Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for a chance to read an advance copy of this novel
I didn’t have a clue what TheSilent Wife was about, but it didn’t matter. I LOVE Kerry’s books, and so, for me, it was more a question of ‘pick me, pick me’ when I saw it was up for request on NetGalley. Thankfully, those wonderful people at Bookouture saw fit to grant my request.
The book begins at Maggie’s wedding to Nico, whose first wife, Caitlin, sadly died of cancer, leaving him to bring up their young daughter, Francesca.
Maggie met Nico after her mother, Beryl, nursed Caitlin through her final weeks and months, leading everyone in the family, not least of all Nico’s formidable (and cutting) mother, Anna, to hold the firm belief that Maggie was nothing more than a gold digger, especially as she was brought up ‘on the wrong side of the tracks’.
Maggie doesn’t really know what she’s let herself in for, marrying into the formidable Farinelli family, but suffice to say, it doesn’t take her long to find out, and when she is sorting through some of Caitlin’s things, she stumbles upon a secret that, if released into the perfect Farinelli world, had the potential to tear the family apart.
Lara, her next door neighbour and new sister-in-law is married to Nico’s brother, Massimo, the life and soul of any party. Maggie hopes that Lara will become a confidante, another ‘outsider’ who she can lean on for support when being the ‘far from perfect second wife to the very perfect first one’ becomes too much. Unfortunately, Lara has a secret of her own, and Maggie soon realises that Lara isn’t going to provide the support she needs.
I loved Maggie from the get-go. She was warm, funny, real, brilliantly written and beautifully brought to life by Kerry. I initially struggled with Lara, but as the novel progresses, you understand why she is the way she is, and I was cheering for her by the end.
Maggie’s mother Beryl is awesome (yes I know that word is overused, but Beryl earns that description and then some). Some of her put-downs to Anna have you yelling ‘You Go Girl!’
Maggie has some wonderful inner monologue that had me laughing out loud. I’d love to share a whole bunch with you, but some of them would contain spoilers, so you’ll just have to read the book. However, I can share one, which describes Maggie’s personality perfectly.
‘I could think of things I’d rather do. Like sniff chilli up my nose, mistake Deep Heat for Canesten, sever a limb with a cheese wire.’ Just fabulous!
This is Kerry’s fourth novel, and it has all the hallmarks of her wonderful voice that makes me unquestionably read her books in the firm knowledge that they will draw me in and keep my attention to the very end. Even so, there’s always that bite of fear when you start a novel by an author you love. What if this one is ‘the one that doesn’t live up to the others’. We’ve all been there – and felt the disappointment, but I’m delighted to say that by the end of the first chapter, I was smiling so hard, my cheeks hurt.
I thought The Island Escape, Kerry’s last novel (Link to My Review), couldn’t be matched for having brilliant characters and wonderful prose filled with laugh out loud moments as well as heart-felt ones. Wrong. If anything, The Secrets of Second Wives beats The Island Escape (it’s marginal though), but Kerry’s consistency in punching out fabulous stories continues its relentless journey.
The Silent Wife (previously called The Secrets of Second Wives) s is up to buy NOW. Get yours here.