My Husband’s Wife
by Jane Corry
Publishing Date: 26th May 2016
Source: Copy provided by the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 528
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Psychological Thriller
It’s the perfect love story.
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 us do part…’
Perfect for readers of Liane Moriarty and Clare Mackintosh, lose yourself in the twist-filled story that everyone’s talking about.
Every once in a while there appears a book that you have a feeling is going to be a hit, to be big and that you are desperate to read. It was the case with „My Husband’s Wife” by Jane Corry, as soon as I’ve seen this title, this cover and read the blurb my gut feeling was telling me this is THE book and I was looking forward to reading it. It is a large book, with more than 500 pages long, but I’ve read it in only a few sittings, getting angry when life was getting in the way and was dragging me away from my comfortable place on my sofa and my reading time. This is this kind of book that slowly sucks you in and before you know it, you’ve finished it in almost one sitting. It’s captivating, it’s gripping, it’s hooking and you keep turning the pages wanting more and more.
I am sure that many readers may be confused at the beginning, just like I was a little, because the book tells stories of characters that at the first glance have nothing in common with each other. I also asked myself what are they to do with each other? How are they stories going to intertwine, if they are going to intertwine? We have here two different, but equally captivating stories about Lily, a lawyer, recently married to Ed, an artist, and Carla, a young Italian girl who lives with her mother next to Lily and Ed. All of the characters keep lots of secrets that even the closest ones don’t know. These two stories slowly interlock, entwine. Lily and Ed aren’t a match made in heaven, it must to be told, and even though Lily wasn’t the easiest one, I totally blame Ed here. Ed, who was like a typical artist, on a high when his career was running, and down when he was being criticised, but can you always blame everything on being an artist? I don’t know, I’ve just never warmed to him, I can’t put my finger why exactly, but I can’t help my feelings here. Life is not always a bowl of cherries and you can’t always do what you love to pay the bills, Ed, and enjoying a drink or two (or six) too many is not a solution. I liked Lily, on the other hand, and I adored the descriptions of her job, and even though it was crystal clear from the beginning that she also has secrets of her own (we don’t get to know these secrets till almost the end of the book, though I was not all too shocked by them to be honest, even if you may call them controversial) but even when the secrets were revealed I didn’t change my mind about her. Life didn’t spoil her but she did her best in my opinion.
On the other side we have Carla and her mum. I don’t know if it’s healthy, not liking a child, even if it is a fictional child in a story, but I’ve never warmed to Carla. Never. There was something so snake – like in her and I didn’t fell for her sad story of being bullied, being lonely etc. Sure, it was awful for her as a child, but I very quickly discovered this second side to her, her being a champion in manipulation to get what she wanted – the same as her mother, so really it’s true here: like mother, like daughter. Sure, their lives were not the easiest but they are not the only ones with difficult lives, right? I don’t know, but whatever they did I had a feeling that they are wrong, and everything they did turned against them. But I think that the biggest problem for me was the fact that these two were, as I have already mentioned, so manipulative, and later on I had a feeling Carla grew up to be a very toxic person, it was like she was suffocating others, closing on on them and personally I didn’t feel well in her company, and it surprised me so much that Lily maybe not trusted her totally, but just let her on, opened her doors for Carla. Yes, the characters really got under my skin, it is amazing how strong, distinctive they were, how memorable and I still think about them all the time.
So the story was told alternatively between Lily and Carla and stretched over 15 years, as it all really started 15 years ago. In this period of time we really get to know the characters and we learn a lot about them and their private lives. We get to like or hate them, to judge them, we see that Lily and Ed’s marriage isn’t entirely a happy one, and this all is written in a brilliant way. I felt like a part of their world, like a part of the book, I was almost breathing with them, so well could the author describe them, their feelings and emotions. Throughout the story we switch between past and future and while sometimes it is really confusing, here I didn’t have any problem with the changes. Moreover, right from the beginning we know that Ed is dead, and Jane Corry build up the tension through the story, until we arrive to the moment of his death. Thanks to the narrative we get a chance to hear the same story but from different sides, to carve out our own opinions and I enjoyed it greatly.
Jane Corry can incredibly well get into the characters’ heads and how well she could describe those split, complex personalities. They are so well drawn and so complicated, all of them have secrets that turn out into a captivating, dark story. The author has so greatly captured and described the feelings of fascination, forbidden relationships, domestic problems and I found it really fascinating how well she can „does” the feelings. They felt so vivid and powerful and all the time I had a feeling there is much more to the characters than meet the eye – and I was right.
There is something addictive in the writing style and Jane Corry in the best possible way weave the characters in the web of lies, leaving the reader to wonder and guess what’s going to happen, who’s guilty and who’s innocent. There are plenty of twists and turns, very impressive when you think about them, not on the too obvious, too far – fetched side, but really surprising, clever, impressive turns. The pace of the book is not too rushed, it’s slow and steady but even though there is not a single flat moment. It is a very complex novel, with many layers but it’s very easy to keep on track with it, it’s not confusing and I’ve never felt lost, what can sometimes happen with books concentrating on so many issues. I truly admire the author for so brilliantly broaching such issues like bullying, manipulation, lies, betrayals, mental illness, giving a very deep insight on each of those issues. Yes, having in mind the number of pages and the way the book was told, stretching in time and concentrating on many things, I found the end a little too short in comparison to the whole story. It was not rushed, as it usually happens, but it was just too short for my liking, too sudden. But even though, I feel contended and have a feeling that all the loose ends are very neatly wrapped up.
There is so much depth to this story, and so much borders are crossed, so many boundaries are pushed, but it is all done with a tons of gentleness, in a very delicate, gentle way. Unwrapping the many layers was captivating and there was a feeling of the overwhelming tension. This book has really it all: tension, mystery, drama, shock, and often I found myself wondering whom shall I trust. Because of the complexity of the characters it was really hard to decide who is the good and who is the bad one, and the author played with us, all the time changing the directions and making us feeling unsure about Lilly, Carla, Ed… And I loved this mental games, I really enjoyed it, and I just let the author to take me on a very surprising journey.
„My Husband’s Wife” is a complex, thought – provoking (starting with the title already!) story full of secrets and lies, but they are not overwhelming in any way. It is for sure a book that is going to stay with you for longer than average. It is a perfect mix of psychological family drama, crime and dark relationships. It was unpredictable read and I didn’t know what’s going to happen next, and I loved it, and really, the whole story totally fulfilled my expectations. It is a different, unique read that had me gripped, sharp – observed family drama that I won’t forget for long. Highly recommended!