Saturday, 25 May 2013

Guest Book Review: Jane Green - The Accidental Husband

Reviewed by Danielle Pullen

Maggie and Sylvie are perfect strangers: two very different women, living very different lives on opposite coasts. But they share more in common than they could ever imagine.

Both women have beautiful children on the verge of flying the nest, the home they worked hard to build and always longed for, and a handsome and devoted husband they can't believe belongs to them. Both women think their lives are seamlessly secure, but they couldn't be more wrong...

For each is about to discover a secret that will shake their world to the very core, throwing into doubt everything they ever thought they knew, and bringing Maggie and Sylvie together in the most unexpected way.

So many of the books I have read lately centre on the issue of trust and being betrayed by those closest to you.  The Accidental Husband focuses on these issues too.

The two central characters are Maggie and Sylvie.  The two women have a very similar life.  They are both happily married with teenage children.  They are content in their own lives and have built a circle around them that which reflects their own lifestyles.  Sylvie is your typical suburban mum.  Her life’s work is her daughter, Eve, and she loves family time.  Maggie is more materialistic, loving the more expensive things in life and enjoying being admired by the other women in the community.

At the beginning of the novel, neither of the women knows each other, but this all changes when the person they rely on most becomes embroiled in a situation neither of the women could have predicted.  This key moment (I’m being necessarily vague here in order to keep the plot details secure) effects both of the women and their children in unimaginable ways.

Many social issues are touched upon in this novel; eating disorders, the perils of social networking, underage drinking, bigamy, bankruptcy.  These plot-driven situations certainly keep you entertained and, with the chapters so short and written from the point of view of the main characters, the pages certainly turned quickly!  For such a pacy novel, there was a surprising amount of character detail and, although this novel was certainly not literary, it was very well-written with realistic characters and believable dialogue.

If you are a fan of chick-lit, this should be right up your street – it’s certainly a step above the usual fayre.  Personally, this was a little too mainstream for me, but it would certainly pass the time away on a sun lounger with a cool drink in hand!

I'd like to thank Jane's publisher, Penguin, for sending us a proof of this book to review.

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