Lily meets Ed at a party, and on their second date, he proposes. She’s a lawyer, he’s an up-and-coming artist. They own a small but beautiful flat in London and mix with all the right people.
But Lily has a secret. Something from her past, that is soon to collide with her present. And she thinks her new husband is hiding something too…
The vows they made will soon be tested to the very limits.
“Till death do us part…”
Published: 25 August 2016
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
I was very excited when I was approached by Penguin about reading and reviewing My Husband’s Wife, because I’d never received a physical ARC before, so this was quite a milestone for me and my blog. Unfortunately – and I really am sad about this – I didn’t like it at all. If this hadn’t been an ARC, I would not have finished the book and instead put it aside frustratedly. I wanted to like it, but, quite frankly, I thought this book was a mess.
Firstly, none of the characters are likeable, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it was in My Husband’s Wife. I think that if an author makes the decision to have all of their main characters be unlikeable and unrelatable, there should be some sort of redeeming factor in either the story or the characters, like the plot being absolutely, nail-bitingly good, or the characters being truly interesting in their unlikeability. Or at least let their actions make sense. None of this was the case, though.
Take Lily, for example – who the hell says “yes” when some guy you’ve only just met asks you to marry him on the second date? While we’re on that topic: who asks anyone to marry them on the second date? Especially when there’s no chemistry whatsoever? An explanation is given as to why Ed asks her, but I still don’t get why she said yes, and it’s definitely not “the perfect love story” that the blurb suggests. It’s just unrealistic, and this is only one example out of many. Most of the characters’ actions felt unnatural and too constructed. They didn’t feel like real people at all, which made it very difficult to connect with the story.
The novel is divided into two parts, with about 12 years in between, and although I was still somewhat interested in the story during the first part, the second part just ruined it entirely for me. It’s difficult to go into the specifics of that without spoiling the story, but the main reason is that while the story is supposed to be thrilling and full of suspense, that just wasn’t there at all. What was supposed to be the climax was one of the most anti-climactic climaxes I ever read and up until that point there wasn’t any suspense either.
Part of this had to do with the plot, which I thought simply wasn’t very good, but most of it was the writing and the structure of the book. Although it was a fast read in the sense that when I read it, I got through the chapters quite quickly, I did think the writing was flat and somehow took all the suspense out of potentially suspenseful situations. In addition to that, quite a few big reveals were kind of ruined by what I think were supposed to be little hints which in fact just told you what was going to happen right before it happened. There were a couple of things that I didn’t see coming, but since I wasn’t invested in the story anyway, I wasn’t really impressed by them.
So, unfortunately, My Husband’s Wife just wasn’t for me. To me, the characters are usually the most important part of a story, and the characters in this book, as well as their actions, just didn’t feel realistic to me. I’ve read a couple of reviews on Goodreads that were quite positive, though, so if you want a more balanced take on this book, I suggest taking a look at those!