Book Review: The Accidental Husband by Jane Green

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 that 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.
The Accidental Husband by Jane Green is one of my favourite books of 2013 so far! I literally flew through it, completely gripped by the story and characters.
I don't want to spoil the plot so I shall try and discuss the plot without giving too much away. Sylvie and Maggie live two very different lives on the opposite coasts of America. Sylvie has her teenage daughter Evie from her first marriage which ended tragically with her husband's death. Sylvie's new husband travels a lot with work so she's trying to keep herself busy as she knows things will be a lot quieter when Evie leaves for university. She also begins to question why Mark has to travel so much, surely he could be at home a lot more?
Maggie is the perfect trophy wife, everything about her is immaculate; her appearance, her home, her marriage, or so she thought. She has three children and enough money in the bank to buy whatever she wants. Her whole world is about appearances so when it all comes crashing down, she very quickly finds out who her real friends are.
Jane Green's story telling captured me from the very beginning. I quickly worked out the connection between Sylvie and Maggie but I wasn't disappointed as I was intrigued as to how they would find out and more importantly, what they would do once they kne
The book is mainly written from Maggie and Sylvie's perspectives with some input from other characters towards the end. This made the book very personal and I quickly got a good picture of these two women.
I took to the character of Sylvie more but I think that is because she is more independent than Maggie and not defined by her marriage. Maggie on the other hand was exactly the kind of woman I can't stand, she focuses on how everything appears rather than appreciating the important things in life. Maggie is the character who changes the most and I did like her more towards the end of the book but I did wonder if she would have just carried on as she was if she hadn't discovered her husband's secret?
The storyline and character that really got to me was Sylvie's daughter Evie. She is already struggling before everything happens but once the secret is out, she completely falls apart. What started as a but to lose a little bit of weight has developed into a full blown eating disorder. I thought that Jane Green handeld this issue so well. I have experience of this myself and I think she really showed the control element of an eating disorder plus the reality that only the individual can get themselves back on track. Sylvie is hugely supportive to Evie but until she wants to be well again, there is not much that she can do. Towards the end of the book, this storyline had me in tears and I have huge admiration for Jane Green and the way she presented it.
The Accidental Husband is a truly brilliant read. The characters and story lines had a depth that I wasn't really expecting. I'm embarrassed to admit that this is the first book by Jane Green that I have read but I shall definitely be checking out her back catalogue and future releases.

Dot Scribbles Rating: 5/5

Many thanks to the lovely Katie at Penguin for sending me a copy of this book to review, The Accidental Husband is out now!


Nadia said...

Your first Jane Green? I'm surprised, I'd figured you would have already devoured her books. Well, I'm glad you are going to after reading this book ;) And as for this book - wow! I must get me a copy ASAP! It sounds so good!! As soon as you mentioned both wives, I pretty much guessed what their connection was, but I'm curious to find out why and how? Oh, and I of course want to know what they are going to do about it once they find out. Crazy!! Definitely sounds like a must read to me ;)

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

I think I can guess the connection, and if so (or even if not) it sounds a good story. I've not read Jane Green before, though probably ought to have by now.

Dot said...

Nadia- He He, it's a really good read! I worked out the connection early on but I was compelled to read on so I could find out how it would all come together.

Charlie- The book was not what I was expecting at all, I'm really interested to read some of her others now.

Jess Hearts Books! said...

Oh! I haven't heard too much about this one but your review has got me interested! Glad you loved this one so much :)

Dot said...

Thanks Jess, really enjoyed this one!

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