The Younger Wife will keep you on your toes and make you question everything. You’ll laugh at some of the character quirks, wonder at their motives, and feel happy when they achieve some sort of breakthrough. This is one of my favorites of Sally Hepworth’s novels!
Tully and Rachel have been through a lot throughout their lives, but they don’t share their individual struggles with each other. Until their middle-aged mom going into a care home due to her early onset dementia, and their dad, Stephen, decides to divorce her! To make matters worse, he’s falling in love with their interior designer, who is younger than the sisters. Both sisters are shocked, and work to cope in their own ways - through eating and petty theft.
While sorting through their mom’s belongings, they find a mysterious note with Tully’s name and an unfamiliar name, Fiona. Although their Stephen denies knowing this name, there‘s something strange about the look on his face and the pause before his denial.
In the meantime, the new fiancé, Heather, starts having terrible accidents, and she begins to suspect her husband to be is abusing her and lying about it. But she tends to drink and is never quite sure if she can trust her memory. Is Stephen using her drinking to as an excuse to hurt Heather and hide it? Or is Heather imagining his involvement in her accidents? And Rachel and Tully start to suspect things - their mom had a lot of accidents too, but never when she was alone. Is their father an abuser?
I loved the quirkiness and uncertainty of the characters throughout this novel. As a reader, this propelled me through the book. I laughed, I wondered, I worried, and I couldn’t stop reading!! Throughout the story, the point of view shifts between characters each chapter, and this helps the reader feel they have more of an omniscient view. However, the reader still can’t be sure whom to trust. Sally Hepworth has written a quirky thriller and domestic drama that I absolutely loved for its reality yet exaggerated character traits. If you enjoy family drama and mysteries with a little bit of a love triangle thrown in there, you won’t want to miss this one!
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