“It strikes me that different people from various walks of life might be tending their gardens at precisely this moment all over the world.” – Jane Corry
Let me start by saying that My Husbands Wife is a novel worthy of several pages of thoughts and review (of course, positive ones). However, I read this book last summer and have been meaning to offer some thoughts for, evidently, quite a few months now. I bulleted what I wanted to talk about and in short will offer these brief thoughts to anyone who may now happen to be looking for a riveting and unique book to read. In theory, the brevity of this review may even allow you the time to go get yourself a copy.
Firstly, this novel excels at creating suspense. Perhaps it is because I am new to the thriller genre, but I was taken aback (and quite pleasantly surprised) by the new reveals (or perhaps more succinctly: surprises) present in nearly every chapter. And let me add, these chapters are pretty short, averaging just a few short pages in the head of one of two characters: Lily or Carla.
Not only are there surprises in nearly every chapter, but the brevity of such chapters keep an already captivating book moving at a pace that makes it almost impossible to put down, and this is coming from someone who has previously taken at least an hour just to read 20 or 30 pages. Furthermore, the alternating characters keep the reading experience exciting and refreshing; just when you’ve enjoyed reading about Lily’s latest drama with her new husband and are beginning to wonder whether Carla will ever get her caterpillar pencil case (yes, you will actually wonder about this), Jane Corry plops you right in the middle of that exact moment you’re curious about while also managing to keep you on your toes, of course.
Apart from Corry’s pacing, My Husband’s Wife also contains a twisted plot, mixed with intriguingly imperfect characters (ex. a murderer who may or may not be a well-dressed, innocent love interest). It is a thriller and a family drama all in one, and the author is an expert at getting into her character’s heads – their thoughts, vulnerabilities, extremes, etc. Not only that, but writing from the viewpoint of a child can be difficult. This is something I have struggled with many times, but Corry’s writing style switches flawlessly from young-adult, emerging-criminal-lawyer Lily to youthful-minded, naïve Carla.
My only hesitancy with this book is the time skip midway through. At first, I was weary. It always seems a bit strange to me, whether in a television show, film, or novel, when a story jumps several years ahead, let alone decades. And I definitely remember the tone of My Husband’s Wife seeming to shift at this point too. The time skip comes just over halfway through the book, however, and the chapters that follow offer an impressively equal amount of surprises and clever writing. Although I’m still not sure I consider myself a fan of such time skips in general, I’d have to say that Jane Corry pulls it off.
If you’re in the mood for something quirky, fun, and sometimes a bit dark, I’d definitely recommend you go pick up a copy of My Husbands Wife.