By Emily Mead
Updated January 10, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

In her polished fiction debut, journalist Fleming weaves two novellas about infidelity into a graceful and gut-wrenching ode to marriage. In the first, Caroline keeps vigil at her husband’s deathbed and revisits his long-ago affair and the quiet horror of her ”daily squandering of love” since then. And in the second, David is driven witless by Viagra, porn, and a sappy couples therapist as he struggles to find his own path to marital reconstruction in the wake of his wife’s recent one-night stand. Fearless and sympathetic, Fleming’s portrayal of Caroline and David rings true through all of their rage, grief, and tenuous reconciliations.