My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

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I love a good mystery thriller. Within a week (or less), you find yourself down a rabbit hole of twists and turns- engaged way more than if you were binge-watching a similar show on Netflix.

Lily is a newly married defense attorney-described as both solicitor and barrister in the book (maintaining the British nuances in the language). Ed is her husband, a painter struggling to make ends meet and find inspiration.

Lily is introduced to her first client, Joe Thomas. Joe is accused of murdering his girlfriend, and Lily starts to think about her client more and more outside of work hours. Around the same time, Lily and Ed befriend their neighbors, mother Francesca and daughter Carla. They start to babysit Carla, and she becomes Ed’s creative muse. How do these lives get tangled up with murder?

The plot is very intricate and well organized. I have a tendency to get confused with too many characters in a book, but once I finished reading, I could recall the details from each character’s background and events in the book (no family tree needed!). I don’t want to reveal too much in the plot, but I thought I really enjoyed the twists and turns. It was like a roller coaster, with just a dash of soap opera. Great reading for the train!

4 Stars

Further Reading

  • Interview with the Author
  • An article from Penguin UK, on how working in prison inspired the author

 

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June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

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I always love seeing the difference between the hardcover and paperback book covers (when it changes). The above image is for the paperback version of June (with a Didion-esque ladies in cat eye sunglasses), whereas the below image is the hardcover version:

Image result for june miranda beverly-whittemore

There is a great deal of money invested in book covers, because the adage of “not judging a book by its cover” doesn’t seem to hold up in the literal sense. Book design has been a particularly interesting field to observe as a reader and reviewer. Here are some articles about that very subject:

Anyway, back to the book!

We are invited into the world of June after her granddaughter, Cassie, comes to her home in Ohio, following her death from cancer (I just can’t get away from it!). Cassie is a Hannah-Horvathian character, having left New York City and an artist boyfriend to live in her grandmother’s home following her passing. She struggles to “get it together,” sleeping in late, barely caring for herself, and actively avoiding her emotions and her new neighborhood.  Her memories haunt her from previous fights with her grandmother, and the fact that her grandmother did not reveal much about her diagnosis prior to death- robbing them of precious time together.

One day, a gentleman comes to her door to inform her that she is the heir to the estate of a famous actor who has just passed away. This is news to her, as it implies an affair between her (recently deceased) grandmother and this Hollywood star. The daughters of this Hollywood star catch wind the inheritance, and drama ensues.

Can you imagine the family secrets that erupt from this? Miranda Beverly-Whittemore did the imagining for us. The web is quite tangled my friends, but it makes for an engrossing read. Halfway through the book, I was hoping for a family tree of sorts, to organize all of the relationships that this Ohio small town produces. However, upon finishing, I realize that a map like this would give away (or mislead a reader) regarding certain spoilers.

Wade through these complex waters, and you’ll have a book that resonates, and makes you re-think the meaning of life and the meaning of family (with a bit of soap opera for fun!).

I received this book for free from the Blogging for Books program! All opinions are my own.