I really needed something throwaway after a couple of quite heavy books. While this one isn’t exactly fluffy, I do find comfort in this particular breed of novel.

The trials and tribulations of characters I only semi give a shit about gets me intrigued enough to keep delving back in but doesn’t emotionally drain me like the very real fates of Jack the Ripper’s victims (as an example).

The Other Wife by Claire McGowan

Suzi did a bad thing. She’s paying for it now, pregnant, scared, and living in an isolated cottage with her jealous husband, Nick.

When Nora moves into the only house nearby, Suzi is delighted to have a friend. So much so that she’s almost tempted to tell Nora her terrible secret. But there’s more to Nora than meets the eye. It’s impossible—does she already know what Suzi did?

Suzi has recently moved to the countryside with her husband Nick. Their new home is very isolated but luckily, she quickly bonds with the nice but no nonsense lady next door. Nora accompanies pregnant Suzi on afternoon rambles and listens to the things that are worrying her, which start to add up as strange things keep happening to her in the house.

The thing is, both women have their secrets which may or may not derail the friendship before it can fully take root.

I’m not going to say anymore about plot because it’s very twisty. It’s not exactly surprising though and some of it you’ll see coming a mile off. However, it’s not a bad little yarn which takes an uncomfortable look at coercive abuse and gaslighting.

I do also appreciate that one character’s initial motivation completely changes by the end to give the story a feminist slant.

It might not be the most memorable thriller in recent times but it filled an otherwise unremarkable Sunday afternoon with drama and I appreciate that.

3/5

What are you reading?