Today is my stop on Jane Corry’s blog tour for her much anticipated debut, ‘My Husband’s Wife’. Just look at all these amazing blogs taking part! I feel truly honored to be part of this epic blog tour and I’d like to say massive thanks to lovely Annie and Katy from Penguin for the chance to be aboard. And of course, many thanks to extremely talented and amazing Jane for the brill Interview, I sincerely hope we’ll be able to read Book 2 soon. (sorry for the pressure).
Ok so here’s the drill. First you read my review, then the Interview with Corry, then you stalk the other blogs for more awesome content. And finally, you add this book to your wishlist and get it from your next payment. That cool with you? Of course! Cheerio, lovelies!
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry
Published by Penguin Random House UK
Published on 5.5.2016
Genres: thriller, psychological thriller
Buy on amazon.co.uk or Buy on amazon.com
FIRST COMES LOVE. THEN COMES MARRIAGE. THEN COMES MURDER...
When lawyer Lily marries Ed, she's determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind.
But then she meets Joe. A convicted murderer who reminds Lily of someone she once knew, and who she becomes obsessed with freeing.
But is he really innocent?
And who is she to judge?
Perfect for readers of Liane Moriarty, C. L. Taylor and Clare Mackintosh, get hooked on the story that everyone's talking about.
My Husband’s Wife is the much anticipated debut from Jane Corry and certainly one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read this year. The funny thing is, it doesn’t feel like a debut. This book is so so good, I would never guess it’s the first book the author has published if I didn’t know that.
Next thing, with this book being more than 500 pages long, one would expect there would be at least one dull moment. Nope, not a single one. Zero, zilch, nada! I’m not gonna compare it to any of the recent bestsellers written by women (some also containing the word ‘Husband’ and ‘Wife’ in it) because it really can’t be compared to any of them, certainly not to those I’ve read. There are some things you might find familiar, like a confused, damaged heroine (The Girl on The Train I’m looking at you) and the fact it’s rather commercial (I mean this in the best possible way), meaning it can appeal to a wider audience no matter age or gender. But that’s where all the similarities end.
There are actually two equally interesting stories, one of Carla, the little Italian girl who lives with her mum and has never met her dad. The second story is of Lily, a young woman recently married to an artist, who has some very dark secrets and even darker past. Carla and her mum have loads of secrets of their own, so when destiny brings them living in the same building with Lily and Ed, their stories become firmly entwined. Lily and Ed are a strange couple, something doesn’t seem right about their marriage. Lily is always attacking Ed, and from the moment she was introduced I knew she’s keeping some big secrets from her husband. Working as a solicitor and on a new case, defending someone who’s believed to have brutally killed his girlfriend, just adds to the every day stress that’s damaging their marriage. But then again, Ed is no saint either. Not doing what he loves, settling for a job just to pay the bills and enjoying one too many drinks, Ed is not the ideal husband. The other story is of Carla and her mum. Now those two were just begging for me as a reader to hate them. And it sure was tempting and very hard not to hate them from the bottom of my heart. They don’t have the easiest lives and Carla doesn’t feel like the rest of the kids at school, being verbally bullied because of her last name and having no father, but still… these two are the perfect example of women picking all the wrong choices. The thing that bothered me most about them is how manipulative they both were. Even Carla, despite the fact she’s only 10 years old at the beginning of the book, thinks (taught by her mother) she needs to be thin and gorgeous to have a man pay her rent one day. But the thing is, no matter how manipulative they are, even evil at times, they both are memorable characters. Perfect in their imperfection, they make you think and ponder…where exactly is this world going? Love them or hate them, they do add significantly to the book and if they were any different, I’m sure I wouldn’t love this book so much.
As for Lily and Ed, while I’m still not sure what I feel about Ed, Lily impressed me from the start. Oh, she’s no saint and is definitely not a sweet character one could easily relate, but she has something in her. At times she seems too gullible, other times she impressed me with her intellect… very confusing and yet, it suited her. Does it make sense?
The thing with this book is that it has so many layers, I honestly thought I should write down all these turns and subplots just so I could write a decent review later. But for two reasons only, 1- being too lazy and 2-being too absorbed in the book, I’ve decided to just let go and enjoy the book without writing anything down. And you know what? I originally gave this book 4.5 stars (rounding to 5*) and though that 1/2 star doesn’t make much difference (especially since I would round it on all sites except my blog) I still feel like sharing this… It’s the only book I’ve felt bad for even thinking of giving it that rating. Let me explain. After finishing this book I thought it was great but still some things felt bit confusing, thus I took out 1/2 a star because of it. However, here I am, almost a week after I’ve read it and I’m having a major book hangover. I simply can’t stop thinking about Lily and Carla. It’s like they’ve invaded my brain and refuse to get out. So, it’s clear it would be unfair to take away even that 1/2 star to a book that’s haunting me for so long.
So without any doubt and with a clear mind, I’m giving it 5 clean, shiny stars.
I really could talk about this book for hours! It’s the perfect read for book clubs as it opens so many discussion. Family secrets, bullying, manipulation, trust. This book covers so many topics, not to mention the prison life and working there. Speaking of prison, the author worked in one and used it as an inspiration for this novel. However, inspiration and interesting experience aside, the writing, the suspense, the drama… that’s the brilliance of this book. Gripping book that will get you hooked from the very opening line, ‘My Husband’s Wife is one not to be missed. I have fingers crossed we’ll have Book 2 from Ms Corry soon, I’m already excited and it definitely goes on pre-order the minute I spot it on amazon.
INTERVIEW WITH JANE CORRY
Welcome to This Chick Reads, Jane!
Thank you so much for visiting and finding the time to answer some of my questions?
‘My Husband’s Wife’ is your debut and definitely one of the most anticipated psychological thrillers of 2016. How do you feel about all the buzz?
- I feel really excited. At the same time, it’s rather surrealistic. You start off by writing a story which is yours. And only yours. You don’t really think about other people reading it because you’re so involved with the characters’ ups and downs. Suddenly everyone else is reading it. I just hope they like it. It’s a bit like getting undressed in public and hoping you can carry it off.
When did you realize you want a writing career? Was it something you’ve always wanted, even from childhood days?
- I used to write little stories from about the age of six. My very first published piece was a letter in the magazine June & Schoolfriend which described going to the Lord Mayor’s Show. In my teens, I wrote reams of poetry. My highlight was when I won a competition in the Harrow Observer. Then I became a magazine journalist although my ambition was to get a novel published. I also love writing short stories. I would pay someone to let me write.
Are there any authors who have influenced your writing?
- I rarely read writers in the same genre. I wouldn’t want to subconsciously to be affected by them. I’m a great fan of Fay Weldon, Anne Tyler, Alice Munro and Maggie O’Farrell. My second husband wooed me with Robertson Davies. It took me a while to get in. But then I got hooked on his incredible observations on the minutiae of life.
What’s the inspiration behind ‘My Husband’s Wife’?
- Two things inspired me. Both needed the other to work. The first was working for three years as writer in residence at a high security male prison. The second was getting married again. It taught me a lot about marriage in a good way. But it made me wonder what might happen if a second wife needed an urgent favour from the first.
Jane, you worked in prison which must have been scary at times. What’s the scariest scene you’ve witnessed there?
- The funny thing about prison is that it feels scary when you’re outside and about to go to work there. But once you’re inside, you just get on with the job. Having said that, there were some scary times. The worst was when I came in one day and was told that one prisoner had murdered another. It makes you have all kinds of conflicting feelings. These men were in prison for a reason but I don’t like to think of anyone being killed. It also brought home to me that prison can be a very dangerous place.
The title is very interesting but quite unusual. Why did you pick this title?
- I wanted a title that reflected the ambiguity of the world I was writing about brilliant.
What was the most challenging thing in writing My Husband’s Wife and how long were you working on it?
- The hardest thing was getting all the twists to come together. I never think of them at the same time. I’ll start with a few and then do something completely different like walking the dog. Then more ideas come to me and I’ll have to write them down before they go. Sometimes I ring home and leave a message to myself on the answerphone. I revise several times to make sure they fit. It took me four and a half months to write the first draft and then another four months on going through it all again. I work very intensely every morning.
If you could sum up your book in just 5 words, what would they be?
- Lies. Wives. Marriage. Prison. Unexpected.
Every reader feels fiction differently and will have its own opinion on the message/sin your book, but what’s the message of ‘My Husband’s Wife’ YOU wished to deliver to your readers?
- Nothing in life is quite what it seems.
Are you currently working on a new novel and can you share a bit about it with us?
- I am working on a new novel. In fact I’m about to finish the final draft. It’s called ‘Blood Sisters’. The plot starts with three schoolgirls walking to class one sunny May morning. They don’t all get there. That’s all I’m saying so far!