Another Woman’s Husband by Gill Paul
Publishing Date: 17th August 2017
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review!
Number of pages: 464
Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction
USA Today bestselling author of The Secret Wife
ANOTHER WOMAN’S HUSBAND is the latest gripping novel from Gill Paul. ‘A triumph’ Dinah Jefferies on The Secret Wife.
Two women, divided by time, bound by a secret…
1911. Aged just fifteen, Mary Kirk and Wallis Warfield meet at summer camp. Their friendship will survive heartbreaks, continents, and the demands of the English crown, until it is shattered by one unforgivable betrayal…
1997. Kendall’s romantic break in Paris with her fiance is interrupted when the taxi in front crashes suddenly. The news soon follows: Princess Diana is dead. Trying to forget what she has witnessed, Kendall returns home, where the discovery of a long-forgotten link to Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, will lead her to the truth of a scandal which shook the world…
Richly imagined and beautifully written, ANOTHER WOMAN’S HUSBAND is a moving novel about two women thrust into the spotlight, haunted by love and loss.
Here you can a read a brilliant guest post written by Gill Paul for my stop on the “Another Woman’s Husband” blog tour!
Having read and loved Gill Paul’s previous books I was very excited to see that “Another Woman’s Husband” is going to be published. To be honest with you, I haven’t even read the synopsis – well, it IS Gill Paul’s book, right, so it must be brilliant, no? It took me a little by surprise to eventually discover that the story features real characters, such as Diana Spencer and Wallis Simpson for example, but it doesn’t mean that the story was not as exciting and rich with historical facts, full of twists and turns.
This story is full to the brims with events and there is truly not a flat moment. I personally was much more intrigued with the parts set in the past, about Mary and Wallis then about Alex and Rachel – their story felt too forced on us in my opinion, but of course I do get it was needed to add this element of mystery: what is this bracelet that Alex took from Princess Diana? Whereas the story of Wallis and Mary was full of vividness and it seamlessly flew, and I couldn’t help but changed my mind about those two characters – once I was on Wallis’ side, sympathising with her and in the next moment I was on Mary’s side, asking myself how much is she going to survive, if Wallis will push her too far, if she’ll eventually see for herself that she’s being used, or is their friendship going to survive all the troubles? I was really impatiently waiting for the story to switch again to the previous era, I wanted to find out more.
My only problem was that all the characters felt a little too wooden to my liking. This author has already showed that she can create incredibly beautiful, vivid and full of life characters and the ones in “Another Woman’s Husband” did disappoint me a little. They seemed very shallow, superficial, without a depth – both fictional and non – fictional. I must say that if Wallis Simpson was as unlikeable and concentrated on herself person as Gill Paul portrayed her than it’s a real pity. I don’t know, maybe she’s just rubbed me the wrong way and instead of being irritating she was challenging? But later on, as the book is mostly told from her best friend Mary’s viewpoint, I found myself getting used to the way Wallis was, but I didn’t start to warm to her, unfortunately. However, this book allowed me to gain a great insight into this character and even though she seemed too shallow, too selfish, too destructive, she was also fascinating. Also, the way the story was told felt like I was reading reports – there were not many descriptions, it was just like stating facts, and I missed depth here as well.
However, this novel has very well captured relationships – friendships and love relationships, showing how different they may be and how they may change over the years. Those relationships were so very well written that I personally felt frustrated on the characters’ part, or full of hope, I was convinced some of them have no chance to survive. There was also one thing that was really fascinating – namely the descriptions of the investigations and rumours surrounding Princess Diana’s death. Let’s be honest, we all know till today where we were when the awful news about her death came, and we all watched the whole drama and accompanied the Princess during her last journey, and we all felt just like the author has described it: as if we’ve known Diana personally, and so we grieved for her. Gill Paul has really brilliantly interwoven facts with fiction and created a compelling, hooking story.
Altogether, “Another Woman’s Husband” was an intriguing novel about relationships, love, hate, secrets, forgiveness and betrayals. It was compelling and yes, as you can see, it left me in two minds, but no matter what, it was a brilliant piece of historical fiction. Complex, well – thought, bringing the characters to life and I am very glad to have read this novel – already looking forward to Gill Paul’s new book and recommending “Another Woman’s Husband” to the author’s fans.