Dear Mike, I can’t believe that it’s true. You wouldn’t do this to me. You promised.
Elizabeth knows that her husband is kind and good and that he loves her unconditionally. She knows she hasn’t been herself lately but that, even so, they are happy.
But Elizabeth’s world is turned upside down when Mike dies in a tragic drowning accident. Suddenly everything Elizabeth knows about her husband is thrown into doubt. Why would he sacrifice his own life, knowing he’d never see his wife again? And what exactly was he doing at the lake that night?
Elizabeth knows that writing to Mike won’t bring him back, but she needs to talk to him now more than ever...
How much can you ever know about the people you love?
When I first heard about Letters to my Husband I didn't at first realise that it was actually her debut novel Surrounded by Water, that I'd featured in a debut spotlight last year, renamed for the paperback publication. I'm ashamed to admit that I've had this book sitting in my TBR pile for far too long waiting for me to read so when I was invited to be part of this blog tour it was the perfect opportunity for me to read one of my older review books and having just finished reading it I'm kicking myself for not reading sooner!
We meet Elizabeth whose life comes crashing down around her when her husband Michael dies suddenly after saving the life of a teenage girl from drowning which cost him his own life. But in the midst of dealing with her own grief she is left with so many unanswered questions as to what actually happened and why he was there in the first place and soon she is questioning everything about the life they had had together.
The story is told through various timelines which give us an insight into their lives together over the course of their relationship, from their initial meeting whilst Michael was on holiday in Australia to Elizabeth's subsequent move to the UK and then snippets from the intervening years leading up to the present day. At first it looks like they have the picture perfect relationship but it soon becomes clear that things are not quite what they seem especially when a secret is revealed.
Letters to my Husband is definitely a more appropriate title for this book as each chapter begins with a letter, most from Elizabeth to her husband Mike where her raw emotions and feelings spilled out onto the page letting us into how sad and alone she is feeling and then later how conflicted and confused she is, and later from a few other central characters that we meet. An interesting concept as the letters draw you into the heart of the drama especially towards the latter stages of the book when everything is up in the air.
It's hard to believe that this is Stephanie's debut novel as the writing flowed effortlessly from the first page to the last. Fortunately as I have come to this book late I hopefully won't have too long a wait before I can read her next novel as she's definitely an author I will be looking out for in the future.