Saturday, September 23, 2023

His Other Wife by Nicole Trope


While reading the summary for this book I thought it might have been Jane Eyre-inspired but if anything, it's more like Rebecca. Charlotte is a forty-year-old interior decorator who has just married a man named Gideon, who has a young daughter, named Emily. For a woman who has always wanted a family, this feels like a dream come true. There's just one catch: Gideon's first wife, Sarah, is still in the picture. Sarah, his first love, and mother to his child. Sarah, who was the perfect wife... until she started hearing voices and being unable to sleep.

Sarah has only just recently gotten out of a psychiatric facility and everyone has agreed that she should still be a part of Emily's life. But Charlotte is resentful of this. She feels like Sarah is trying to steal her husband away and thinks it would be a lot better if Sarah went back to the hospital. Or better yet... if she died. Leaving her alone with Emily and Gideon forever. When Sarah begins slipping again, Charlotte is exhilarated. But what if... Sarah's not imagining her fears?

Or worse: what if she IS?

I don't read a lot of domestic suspense because a lot of it revolves around motherhood and that is something that just isn't very interesting to me. Case in point: Charlotte is close to my age, but she can think of nothing but babies and being the perfect mother and biological clocks. Women in these books tend to define themselves by nothing but motherhood and children, and that's fine, but that's not who I am or even something I'm really interested in, so I tend to avoid books like these as a matter of fact. But the psychological element really roped me in, and so did the tension between the two wives. I do feel like this was probably inspired by REBECCA, but whatever you think is happening, it probably isn't what you think. I was surprised by the ending. I think it worked.

But oh my God, all of these characters were awful. The little girl, Emily, was sweet, and I felt bad and worried about Sarah. But Gideon, Charlotte, and her mother? Hate, hate, hate, loathe entirely. And there were a bunch of other total trash people in this book as well, who I'm not going to talk about because spoilers. This is not one of those thrillers where you read the book rooting for or relating with the protagonists involved. I basically hate-read my way to the end, grimly demanding justice. This was honestly such a stressful, nail-biting experience. But did it keep me hooked? Also yes.

3 out of 5 stars

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