly. He isn’t a cheater and by the time he and Andi truly start a major relationship, it has been more than a year that Claire has been in a coma. He was falling apart for that year he say by her bedside. It was her mother and his sister and so many others that told him he needed to move forward not just for himself but for his daughters. Having Claire lying in the house in a coma wasn’t helping anyone. He set her up in a great house with special 1:1 care and saw her everyday.

Honestly I don’t think Claire would even say that he cheated. She is upset that he began to move forward with his life. But I think she also, despite not saying so initially, recognized that he had to move forward and once she learned of all the sacrifices he made she made the choice for him. Eventually it all worked out for the best for everyone.

He could have ended life support initially when he wa urges to do so but he didn’t. He never gave up on her, even when he and Andi started a relationship after a lot
If consideration. His daughters never accused him of cheating. They had some issues in regard to adjusting but they never accused him of being a cheater.

I have always felt you wrote the book, and the series, perfectly. It is a great reflection on who Jack is, his struggles internally and externally, the manner in which he reacted to his own feelings, to be pushed by others to move forward, to visiting his wife daily while still slowly moving forward in his work and personal life as well as with his relationship with his daughters which head to rebuild.

I reading your explanation above that is what I got from the book and the message I got about Jack. What a horrible situation to be in on all fronts. He truly was treading water for a few years. And the whole experience dos change him..,for the better on many ways; but also made him a more cautious spouse and father.

I loved all the characters in this series and felt you really wrote them honestly and fairly and true to who they really were and/or became because of the life situations they faced. Not just Jack, but Claire, Andi, the daughters, etc.

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Alicia Klick - February 24, 2016

On I loved this series and always felt that you wrote Jack perfectly. He isn’t a cheater and by the time he and Andi truly start a major relationship, it has been more than a year that Claire has been in a coma. He was falling apart for that year he say by her bedside. It was her mother and his sister and so many others that told him he needed to move forward not just for himself but for his daughters. Having Claire lying in the house in a coma wasn’t helping anyone. He set her up in a great house with special 1:1 care and saw her everyday.

Honestly I don’t think Claire would even say that he cheated. She is upset that he began to move forward with his life. But I think she also, despite not saying so initially, recognized that he had to move forward and once she learned of all the sacrifices he made she made the choice for him. Eventually it all worked out for the best for everyone.

He could have ended life support initially when he wa urges to do so but he didn’t. He never gave up on her, even when he and Andi started a relationship after a lot
If consideration. His daughters never accused him of cheating. They had some issues in regard to adjusting but they never accused him of being a cheater.

I have always felt you wrote the book, and the series, perfectly. It is a great reflection on who Jack is, his struggles internally and externally, the manner in which he reacted to his own feelings, to be pushed by others to move forward, to visiting his wife daily while still slowly moving forward in his work and personal life as well as with his relationship with his daughters which head to rebuild.

I reading your explanation above that is what I got from the book and the message I got about Jack. What a horrible situation to be in on all fronts. He truly was treading water for a few years. And the whole experience dos change him..,for the better on many ways; but also made him a more cautious spouse and father.

I loved all the characters in this series and felt you really wrote them honestly and fairly and true to who they really were and/or became because of the life situations they faced. Not just Jack, but Claire, Andi, the daughters, etc.

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Lisa Ann Buerckner - February 24, 2016

I have to admit from when I read the book description to when I read it was around 18 months difference. It challenged my thoughts and ideas about marriage and if he would be a cheater. I came to the conclusion that unless you are faced with that situation you can’t really know what you would do. And there are people who have been there.
I loved the story and was eager to read the others in the series. I would love to see another in the Treading Water series to see what happens to the younger sister.

Sometimes there are stories that challenge us but there are ones that make you stop and think. To me this is one of them.

Looking forward to more of your stories in the future

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Retrofever - February 24, 2016

Interestingly I am just now reading Treading Water after reading just about everything else written by Marie. Somehow I missed this one. Even though I haven’t finished it I knew Jack wouldn’t leave Clare. I think where you are in life determines how you feel about this book. I am a senior now and fully appreciate how many shades of grey there are. Way more than 50! The phrase “walk a mile in my shoes” is branded in my brain so I would not have condemned Jack for whichever fork he chose. I have not read a Marie Force book I disliked but confess that this one one really reeled me in because it is messy. Life is messy. If I had to step into one camp I’d choose the Jack is a Saint camp. He did all he could and then moved on. What more can we ask of ourselves? I give it 5 stars. I am sorry for the 1’s but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

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Donelle Hale - February 24, 2016

Treading Waters series was the very first series I downloaded and read on my e-reader. I have to tell you it pulled me in all emotional directions from tearing the sobs from my lips to sewing up the broken heart I had for Jack when Andi “happened into his life”. Andi become his tether to reality and helped, in my opinion to anchor both Jack and his girls and give them a sense of normalcy. I for one don’t understand the attach from fans with “1” reviews. No one would know how they would react in the same situation. Only someone who has lived it, can honestly understand it. I applaud Jack for lasting a year, devoting his time, money and energy to his loving wife. In my opinion he fulfilled every vow he and Clare said on their wedding day. This series pulled me in and never relaxed it’s grasp on me until the very end. I know it’s not on Marie’s radar at this time or maybe never but I would love to have another book to catch up with everyone and see where they all ended. Thank you for every story you write Marie. You are simply a wonderful storyteller.

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Kathryn Johnston - February 24, 2016

Seriously, Jack is human and let’s face it , humans aren’t perfect. We’re all flawed in some way .

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Sharon Lee Sisselsky - February 24, 2016

I read and reread this series a while ago, but like so many others, I never considered Jack a cheater while I read the books. Jack beat himself up over Claire’s coma and then again how to proceed after she woke up. None of this was casual, and I don’t think Jack would have ever cheated if Claire did not had not been in a coma. He also didn’t run out to play as soon as the drs. told him that Claire’s condition was permanent. Haters, look some place else. Marie, you took a very difficult situation and showed all sides with your wonderful style.
1 star my a&&, this may have been your first book, but like all of your books, it was 5 star. Keep up your GREAT work, your true fans love you.

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Angela Oberholtzer - February 25, 2016

I LOVED the Treading Waters series. I don’t think Jack a cheater at all. He did what he could do for his wife, even after being told there was no hope. As you say Marie – Jack couldn’t divorce Claire while she was in the coma…that would be downright wrong. Even Claire’s mom wanted him to go on with his life, knowing Claire’s situation and recovery. As for falling in love with Andi, sometimes love comes and the craziest of times and is there for a reason.

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Myrna A. Young - February 25, 2016

In my opinion, Jack is a hero, He was in a difficult situation standing by his wife who was given NO hope of recovery. He didn’t go looking for love, it was placed in his path. I couldn’t believe anyone would give your books a 1 star, they all are a 10 in my book. 🙂

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Sally Schwaner - February 25, 2016

I so agree with your assessment about being IN the situation. I hate it when people criticize how a cop reacted while under gun fire or in an angry mob. Do you know what it’s like to be shot at or have an angry mob coming at you? They had a scene in Blue Bloods (TV Show) where a woman is criticizing a cop for firing in an intense situation. So they put her in a mock up intense situation – not a real one and she knew that. When it was over she said she fired twice. She had emptied the clip. Fiction I know but I think it very much mimicked real life. I don’t see much of anything as black and white – way to much gray in the world to hold to that. And while it’s been awhile since I read the book I seem to recall there were some problems in the marriage when Clare went into a coma. He was devoted, did everything he could and had no reason to believe Clare would return to him. I had no problem with the premise of the book. In fact I enjoyed the book more because of the conflict. What would he do? How would he handle it? How would Clare?

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Chrissy Beaty - February 25, 2016

I think Jack is definitely the hero. He did everything he was supposed to do, loved as much as he could. He found love again when he least expected it. Sometimes destiny/fate steps in & you just have to go for it!!
I’m sorry for your 1star review!! I absolutely love this series.. I actually just did a re-read for like the 4th or 5th time!!
And for the record, I never once thought of Jack as a cheater!! I think until someone is in this situation no one should ever judge!!
Love your books,Marie.. Keep up the amazing job!!

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Support Your Local PBS Station - March 4, 2016

I haven’t read the book yet because I HATE these types of dilemmas! In reading the above post about readers who feel that Jack is unfaithful, they’re right, he is. He’s a married man having an affair. But his wife is in limbo between being alive and being dead. Whatever he SHOULD be getting from a marriage, he isn’t getting. To me, it’s almost like the span of time from when a spouse moves out of the house to when the divorce is finalized. Sure, you’re still married, but the marriage is over. If you meet someone during that time, do you wait and hope that they’ll wait as well? Marriages are a relationship. If one person can’t or won’t contribute to the relationship, then it is a mockery of what it could or should be. Life is short. Yes, we should uphold our obligations, but we must, I believe take the opportunity to be happy if we can.

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Mona S. - August 16, 2016

I’m sorry to say that I did not like Jack and in my eyes he is cheating. He is unfaithfull to his wife and in my option it makes no difference wether he set out to meet Andy or meet her the way it was written in the book. I understand if others disagree with my option. I just think it is the “easy” way out to say that a coma is almost the same as death. It really isn’t. With every coma there is a chance that the patient is going to wake up, whether that is in one year or two or three years, doesn’t matter. Whether the patient is the “same” after he/she wake up or not.

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MARIE FORCE


Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, romantic suspense and erotic romance. Her series include Fatal, First Family, Gansett Island, Butler Vermont, Quantum, Treading Water, Miami Nights and Wild Widows.


Her books have sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Tmes bestseller more than 30 times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, as well as a Speigel bestseller in Germany.


Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.


Join Marie's mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook and on  Instagram. Join one of Marie's many reader groups. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com.