The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth, 3.5 Stars

A heart surgeon at the top of his field, Stephen Aston is getting married again. But first he must divorce his current wife, even though she can no longer speak for herself.

Tully and Rachel Aston look upon their father’s fiancée, Heather, as nothing but an interloper. Heather is younger than both of them. Clearly, she’s after their father’s money.

With their mother in a precarious position, Tully and Rachel are determined to get to the
truth about their family’s secrets, the new wife closing in, and who their father really is.

Heather has secrets of her own. Will getting to the truth unleash the most dangerous impulses
in all of them?

Praise for The Younger Wife

“[An] appealing domestic suspense novel from bestseller Hepworth [with a] fast-moving plot. This often funny and affecting outing should win Hepworth new fans.”––Publishers Weekly  

“Completely compulsive. Sally Hepworth delivers with this stay-up-late one-more-chapter gem.”––Jane Harper, New York Times Bestselling Author

“A warped tale [that] boasts Jane Harper’s multilayered characters and Liane Moriarty’s wealthy suburban world saturated with lies and deceit. With each domestic thriller, best-selling Hepworth shines brighter and draws in more readers.”––Booklist

My Review:

The Younger Wife didn’t feel like a thriller to me. Now, if I knew these people in real life, their stories would be salacious, the talk of the town. But as a book, it didn’t quite fit into the thriller, or even domestic thriller category for me. However, I still found The Younger Wife to be a satisfying read. I found the characters compelling and relatable and the story moved along at a nice click.

First we have Stephen, the patriarch of the family, who has a younger girlfriend, Heather. And by younger, I mean younger. It would certainly be strange if your father was dating someone younger that you. And the matriarch of the family? She’s still alive and kicking. She’s just lost her mind to dementia and resides in a nursing home. She doesn’t recognize her husband or daughters anymore.

While some readers might view Stephen as a monster for divorcing her to marry a younger woman, I do think it’s understandable. Yes, “until death do us part”…”in sickness and health.” But I feel like there needs to be some fine print there..”as long as we recognize each other?” You know what I mean.

But the whole thing is complicated. And just like real people, Stephen, Heather and daughters Rachel and Tully have all kinds of emotional baggage, which Hepworth reveals one layer at a time. I found myself cheering the characters on and sharing in their anguish throughout the book.

Special thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review. This one is available now.


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