After reaching the end of My Husband’s Wife, my first thought is that I can’t believe I read this entire book. I like a lot of action early on, and struggled with the fact that the lead up to the big plot event spanned more than twelve years and took over 450 pages. I just kept waiting for something exciting to happen and for the events to mean something. Truthfully, it was a long wait that led me to an unsatisfying result.
This was not the thriller or crime novel it was supposed to be. Half of the book focused on Lily, a British solicitor who represented Joe on his appeal of his criminal conviction for killing his girlfriend. Lily struggled in her marriage and had low self-esteem, as she was not particularly attractive and was a little heavy. The cracks in her marriage didn’t develop into a strong subplot even though it could have. The bulk of her interactions with Joe were their interviews, and the actual courtroom scenes of the big appeal was summarized over two pages. The result of the appellate verdict set up acts in the second part of the book, but I found them still lacking in motivation.
The other part of the novel focused on Carla, a young girl who lived in the same apartment complex as Lily. She was an odd character that I did not enjoy reading about and I was desperate to figure out how her story would come to make an impact on Lily or the story. Carla’s dominant trait was to be upset that her single mother didn’t have money, which caused her ridicule at school when she didn’t measure up to her classmates. I wasn’t overly sympathetic about that, so her chapters were hard for me to get through. The tie in of this early story to the overall plot was more significant than Joe’s innocence but since Carla was portrayed as a villain, I had a hard time caring about how she would impact the story.
The overall plot capitalized on the theme of duty and obligation toward others, none of which had a discernible foundation that made any sense. At the end, I just felt that everything happened without much reasoning despite the immense build up. The writing was just okay, but this read like a rough draft that needed to be tightened up in just about every way. The author allowed some events that should have had a big impact fizzled away without much attention. While this held my attention, I would not recommend it.